IFAF Europe Champions League 2016 Tournament Complete Breakdown

The IFAF Europe Champions League gets underway in April and AFI has put together a “brackets” graphic to better track the routes the teams will take to reach the final. Group play kicks off the weekend of April 16/17 with three games. The final group game of the tournament between the Milano Seamen and Budapest Wolves takes place May 28.

Here is a breakdown of each group.

champions_league_bracket

North

This may well be the “group of death”. Denmark’s Triangle Razorbacks are making their first ever appearance and the Danish champions could surprise. But the Wroclaw Panthers from Poland with Nick Johansen behind the bench will be tough. The Panthers have been Polish finalists the past two years and the club in various guises has been a perennial contender in Poland. The same could be said for the Prague Lions from the Czech Republic. The Lions have battled crosstown rivals the Prague Black Panthers for football supremacy in that country and play at a high level. This one will be difficult to pick.

Favorite: Wroclaw Panthers

East

Heavy favorites the Carlstad Crusaders should emerge from this group. Both the Istanbul Koç Rams from Turkey and Russia’s St. Petersburg Griffins will have a hard time against a Swedish team which cruised through the tournament winning it handily in 2015. The Rams are one of the top two teams in Turkey and currently lead the league there while the Griffins won the Russian crown in 2015 for the first time in their history. Nevertheless, neither will be able to budge the Crusaders this year.

Favorite: Carlstad

Central

Serbia’s Vukovi Belgrade have been finalists in the Champions League tournament both years. Although they lost the Serbian crown in 2015, it was a battle. They will be difficult to beat in this tournament. The Budapest Wolves from Hungary will have a tough time as a first time participant. They were finalists for the league title in Hungary in 2015, losing to Slovakia’s Bratislava Monarchs in the final. The Milano Seamen are back-to-back Italian champions and played in Champions League in 2015. However, they did not get past the group stage and will find it difficult this year as well with Vukovi in the group.

Favorite: SBB Vukovi Belgrade

South

Although the Novi Sad GAT Dukes won the Serbian title in 2015 for the first time in their history, they are facing a formidable foe in this group. Austria’s Danube Dragons knocked off eventual Austrian champions the Swarco Raiders early in the 2015 season and always make the playoffs in that country. The third team in the group, the Lisboa Devils from Portugal are playing outside of the Iberian peninsula for the first time in their history and will be facing two of the toughest teams in Europe. Although they have added imports this season including former NFL tight end Collin Franklin, this tournament will be simply a chance to see where they stand internationally. Finally, the Istanbul Boğaziçi Sultans, perennial champions in Turkey, are making their second appearance in the tournament. They dropped both games last year, one to Vukovi.

Favorite: Danube Dragons

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
Skip to toolbar