European Champions League (table tennis)

European Champions League (ECL) is the seasonal table tennis competition for the highest ranked European club teams and is regarded as the most important international club competition in Europe. It is organised by the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and replaced the European Club Cup of Champions (ECCC), the previous prominent club competition, since the 1998/99 season. Originally there was only a men's competition; a women's competition was introduced in the 2005/06 season. The competition starts in September and the champions are usually determined in May in recent years.

European Champions League
Logo ettu ecl.jpg
SportTable tennis
No. of teams16 (Men's)
6 (Women's)
CountryETTU members
Most recent
Germany Borussia Düsseldorf (Men)
Germany TTC Berlin Eastside (Women)
Most titles
TV partner(s)Laola1
Official website

German club Borussia Düsseldorf is the most successful club in the history of the men's competition, having won the competition seven times and being the runners-up three times, while Belgian club La Villette Charleroi and Russian club Fakel Gazprom both have won five titles.

In the women's competition, TTC Berlin Eastside from Germany has won the league five times, making it the most successful club.


The Men's Champions League was first organised in the 1998/99 season, with the aim to replace the European Club Cup of Champions, the previous highest level European club competition held since 1960/61 season. In the second season (99/00), the playing system was changed. The maximum number of games had been reduced from seven to five, and the double had been cancelled, with the aim of having a better presentation on TV and more excitement for the spectators.[1] The competition came into a new era in 2005/06, when the Women's Champions League started with eight clubs and the men's league was expanded from 8 to 16 clubs, enabling a greater number of nations to participate. These changes were undertaken in the hopes of making table tennis more popular in a European level as well as motivating the coming generation.[1] However, the number of teams in the women's competition decreased from eight to six in season 09/10.

In season 10/11, because of the global financial crisis, there were just four teams entering the women's competition, a number lower than the previous year (there were six teams in season 09/10). As a result, the women's competition was suspended for one year. The men's competition was also affected, causing the number of teams to decrease from 16 to 14.[2]

The women's competition resumed in season 11/12, with six teams entering the competition.[3] The number of teams in the men's competition was also restored to 16.[4]


Only teams from any top National Leagues have the right to enter in the competition.

For the men's competition, the 4 semi-finalists of the previous year are automatically included in the competition. The remaining 12 places are filled by the 12 teams with the highest total number of ranking points for their three best ranked players on the current world ranking, with only one "foreign player" being considered.

For the women's league, the previous year's two finalists compete in the competition with the six teams with the highest total number of ranking points for their three best ranked players, also with only one "foreign player" being considered.

Moreover, there is a limitation on the number of clubs from the same nations. Not more than 4 or 3 clubs, men's and women's respectively, from the same association are entitled the right to enter in the competition. In the men's competition, if the semi-finalists of the previous year came from the same association and a 5th team has the highest ranking points, the ranking of the final national team championships would decide on the qualification.


The league is completed in two stages. The first stage is the group round robin matches while the second stage is the straight 2-leg knock-out stage.

For the men's league, the 16 teams are divided into four groups within which they play round robin matches. The four teams with the highest ranking points will be seeded and play in the four groups respectively. During the group stage, 2 match points are awarded for a win, 1 for a loss and 0 for a loss in a not played or unfinished match, and the ranking order is determined by the numbers of match points gained.

If two or more teams have gained the same number of match points, their relative position are determined by the results only of the matches between them, taking successively the numbers of match points, the ratios of wins to losses in individual matches, games and points, as far as it is necessary to resolve the order. Lot is used to determine the position if teams are equal in all of the above criteria.

The top two teams in each group qualified for the knock-out stage. Those eight teams would play in a single knock-out system, with quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, to determine the winner of the competition. At any stages two legs, home and away, are played for each tie, and teams win the tie if they win both legs. If each team wins one leg, the result is determined by aggregate score first in individual matches, then in games and finally in points.

