Five takeaways from Week 1 in the European League of Football

Week 1 of the European League of Football (ELF) is finally in the books after what feels like an eternity. Here are our takeaways from the weekend.

Nothing is what we expected

The hype train was in full motion this offseason. Teams, production, games and players were all showcased as the best thing since sliced bread. This however has led to some weighty expectations. Many of those expectations were not met.

The Berlin Thunder looked amazing, the Hamburg Sea Devils looked mediocre, and the Paris Musketeers looked out of sync. This is a far cry from what most pundits and ‘know it alls’ thought would happen.

Berlin DL Kyle Kitchens Photo: Eric Muehle

In addition to this, the production on gamepass had several…hiccups. A near 40-minute game delay in the Hamburg vs Wroclaw game was pretty tough to deal with, and I can’t keep up with how many plays I didn’t see because the cameraman decided not to follow the ball. 

However, it is Week 1. This is still European football. Fans will surely look the other way, especially when the fan experience at games is so electric.

Jarvis McClam is a problem

McClam was one of the best receivers in the GFL last year. But against the Munich Ravens over the weekend, he looked to be in a league of his own. He had 150 yards receiving, a 95-yard return for a touchdown and threw a 50+ yard TD bomb to Philip Haun.

The connection between him and Christian Strong is going to keep defensive co-ordinators up at night.

Get this man a better internet connection 

For the entire Paris Musketeers vs Cologne Centurions game, the commentator spoke about how he could not see the game due to his poor quality feed. Surely one of the fundamental requirements of any match commentator is that they can actually see the game.

Please can the European football community band together and get this man a new internet provider so he doesn’t have the bandwidth of an egg.

Believe the hype 

Photo: Rhein Fire

The Rhein Fire manufactured one of the best rosters this past offseason. They deservedly earned top spots in nearly every power ranking. And on Sunday, they served up the Frankfurt Galaxy a big fat, juicy, convincing L. They are without a doubt the team to beat.

Reality check for new franchises

With the exception of the Paris Musketeers, who narrowly escaped Cologne with a win, every new franchise in the ELF lost this weekend. This is more of a reality check than anything else.

It takes a long time to build a team and a playbook. You cannot just rock up on game day with a loaded roster and expect to win games. It’s widely accepted that Paris has one of the best rosters in the league, and they almost lost to who a lot of people consider one of the worst teams.

There is a very steep learning curve in front of the new teams. If they can take advantage of it and ride the wave, they can surely turn their season around and become playoff contenders.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.