How It Works

Player Builder

How can an esport be competitive without a controller? In the SFL, teams use their football minds and study the game’s AI to calculate changes for their next opponent. Our teams have over 6,500 plays to choose from and all games are archived so teams have film on their opponents from last week or even last season. It’s a whole new kind of esport that breaks down barriers of entry to heart-pounding competition from the comfort of home.

You can be a player and get on the field and even move up to scout, coach, manage a front office or even own your own franchise one day.

How Teams Win

Player Progression – crafting plans to improve players on your squad can help get the most out of their season. Unique animations help further separate the talent.
Coach Points – what are the points of emphasis by the team in ‘practice’ that week? Coach points allow teams to cover up weaknesses against the competition.
Scouting – when team’s know their opponent inside and out and predict their next move, the advantage lies within the details of the mind.
Play Changes – every team has a base of plays that fit their team build perfectly but making the right small – or big – changes can lead to a successful element of surprise.

How Teams Lose

Players don’t progress – whether inactive or irresponsible, players who don’t care about their own careers ultimately hurt the team and their ability to keep up with the improving talent around the league.
Poor game planning – some days, you just simply get out-coached. Making the wrong adjustments – or not being able to counter your opponents – can leave you susceptible to defeat.
Bad luck – you can’t control everything in life – the point is to simulate that. In professional sports, that lack of control of the weather, your player’s decision-making or just simply not getting the right plays called at the right time can bring a sense of helplessness with losses that powers teams to overcome adversity.

Players

In the SFL, the deepest pockets don’t get all the glory. Instead, player participation fuels their progression on the field and makes them attractive pieces to build around. Players get their first taste of what it’s like seeing yourself play on the field in the minors and notice the improvements in their players each week. They become celebrities with sensational plays and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to be the hero for your teammates live on television. The league tracks player stats each game, each season and throughout their career to celebrate milestones and award top play and the best of the best get inducted in the SFL Hall-of-Fame at our yearly awards ceremony in the ultimate honor of commitment, passion and glory.

Coaches

Getting to build gameplans and playbooks is fun! But having to compete with the AI and your opponent - the ultimate jigsaw puzzle. From assistants, to coordinators to Head Coaches, there are a variety of ways to get involved in formulating plans to destroy the opposition. From film study to testing potential gameplan adjustments, teams spend on average 60 hours a week preparing for their next opponent so when they hit the field, they’ll be prepared to compete.

Scouts

If you've always loved dissecting game film, scouting is for you! Studying opponent tendencies and figuring out what is working and what is not for your team and your opponent helps coaches spend more time strategizing smarter. The SFL archives all of its games in full so teams can go back to last week, last meeting or even previous seasons so they can get the full scope on who is next on the schedule.

Team Owners

The ultimate and most dedicated SFL members live in this group. Owners build teams from the ground up - from logos, to uniforms, to culture. Franchise leaders help shape the league's rulebook and future with insight, suggestions and efforts in conjunction with the league office. Feeling a win - or a loss - after your team's victory is the ultimate feeling of ownership as you face the locker room each week and build player and staff careers one week at a time.

General Managers

Front office positions, whether it's GM, President or anything in between help build teams for the season. Recruit free agents, interview rookies, build and finalize contracts, fight the salary cap and more. Whether it's rewarding players for loyalty, nabbing a coveted asset on the open market or calling a rookie on Draft day while your team is on the clock letting them know you're about to pick them are some of the coolest moments in a football off-season.

Communication Directors

Ever wanted to get into graphic design, social media, statistics or multimedia in general? Communication Directors help get a team's message and branding out to the masses with tweets, images, videos, transactions, news releases and interviews. Learn what it takes to build a franchise from the inside, out.

Player Guide

QUARTERBACK

The quarterback is easily the most important position on the field at any given time.  He is responsible for relaying the play call to the offense, calling protections, and reading defenses.  Whether a statue in the pocket, a field general, or a mobile playmaker, the quarterback dictates the pace of play and the overall performance of an offense before the ball is even snapped.

FAMOUS QUARTERBACKS

  • Johnny Unitas
  • John Elway
  • Dan Marino
  • Brett Favre
  • Eli and Peyton Manning
  • Tom Brady

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Pass Accuracy
  • Pass Strength
  • Read Coverage
  • Composure
  • Consistency

ANIMATIONS

  • 4th Quarter Comeback – QBs and their receivers play better with under two minutes left in a half.
  • Breakaway Burst – Improves running from a defender and improves receivers’ ability to make cuts on routes.
  • Clutch – Player has higher situational awareness.
  • Deception – Improves QB ability to Pump Fake.
  • Leadership – Makes nearby players better.
  • Pass Threat – Makes Draw plays more effective.
  • Pocket Presence – Increases Pass Accuracy while in the pocket when under pressure.
  • QB Evade – QB gains the ability to make special evasions from defenders.
  • Quick Release – QB releases the ball faster, making sacks more difficult to get.
  • Scrambler – Reduces the penalty to throwing while on the run.
  • Tough As Nails – The Quarterback is less likely to be fazed by pressure and make mistakes.

