2 weeks ago | 15.05.2023, 09:39
Panthers Wrocław are approaching the start of the European League of Football - the Wrocław team will start the games on June 3rd with a home game against Hamburg Sea Devils. In total, during the regular season, the Wrocław team will host six teams from four different countries. In the event of getting to the play-offs, the competition may look even more interesting. Who will the Wrocław Team face?
In the 2023 season, Panthers Wrocław will play in the Eastern Conference of the European League of Football. The Polish team will play a total of 12 games in the regular season - six at home and six away. They will face each group rival twice and additionally play an intergroup rematch against Hamburg Sea Devils.
In the Eastern Conference, the Panthers will meet teams from four different countries - Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Hungary. They will play Berlin Thunder, Leipzig Kings, Vienna Vikings, Prague Lions and Fehervar Enthroners.
The opening game of the season at the Olympic Stadium is a real hit of the round. Meetings between Panthers Wrocław and Hamburg Sea Devils are always full of great emotions and fights until the last seconds. So far, the two teams have faced each other five times - three times the game ended with a difference of exactly three points, once by six, and once it was decided only after extra time. The Germans are last year's ELF runners-up.
– Games with Sea Devils are always accompanied by a special atmosphere. Each of our joint meetings is at a high sports level and provides a large dose of adrenaline. We are glad that we have a chance to compete with the team from Hamburg for the third year in a row - says Jakub Samel, sports director of Panthers Wrocław.
Vienna Vikings – last year's European champions will also be a tough opponent. In the previous season, the Austrians had no equal, although they lost two matches - one at the end of the season against Panthers Wrocław. Vikings is an organization with 40 years of experience, which has always been one of the strongest in Europe.
– The Austrians are champions, so it will be a challenge to compete with them. However, it was precisely to play against such rivals that our organization decided to join the European League of Football. We want to compete with the best - assures Jakub Samel.
Leipzig Kings and Berlin Thunder are rivals well known to the team from Wrocław. In previous seasons, the games of the Poles with both teams provided a lot of emotions - they were not one-sided duels. Despite this, the balance with the team from Leipzig is 4:0 in favor of the Wrocław team, while the representatives of Poland have shared victories with the Berlin team so far - the state of the competition is 2:2. Last year, in one of the games, the result had to be decided by overtime.
– Both German teams are well known to us because we have been competing in the group since the first season of ELF. Each of them made solid moves in the pre-season to strengthen their squad, which is why we are focused on hard and demanding games - comments Samel.
Prague Lions are the newcomers of the European League of Football, but the Czechs have faced Panthers Wrocław before. In 2016, the Panthers defeated the Lions from Prague by as much as 48:7, and then won the football Champions League. However, it must be remembered that those were completely different teams than today and completely different games. The Lions, like the Panthers, brought together the best players from all over the country. Just like the Hungarian Fehervar Enthroners, who will be a completely new opponent for Panthers Wrocław. The Polish representatives have never faced a team from Hungary, which, like the Lions, joined the European League of Football before the 2023 season. Its disposition remains a great unknown.
– We met the team from Prague a few seasons ago, but today it is a completely new team. The Czechs have been preparing for a long time to enter the ELF, I hope that it will be the beginning of an interesting rivalry - the same as with the Hungarians. Enthroners is also a dynamically developing project with a very experienced coaching staff - says Jakub Samel, sports director of Panthers Wrocław.
If the players from Wrocław manage to get the desired promotion to the play-off phase, they can face the remaining ELF teams, which are 17 in total and which compete in three conferences. In addition to those listed, these include Frankfurt Galaxy, Cologne Centurions, Rhein Fire, Paris Musketeers, Munich Ravens, Stuttgart Surge, Tirol Raiders, Helvetic Guards, Milano Seamen and Barcelona Dragons. In total, teams from 9 different countries participate in the ELF.
The top six teams after the main round will advance to the play-offs. The two group winners with the best record will be directly promoted to the semi-finals. The team that wins its conference with the least favorable record and the group runners-up will play to advance to the semi-finals in the wild card round. The top two teams will advance to the ELF Grand Final on September 24th at the Schauinsland-Reisen-Arena in Duisburg, Germany.