The women's competition is held in similar format, with the exception that the six teams are divided into two groups and the two teams with the highest ranking points would be the seeds.

Playing systemEdit

The competition is played under the new Swaythling Cup system (best of 5 singles). A team consists of 3 players selected from those nominated for the event. The opposite teams play 5 single matches with the match order A v X, B v Y, C v Z, A v Y, B v X. The team match will end if one of the teams has won 3 matches.

Composition of teamsEdit

A club may nominate up to 8 players for the entire event, within which there can be a maximum of 2 foreign players. Only 1 foreign player can play in each team match and only players who have participated in at least 50% of the group matches are eligible to play the second stage. Reserve players being present in the hall would be considered as participants of the match, if confirmed on the result sheet by the referee.

Each player can only play for one club in a season. This regulation also applies to players taking part in any other team competition on the national level under the authority of an ITTF member association, except commitments for their national team.


Men’s Champions LeagueEdit

Year Champions Score Runner-up
1998/1999   Caen 3:4
  Borussia Düsseldorf
1999/2000   Borussia Düsseldorf 3:0
2000/2001   Royal Villette Charleroi 3:0
2001/2002   Royal Villette Charleroi 3:2
2002/2003   Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
  Zugbrücke Grenzau
2003/2004   Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
  Zugbrücke Grenzau
2004/2005   RE-BAU Gönnern 1:3
  Royal Villette Charleroi
2005/2006   RE-BAU Gönnern 2:3
  Royal Villette Charleroi
2006/2007   Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
2007/2008   Niederösterreich 3:0
  Royal Villette Charleroi
2008/2009   Borussia Düsseldorf 2:3
  Liebherr Ochsenhausen
2009/2010   Borussia Düsseldorf 1:3
  Royal Villette Charleroi
2010/2011   Borussia Düsseldorf 3:0
  GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg
2011/2012   Gazprom Orenburg 3:0
  UMMC Ekaterinburg
2012/2013   Gazprom Orenburg 3:1
2013/2014[5]   Pontoise-Cergy 3:1
  Gazprom Orenburg
2014/2015   Gazprom Orenburg 1:3
  Borussia Düsseldorf
2015/2016   Pontoise-Cergy 1:3
  Eslövs AI BTK
2016/2017   Fakel Gazprom 3:0
  Borussia Düsseldorf
2017/2018   Borussia Düsseldorf 3:2
  Fakel Gazprom
2018/2019   Fakel Gazprom 3:2
2019/2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020/2021   Borussia Düsseldorf 3:1   FC Saarbrücken
2021/2022   Borussia Düsseldorf Awarded[6] [7] none

Women’s Champions LeagueEdit

Year Champions Score Runner-up
2005/2006   Sterilgarda Castel Goffredo 3:2
  Müllermilch Langweid
2006/2007   Sterilgarda Castel Goffredo 3:2
  MF Services Heerlen
2007/2008   MF Services Heerlen 3:1
Kroppach unavailable to play
  FSV Kroppach
2008/2009   Linz AG Froschberg 2:3
  FSV Kroppach
2009/2010   MF Services Heerlen 3:1
  Linz AG Froschberg
2010/2011 Cancelled[8]
2011/2012   Berlin Eastside 3:2
2012/2013   Linz AG Froschberg 3:1
2013/2014   Berlin Eastside 3:2
2014/2015   Fenerbahçe 3:2
  Linz AG Froschberg
2015/2016   Berlin Eastside 3:2
  SPAR-Zamek Tarnobrzeg
2016/2017   Berlin Eastside 2:3
  Siarka ZOT Tarnobrzeg
2017/2018   Dr. Časl 3:2
  Bursa BB
2018/2019   Enea Siarka Tarnobrzeg 3:2
  Dr. Časl
2019/2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
2020/2021   Berlin Eastside 3:2   Linz AG Froschberg
2021/2022   Enea Siarkopol Tarnobrzeg 3:2
  Berlin Eastside