RUNNINGBACK

The runningback is the workhorse of the offense.  A jack of all trades, the runningback runs the ball, catches the ball, and blocks during pass plays.  He is either a powerful machine that plows through the trenches created by the lines crashing into each other or he is nimble and slippery, hard to tackle and frustrating to defend.  The runningback is always a threat.

FAMOUS RUNNINGBACKS

  • Eric Dickerson
  • Walter Payton
  • Bo Jackson
  • Marshall Faulk
  • Barry Sanders
  • Adrian Peterson
  • Le’veon Bell

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Run Route
  • Break Tackle
  • Catch
  • Secure Ball

ARCHETYPES

  • Finesse – These backs are light, fast, and agile, causing tacklers to miss as they cut up the field.
  • Balanced – These backs are able to juke and stiff arm equally as they move downfield.
  • Power – These backs are larger and tough to bring down, shaking off tacklers and trucking them.

ANIMATIONS

  • Arm of Steel – Player has 2nd level stiff arm.
  • Ankle Breaker – Player has 2nd level juke.
  • Battering Ram – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder. (Power Archetype only)
  • Branching Tackles – Player is harder to tackle while running with the ball. (Balanced Archetype only)
  • Breakaway Burst – Improves running from a defender and improves receivers’ ability to make cuts on routes. (Finesse Archetype only)
  • Clutch – Player has higher situational awareness.
  • Cutback Ability – Helps receiver make better cuts when running routes.
  • Cyclone – Player has 2nd level spin.
  • Finesse – Player has 2nd level juke, spin, and hesitation, but at a slight penalty.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Power – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder and stiff arm, but at a slight penalty
  • Scissor Kick – Player has 2nd level Scissor Kick.
  • Stop on a Dime – Player has 2nd level hesitation.
  • Workhorse – HB becomes better in all attributes the more he carries the ball.

WIDE RECEIVER 

Known as the diva of any offense, every receiver wants the ball.  They are lean, fast, and agile, cutting and speeding their way past defenders trying to get open.  They are either deep threats, streaking down the field making basket catches on long passes or possession receivers, frustrating defenses by picking up 5-7 yards at a time getting first down after first down.

FAMOUS WIDE RECEIVERS

  • Don Hutson
  • Steve Largent
  • Jerry Rice
  • Terrell Owens
  • Marvin Harrison
  • Randy Moss
  • Antonio Brown

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Run Route
  • Catch

ANIMATIONS

  • Acrobatic Catches  – Player can make spectacular catches.
  • Arm of Steel – Player has 2nd level stiff arm.
  • Ankle Breaker – Player has 2nd level juke.
  • Battering Ram – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder.
  • Branching Tackles – Player is harder to tackle while running with the ball.
  • Breakaway Burst – Improves running from a defender and improves receivers’ ability to make cuts on routes.
  • Bump Buster – Receiver is especially good at breaking through bump coverage.
  • Clutch – Player has higher situational awareness.
  • Cutback Ability – Helps receiver make better cuts when running routes.
  • Cyclone – Player has 2nd level spin.
  • Deep Threat – Receiver is better at catching deep passes and draws safety coverage.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Magic Feet – Player is better at catching passes near the sideline and staying in bounds.
  • Mr. 3rd Down – Player has better situational awareness to catch passes on 3rd down.
  • Possession – Player has better situational awareness when running shorter routes.
  • Return Specialist – Player is the go-to man to return kicks.
  • Route God – Player runs routes very smoothly.
  • Stop on a Dime – Player has 2nd level hesitation.
  • Tough in the Middle – Player has better situational awareness when catching balls while being hit.

TIGHT END

The Tight End has held many roles in the history of football.  An added blocker, a screen pass receiver, a 3rd down escape valve.  Whatever the role, the tight end is generally a large target with moderate speed and catching ability.  A useful, versatile tool, the tight end will always have a spot on any offense.

