Berlin - The Hertha BSC eSports Academy came within inches of reaching the Grand Final of the Virtual Bundesliga. After qualifying for the playoffs for the first time, coach Daren Framke’s team faced St. Pauli on Tuesday evening (16/03/21). After Eren Poyraz and Tom Bismark lost 2-0 in the opening match on PlayStation 4, Christoph Strietzel stepped up to compete on the Xbox. A last-minute winner helped Strietzel to a 3-2 victory, setting up a tense and exciting finale for the third match. After Leroy Richter’s match (PlayStation 4) ended in a 2-2 draw, it came down to Golden Goal mode to determine a winner. Poyraz and Bismark sat down to battle it out, and gave it their all. After an evenly-matched game in which both sides saw chances on goal, it was St. Pauli who ultimately came out on top. While their opponents celebrated, the Blue-Whites were left empty-handed, having come within inches of reaching the Grand Final for the first time.
“Of course we were extremely disappointed after the final whistle. However, we’ve since had some time to process our elimination. Of course we would have been really excited about reaching the final tournament. But, we’re still extremely proud of the guys and their performances in the VBL this season,” said Framke. However, the season isn’t over yet for the Herthaner. After a Showmatch against Lazio on 8th April, Strietzel, Poyraz, Bismark and Framke will compete in the Top 32 of the DFB ePokal on 6th May. Their opponents are still to be confirmed. The Herthaner will then be competing in individual Virtual Bundesliga matches from 14th to 16th May.