Bundesliga Home Challenge: Winning start in front of 4,500 Schalke fans

As football continues to be sidelined by the ongoing coronavirus crisis, 26 Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs have come together for the inaugural “Bundesliga Home Challenge” tournament. FC Schalke 04 opened their account on Saturday (28.3) against FC St. Pauli. Schalke’s professional gamer Tim "Tim Latka" Schwartmann won his opening match 1-0, before Nassim Boujellab dominated his fixture 3-1 in front of 4,500 watching Schalke fans.

Tim Schwartmann und Nassim Boujellab

FC St. Pauli (Luca Zander) 0-1 FC Schalke 04 (Tim Schwartmann)

The opening fixture pitted Luca Zander and Tim Latka against each other. Latka made his intentions clear by attacking from the off, though St Pauli’s virtual goalkeeper was rarely called into action. Likewise, at the other end, Zander struggled to test Alexander Nübel and the first half remained goalless.

But Schalke turned up the heat in the second half and sealed all three points with a late winner through Suat Serdar, whose extraordinary goalscoring run continues in the virtual world!

FC St. Pauli (Marvin Knoll) 1-3 FC Schalke 04 (Nassim Boujellab)

St. Pauli’s Marvin Knoll sought to strike early against Nassim Boujellab, but the Schalke midfielder showed resilience in defence in an otherwise uneventful first half. As in the first match, the sides were inseparable before the break.

It was a different story all together in the second half, as Boujellab seized the initiative early on with a delightful Panenka in the 49th minute – with his virtual self, no less. With St. Pauli needing two goals to level the aggregate score, the game opened up and Nassim soon doubled, once more with himself. The game was put to bed in 82nd minute when Benito Raman added a third, though the goal of the day belonged to St Pauli with a long-range consolation strike.

Bundesliga Home Challenge

Each team nominated two players for the “Bundesliga Home Challenge” – one from the first team and one other player (esports, influencer or second first time player). All games are played on PlayStation 4 and all players are given the same player rating of “85” to keep things fair. Each game lasts roughly 25 minutes and the score from the two games will be combined as a single result. The “Bundesliga Home Challenge” carries no official sporting value.

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