FAMOUS TIGHT ENDS

  • Mike Ditka
  • Kellen Winslow
  • Dave Casper
  • Shannon Sharpe
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Tony Gonzalez

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Run Route
  • Break Tackle
  • Catch
  • Secure Ball

ANIMATIONS

  • Acrobatic Catches  – Player can make spectacular catches.
  • Arm of Steel – Player has 2nd level stiff arm.
  • Ankle Breaker – Player has 2nd level juke.
  • Battering Ram – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder.
  • Branching Tackles – Player is harder to tackle while running with the ball.
  • Bump Buster – Receiver is especially good at breaking through bump coverage.
  • Clutch – Player has higher situational awareness.
  • Cutback Ability – Helps receiver make better cuts when running routes.
  • Cyclone – Player has 2nd level spin.
  • Deep Threat – Receiver is better at catching deep passes and draws safety coverage.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Magic Feet – Player is better at catching passes near the sideline and staying in bounds.
  • Mr. 3rd Down – Player has better situational awareness to catch passes on 3rd down.
  • Possession – Player has better situational awareness when running shorter routes.
  • Return Specialist – Player is the go-to man to return kicks.
  • Route God – Player runs routes very smoothly.
  • Spin – Player has 2nd level spin.
  • Stop on a Dime – Player has 2nd level hesitation.
  • Tough in the Middle – Player has better situational awareness when catching balls while being hit.

FULLBACK

Generally a larger, tougher version of his runningback counterpart, the Fullback plays a more grinding and supportive role.  Used mostly in a pass protection and goal line sets, the fullback’s most glorious plays are when they bust through the trenches for 1-2 yards for first downs and touchdowns.  It is not a widely used position anymore and most professional teams don’t even have one on the roster, but they still play a vital role in certain game plans and schemes.

FAMOUS FULLBACKS

  • Larry Csonka
  • Franco Harris
  • Jim Brown
  • Mike Alstott
  • John Riggins
  • Lorenzo Neal

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Strength
  • Run Block
  • Pass Block
  • Secure Ball

ANIMATIONS

  • Arm of Steel – Player has 2nd level stiff arm.
  • Ankle Breaker – Player has 2nd level juke.
  • Battering Ram – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder.
  • Branching Tackles – Player is harder to tackle while running with the ball.
  • Breakaway Burst – Improves running from a defender and improves receivers’ ability to make cuts on routes.
  • Bump Buster – Receiver is especially good at breaking through bump coverage.
  • Clutch – Player has higher situational awareness.
  • Cutback Ability – Helps receiver make better cuts when running routes.
  • Cyclone – Player has 2nd level spin.
  • Finesse – Player has 2nd level juke, spin, and hesitation, but at a slight penalty.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Power – Player has 2nd level Lower the Shoulder and stiff arm, but at a slight penalty
  • Scissor Kick – Player has 2nd level Scissor Kick.
  • Stop on a Dime – Player has 2nd level hesitation.
  • Workhorse – HB becomes better in all attributes the more he carries the ball.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

The Defensive Tackle plays on the inside of the defensive line, in the middle of the trenches.  They push hard into the offensive tackles, trying to drive them back into the quarterback, collapsing the pocket.  They play vital roles in closing inside gaps in the running game as well.  They tend be one of the largest players on the field.

FAMOUS DEFENSIVE TACKLES

  • “Mean Joe” Green
  • Bob Lilly
  • Alan Page
  • Cortez Kennedy
  • Warren Sapp
  • John Randle
  • Vince Wilfork

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Tackle
  • Pass Rush
  • Run Coverage

ANIMATIONS

  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Club – Player has Club arm move that allows him to shed blocks.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Rip – Player has a Rip move that allows them to shed blocks.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Swim – Player has Swim move that allows him to shed blocks.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.

DEFENSIVE END

The Defensive End is a balance of size, toughness, speed, and agility.  He is a rare combination of athletic ability that is rarely found in other sports.  The defensive end is where you will find football’s most formidable pass rushers, either plowing through or streaking by offensive linemen, leaving them spinning or falling as they watch the quarterback fall to the ground.

FAMOUS DEFENSIVE ENDS

  • Doug Atkins
  • Deacon Jones
  • Howie Long
  • Reggie White
  • Jared Allen
  • Julius Peppers

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Tackle
  • Pass Rush
  • Run Coverage

ANIMATIONS

  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Club – Player has Club arm move that allows him to shed blocks.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Rip – Player has a Rip move that allows them to shed blocks.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Swim – Player has Swim move that allows him to shed blocks.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.

LINEBACKER

One of the more versatile defenders on the field, the Linebacker plays a variety of roles.  They play pass coverage, run coverage, pass rusher, and are essentially the quarterback of the defense.  They are large and fast and are asked to barrel through the trenches to pressure the quarterback.  They keep runs that break through to minimal gains and break up short passes over the middle.  They are the second line of defense and possibly the most important.

