Leipzig Kings

From elfpedia.eu

The Leipzig Kings were an American football team from Leipzig, Germany, that played in the European League of Football (ELF) from 2021 to 2023. The team withdrew after week 6 of the 2023 season and was folded in October 2023.

History[edit | edit source]

The Leipzig franchise was announced along with Berlin Thunder and Cologne Centurions in March 2021, as part of the inaugural season of the European League of Football. [1] In April, ELF commissioner Patrick Esume praised the potential of Leipzig for growing the sport and the athletes in the university, despite the relatively short time for the Kings to prepare for the first season.

The Kings introduced their first head coach, Fred Armstrong[2], who previously coached the national teams of Sweden, the Czech Republic and Austria, and also gained coaching experience with Stuttgart Scorpions and two NFL teams, New York Jets and New York Giants.

On May 7, 2021, the Kings signed Japanese wide receiver Yoshihito Omi [3] who would be the first Asian player playing in ELF. In 2019, Omi led in receiving with 33 catches and 544 yards for IBM Big Blue in X League, and acted as captain for the Japan national American football team.

2021 Season[edit | edit source]

The Kings won their first game on June 20, 2021 with 27:37 at the Berlin Thunder. The Leipzig team played their second game on June 26, 2021 against the Panthers Wrocław, which they lost 54:28 on the road.

Their first match at home took place on July 4, 2021 in front of 2,150 spectators, the guests were the Cologne Centurions. Before the start of the game, Leipzig quarterback Birdsong got injured and was replaced by Jaleel Awini. In the end they had to admit defeat to the guests with 47:48.

In the fourth game of the season, they faced the Stuttgart Surge on July 11, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. in the Gazi Stadium on the Waldau. There, after leading for most of the game, they suffered a 27:24 defeat. On the fifth matchday they met the until then unbeaten Hamburg Sea Devils. In their second home game in front of 2,380 spectators, they suffered their highest defeat so far. The Sea Devils won with 0:55 at the Kings.

In week six, the Kings had a bye week. To start the second half of the season, they welcomed the Berlin Thunder to Alfred Kunze Sportpark on August 1, 2021. They won the game against the Berliners with 37:24. For the eighth matchday, the Stuttgart Surge came to Leipzig and played their game on August 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm. In front of 1,727 spectators, the Leipzig team won their second game in a row, outscoring the Surge 49-23.

The ninth day of play featured the bye week of the second half for Leipzig. The Cologne Centurions were waiting for the Kings on game day 10. The Kings took revenge for their first-round defeat, winning 24-42 to secure their second consecutive victory in the ELF. For the eleventh matchday, they went to Hamburg, the league leader. After conceding the first half to the Sea Devils, they really turned up the heat in the second half and defeated Hamburg 17:18, giving Leipzig the chance to reach the knockout stage against their direct rivals from Wroclaw in the last game of the group phase.

The twelfth matchday ended for the Leipzigers, on September 5, 2021 in front of 2,168 spectators, with a 13:21 defeat against the Panthers, thereby the Kings missed the entry into the play-offs and finished the North Division in third place behind Hamburg and Wroclaw.

Overall, the Kings were tied with the Cologne Centurions in terms of win percentage, but had decided the direct comparison against Cologne in their favor. Nevertheless, due to the mode, the "worse" seeded Cologne Centurions as second in the South was qualified for the playoffs and Leipzig as third in the North wasn't.

2022 Season[edit | edit source]

Moritz Heisler replaced Özhan Altintas as part-partner in February. In the 2022 season, Leipzig will play one home and one away game each against division opponents Berlin, Hamburg and Wroclaw. In addition, there will be one home and one away game each against interconference opponents from Innsbruck, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart. The first tryout was scheduled for Dec. 5, 2021, but was postponed to a later date due to Corona. In February, the Kings announced two dates for the tryouts. They will differentiate between offense on March 20, 2022, and defense on March 27, 2022. The ELF season will begin on June 4, 2022.

The first game of the Leipzig Kings took place on June 5, 2022 against the Panthers Wrocław in Wrocław. They lost this game, after a fumble touchdown in the final seconds of the game, 27-34. In the second week of play, they will face the new Rhein Fire franchise in their first home game on June 12, 2022 at Paul-Greifzu-Stadion in Dessau, followed by another home game on June 18, 2022 at Leuna-Chemie Stadium in Halle against Hamburg. The remaining home games will be played at Bruno-Plache Stadium.

2023 Season[edit | edit source]

On September 21, 2022, the Kings announced that Fred Armstrong would no longer serve as their head coach. The head coaching position was taken by John Booker, who also became Director Football Operations. Shortly thereafter, Defensive Coordinator Richard Kent moved to Rhein Fire. The Kings also announced that they would be playing in the Eastern Conference.

