ELF: League announces three conferences for the 2023 season

As the European League of Football gears up for the 2023 season, 17 teams will take the field in the league’s highly anticipated third season.

This year’s field includes teams from eight countries as Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Czech Republic, and France are all represented in the international league.

With four new teams entering the league, commissioner Patrick Esume has reshuffled the league into three conferences, the Central, Eastern, and Western, splitting up the league into groups of six teams. Expect teams to play their conference foes and sprinkle in two to four out-of-conference games throughout the 2023 ELF season.

Sadly, the Istanbul Rams recently dropped out of the league, setting the ELF back one team, at an odd-numbered 17, leaving two conferences with six teams, and one with five.

Central Conference

The Central Conference will feature three new teams in the ELF, the Helvetic Guards of Zurich, the Munich Ravens, and the Milano Seamen, joining the Stuttgart Surge, and last year’s semi-finalist Barcelona Dragons and Raiders Tirol. 

The central conference outlook looks too tough as it will pit two of last year’s playoff teams against each other, with the addition of the recharged Stuttgart Surge and Italian powerhouse Milano Seamen.

The central conference could produce some nail bitters as a new look Stuttgart Surge have been one of the off-season winners signing several talented new players, matching up well with established winners in the Raiders Tirol, Milano Seamen, and last year’s surprise the Barcelona Dragons.

Western Conference

This conference features four teams from western Germany as last year’s runner ups the Hamburg Sea-Devils, lead the pack joined by the Dusseldorf Rhein Fire, Frankfurt Galaxy, and Cologne Centurions. The German teams will be joined by the brand new Paris Football team.  The Istanbul Rams would have been the sixth team but withdrew.

Some of the most intriguing matchups in this division are between these German teams as the Rhein Fire and Cologne Centurions could be a budding rivalry given they are a short drive from one another. Hamburg versus Frankfurt could lead to some epic matchups both teams have been very successful in the ELF’s first two seasons. 

The new kid on the block, Paris, will have to prove themselves against three of the more established teams in the league. With the Istanbul Rams dropping out of the league earlier this week, the Western Conference will be the only group with five teams.  

Eastern Conference

The 2022 ELF champion Vienna Vikings move into the Eastern Conference, joining the Prague Lions, Fehérvár Enthroners, Wroclaw Panthers, Leipzig Kings, and Berlin Thunder

The move separates the Austrian powerhouses Vienna and the Raiders Tirol in what has been one of the best rivalries in European football history. Fans hope they will meet in out-of-conference play. 

While the Vikings enter as the clear favorites, the Wroclaw Panthers a 2021 semi-finalist, and an improving Berlin Thunder team hope to improve and compete for a title in 2023. Leipzig and expansion teams Prague and Fehérvár hope to make some noise in what should be another thrilling year in the European League of Football.

Alex is a former NCAA and semi-pro American football player who is now located in London, where he works in digital marketing. His goal in writing for AFI is to stay involved with the game that has given him so much. Alex enjoys covering leagues and