Better brush up on your NBA 2K skills.
The growth of eSports over the past couple of years has been impressive, to say the least. Championship pots for games like League of Legends and Dota 2 now number in the millions of dollars, and multiple TV networks now have shows dedicated to competitive video gaming. The NBA is making a move to get a slice of that rapidly growing pie by launching their own eSports league based around the popular NBA 2K video game franchise.
The format of the league sounds really awesome based on the NBA’s press release. According to the NBA, the plan is for 8-12 NBA teams to have their own dedicated NBA 2K team, each made up of user-created MyPlayer characters. Five players will be selected by each team in a draft after teams watch the players compete in a combine-style event. They’ll then play a full 82 game season and playoff. The league is schedule to begin in 2018.
“Now, [gamers] can say ‘Maybe I couldn’t play for the Knicks, because I didn’t have the physical prowess to compete at that level. But I do have the mental and physical prowess to compete as an egamer for the eKnicks,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver explained about appeal of the league for fans.
Many NBA teams have already invested in eSports without a larger push from the league. The Philadelphia 76ers purchased professional eSports team aXiomatic last fall, and Shaquille O’Neal also owns an eSports team. The NBA’s partnership is in conjunction with NBA 2K publisher Take-Two Interactive Software.
For many people, being dope at 2K is the closest they’ll ever come to landing an NBA contract. The NBA just made those two things much closer to each other, although we’re sure the pay will be a few zeroes apart.