On June 27, 2023 informed the team that due to a lack of a main sponsor and other financially unfavorable circumstances, the continuation of the game operation until the end of the season is in jeopardy. [4]

While the game in week 5 of the 2023 Season against Berlin Thunder could still take place as planned and even set a crowd record in Leipzig (2,598), the home game of week 6 against Prague Lions was cancelled one day before the match. [5] [6]

Between these 2 match days, some players left the franchise on their own accord. Among others these were: Dominic Behrens (OL), Kélian-Mathis Mouliom (WR), Dominic Yaw Aboagye-Duah (DB), Ramy Mohamed (DL).

After the game against Berlin, according to the German Bouldvard paper BILD-Zeitung, the players were instructed to turn in their equipment in order to take inventory. [7]

On July 10 2023 the game of the Cologne Centurions against the Leipzig Kings was canceled by the league. [8]

On the same day, the Leipzig Kings withdrew from play for the current season. [9] [10]

On July 12, 2023, the league released a statement regarding the Kings' departure from the ELF. This statement contradicted in large parts the description of the Kings In addition, it was announced that all Kings players, will be free agents from the moment they no longer have an active contract with the Kings. The otherwise usual 3-game suspension for a change within the league in the current season is therefore not applicable. [11]

On July 18, 2023 On July 18, 2023, the league's Competition Committee announced how the Leipzig Kings' 2023 season games will be scored. [12]

It was decided that the already played games will be kept. The rematches were scored the same as the matches that had already been played. If necessary, the winner was reclassified. The games against the Cologne Centurions were both scored 16:16, but as a win for the Cologne Centurions.

Insolvency[edit | edit source]

On Oct. 2, 2023, insolvency proceedings were initiated against Leipzig Football Betreiber GmbH, which led to the liquidation of the company on Oct. 13, 2023. [13]

Stadium[edit | edit source]

Bruno-Plache-Stadion is a multi-use stadium in Leipzig, Germany. It is currently used mostly for football matches and is the home stadium of 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig. Fans only call it "das Bruno" (the Bruno). The stadium has a capacity of 15,600 people, but it is only accredited for 7,000 people at the moment.

2021 season[edit | edit source]

For the inaugural season the Leipzig Kings played their home games at the Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark. It is a multi-use stadium and is used for BSG Chemie Leipzig football matches. The capacity of the stadium is 4,999 spectators.

2022 season[edit | edit source]

Three weeks before the 2022 season, the Kings announced that they cannot play at the Alfred-Kunze-Sportpark. due to noise regulations. They played the first home game at the Paul-Greifzu-Stadion in Dessau-Roßlau, 56 Kilometers from Leipzig, and the second home game in Leuna-Chemie-Stadion in Halle, the city neighbouring Leipzig. For the rest of the season the Kings moved to Bruno-Plache-Stadion.

Top Players[edit | edit source]

Michael Birdsong 2021 7 146 234 62.4 1597 24 6 13
Anthony Dablé-Wolf 2021-22 21 97 172 1185 56.4 56.4 12.2 46 7 0.3
Seantavius Jones 2022 11 61 114 1008 53.5 91.6 16.5 87 13 1.2
Timothy Knuettel 2021 10 51 75 701 68.0 70.1 13.7 55 12 1.2
Jason Aguemon 2021 9 96 518 5.4 57.6 40 3 0.3 2 0
Oliver Bahr 2022 12 99 368 3.7 30.7 36 0 0.0 2 2

Total record[edit | edit source]

Games Win Loss Win % P+ P- PDiff
Leipzig Kings 34 11 23 0.324 726 1077 -351

Record per oppenent[edit | edit source]

Games Win Loss Win % P+ P- PDiff
Stuttgart Surge 4 3 1 0.750 139 72 +67
Fehérvár Enthroners 2 1 1 0.500 71 71 -0
Rhein Fire 2 1 1 0.500 51 59 -8
Prague Lions 2 1 1 0.500 18 50 -32
Berlin Thunder 6 3 3 0.500 143 177 -34
Cologne Centurions 4 1 3 0.250 121 104 +17
Hamburg Sea Devils 4 1 3 0.250 18 145 -127
Vienna Vikings 2 0 2 0.000 28 94 -66
Raiders Tirol 2 0 2 0.000 20 93 -73
Panthers Wrocław 6 0 6 0.000 117 212 -95

Source: https://elfdata.eu/

Head Coaches[edit | edit source]

Name Tenure Record Titles
Fred Armstrong 2021-2022 9 13 0 0
John Booker 2023 2 10 0 0

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]