FAMOUS LINEBACKERS

  • Chuck Bednarik
  • Cornelius Bennett
  • Mike Singletary
  • Dick Butkus
  • Derrick Thomas
  • Lawrence Taylor
  • Brian Urlacher

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Coverage
  • Tackle
  • Pass Rush
  • Run Coverage

ANIMATIONS

  • Ball Hawk – Defender makes faster breaks towards balls in the air.
  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Closing Speed – Gives defender a burst of speed when pursuing a ball carrier.
  • Club – Player has Club arm move that allows him to shed blocks.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • Footsteps – Causes the receivers near this defender to fear them, making it more difficult to make catches.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.

CORNERBACK

The cornerback is the first line of defense a wide receiver has to get past.  He is built like a receiver, tall, light, fast, and agile.  Able to keep up, make the moves with the receiver along the route, or even predict the route and get into position first.  They are the coverage specialists.  They have to think like a receiver and a quarterback and make the big plays when needed to get the defense off the field.  They are the main source of interceptions and pass deflections and match ups of superstar corners and wideouts are battles felt across the entire field.

FAMOUS CORNERBACKS

  • Dick LeBeau
  • Ty Law
  • Ronde Barber
  • Aqib Talib
  • Darelle Revis
  • Patrick Peterson
  • Richard Sherman

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Agility
  • Coverage
  • Tackle

ANIMATIONS

  • Ball Hawk – Defender makes faster breaks towards balls in the air.
  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Bump Master – Player performs Bump Coverage on receivers with greater effect.
  • Closing Speed – Gives defender a burst of speed when pursuing a ball carrier.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • Footsteps – Causes the receivers near this defender to fear them, making it more difficult to make catches.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Return Specialist – Player is the go-to man to return kicks.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.

FREE SAFETY

The Safety position is comprised of two types in two different ways.  The Free Safety is usually assigned to the QB in man coverage, but as the QB tends to stay in the pocket, he is “free” to follow the ball as the play develops.  In most cases, the free safety assists the cornerback playing on his side of the field, providing an added level of defense for mid to long range pass plays.  Safeties are also used in blitzing and run coverage schemes, making more than extra coverage, but hard hitting tacklers as well.

FAMOUS FREE SAFETIES

  • Emlen Tunnell
  • Larry Wilson
  • Paul Krause
  • Steve Atwater
  • Brian Dawkins
  • Ed Reed
  • Earl Thomas

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Tackle
  • Coverage
  • Pass Rush
  • Run Coverage

ANIMATIONS

  • Ball Hawk – Defender makes faster breaks towards balls in the air.
  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Bump Master – Player performs Bump Coverage on receivers with greater effect.
  • Closing Speed – Gives defender a burst of speed when pursuing a ball carrier.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • Footsteps – Causes the receivers near this defender to fear them, making it more difficult to make catches.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Return Specialist – Player is the go-to man to return kicks.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.

STRONG SAFETY

The Safety position is comprised of two types in two different ways.  The Strong Safety is generally lined up on the “strong side” of the offense where the tight end is set.  They are usually larger than their “free” counterparts and play more forward to cover more mid range passes.  They play as a hybrid of linebacker and cornerback as they tend to drop into coverage and stop the run in most schemes. Safeties are also used in blitzing and run coverage schemes, making more than extra coverage, but hard hitting tacklers as well.

FAMOUS STRONG SAFETIES

  • Ken Houston
  • Dennis Smith
  • John Lynch
  • Tim McDonald
  • Darren Woodson
  • Troy Polumalu
  • Kam Chancellor

PRIMARY ATTRIBUTES

  • Speed
  • Tackle
  • Coverage
  • Pass Rush
  • Run Coverage

ANIMATIONS

  • Ball Hawk – Defender makes faster breaks towards balls in the air.
  • Big Hit – Increases the chance for the player to deal a big hit to a runner.
  • Bull Rush – Player can push his blocker backwards.
  • Bump Master – Player performs Bump Coverage on receivers with greater effect.
  • Closing Speed – Gives defender a burst of speed when pursuing a ball carrier.
  • Clutch – Player can make big plays in tight situations.
  • Footsteps – Causes the receivers near this defender to fear them, making it more difficult to make catches.
  • High Helmet Tackles – Player will make high tackles that can stop some tackle breaking moves from the runner.
  • Leadership – Player makes others around him play better.
  • Loose Ball Magnet – Player is especially good at recovering fumbles.
  • Reach Tackle – Player may make tackles even while being blocked.
  • Return Specialist – Player is the go-to man to return kicks.
  • Run Reader – Player reacts to run plays faster.
  • Sack Master – QBs have a hard time evading this player.
  • Wrap Up Tackler – Player has a chance to use a tight grip on ball carriers that is more difficult to escape.