Performance by clubEdit

Men's Champions LeagueEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
  Borussia Düsseldorf 7 3 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, 2022 1999, 2015, 2017
  Royal Villette Charleroi
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
  TTC Fakel Gazprom 5 3 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 2011, 2014, 2018
  TTV RE-BAU Gönnern 2 2005, 2006
  AS Pontoise Cergy 2 2014, 2016
  SVS Niederösterreich 1 4 2008 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007
  Caen Tennis de Table Club 1 1999
  TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau 2 2003, 2004
  UMMC Ekaterinburg 2 2012, 2019
  TTC Liebherr Ochsenhausen 1 2009
  Chartres ASTT 1 2013
  Eslövs AI BTK 1 2016
  FC Saarbrücken 1 2021

Women's Champions LeagueEdit

Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
  TTC Berlin Eastside 5 1 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2021 2022
  Linz AG Froschberg 2 3 2009, 2013 2010, 2015, 2021
  KTS Tarnobrzeg 2 2 2019, 2022 2016, 2017
  MF Services Heerlen 2 1 2007, 2010 2006
  Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo 2 2005, 2006
  Fenerbahçe 1 1 2015 2014
  Dr. Časl 1 2018
  FSV Kroppach 2 2008, 2009
  Müllermilch Langweid 1 2006
  SVS Ströck 1 2012
  Budaörsi SC 1 2013
  Bursa BB 1 2018

Performance by nationEdit

Men's Champions LeagueEdit

Nation Winners Runners-Up Winning Clubs Runners-Up
  Germany 9 7 Borussia Düsseldorf (7), TTV RE-BAU Gönnern (2) Borussia Düsseldorf (3), TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau (2), TTC Liebherr Ochsenhausen (1), FC Saarbrücken (1)
  Russia 5 5 TTC Fakel Gazprom (5) TTC Fakel Gazprom (3), UMMC Ekaterinburg (2)
  Belgium 5 4 Royal Villette Charleroi (5) Royal Villette Charleroi (4)
  France 3 1 Caen Tennis de Table Club (1), AS Pontoise Cergy (2) Chartres ASTT (1)
  Austria 1 4 SVS Niederösterreich (1) SVS Niederösterreich (4)

Women's Champions LeagueEdit

Nation Winners Runners-Up Winning Clubs Runners-Up
  Germany 5 4 TTC Berlin Eastside (5) TTC Berlin Eastside (1), FSV Kroppach (2), Müllermilch Langweid (1)
  Austria 2 4 Linz AG Froschberg (2) Linz AG Froschberg (3), SVS Strock (1)
  Netherlands 2 1 MF Services Heerlen (2) MF Services Heerlen (1)
  Italy 2 Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo (2)
  Poland 2 2 KTS Tarnobrzeg (2) KTS Tarnobrzeg (2)
  Turkey 1 2 Fenerbahçe (1) Fenerbahçe (1), Bursa BB (1)
  Croatia 1 Dr. Časl (1)
  Hungary 1 Budaörsi SC (1)


  1. ^ a b "Short history of Men's Champions League". Archived from the original on 2011-07-10. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  2. ^ ETTU suspended Women’s European Champions League[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ Women’s ECL is back: Austrian ambitions[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ The draw for 2011-2012 Men’s European Champions League[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ Miletic, Alex (30 May 2014). "Karlsson gives the crown to Pontoise". European Table Tennis Union. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  6. ^ After reaching the Final, Borussia Düsseldorf was declared 2021–22 champions after another two Russian semifinal teams were disqualified due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  7. ^ "Borussia Düsseldorf is the winner of the European Champions League men 2021-2022". European Table Tennis Union. 21 March 2022. Retrieved 21 March 2022.
  8. ^ Owing to the global financial crisis, only four teams entered the competition. As too few teams participated, the women's competition was suspended for a year.

External linksEdit