Mailbag Monday – 2023 playoff scenarios and league expansion
The European League of Football is close to its third season. It is finally time to figure out what teams will prevail and reach the championship game in Duisburg on September 24th! Will it be one of the new teams joining the league? Will the Vikings repeat their illustrious success of last season? Who are the best players coming into the season?
Those are questions that you may ask yourself and I am here to give you the best possible answer! If you have a question and want it to be answered in a future article, please look out on the league’s social channels every Monday. Just leave your question on Instagram or Twitter for me to answer!
ELF Power Ranker (on Twitter): Will a conference send three teams into the playoffs or everyone two?
Before stating my opinion regarding your question, I want to mention that the playoff rules have changed since last season. In 2023, six instead of four teams will reach the playoffs of which the two teams conference winners with the best record will receive a bye week. During that bye week, the seeds three to six will play in the Wild Card for a chance to play the best two conference champions in the semi-finals. For more information, please click HERE.
To your questions I do believe that one particular conference has the strength to get three teams into the postseason. The Western Conference with Rhein Fire, Paris Musketeers, Hamburg Sea Devils, Frankfurt Galaxy and the Cologne Centurions is a very strong group. For me, Rhein Fire and the Musketeers are the early favorites to reach the playoffs in this conference. But let’s not forget that the Sea Devils were part of the last two championship games and that the Galaxy received some upgrades on various positions compared to 2022.
I would not be shocked to see three teams out of the Western Conference reach the playoffs.
Jonas Ginsberg (on Twitter): Will the league be “full” in 2024 or later?
That is a tough questions to answer. For now, the European League of Football will start the 2024 season with at least 20 teams. 17 out of these 20 teams are already playing in the upcoming season and Madrid was just announced as the second franchise location in Spain at the Kickoff Press Conference last Friday. However, commissioner Patrick Esume and CEO Zeljko Karajica already made public that at least two more franchises will be announced for the 2024 season in the future, which makes a total of 20 teams for 2024.
The initial goal that was communicated by the league was to have 24 franchises in over 10 countries across Europe. Seeing where the European League of Football is now, I could even see the league expand even further. Why stop at 24 if there are still great locations left in Europe that are hungry for professional football in Europe and are economically sustainable?
So, I believe that the European League of Football will not be “full” by 2024. Instead, I suggest the league will grow into an even bigger phenomenon beyond next year with more franchises in more countries and more fans than the commissioner and the CEO have thought of when they founded the league.