The National Basketball Association is now the owner of an Esports league. Announced today, the league is partnering with Take-Two Interactive on the launch of a new league.
Set to debut in 2018, the first-of-its-kind competitive gaming league will consist of teams operated by actual NBA franchises, and will follow a professional sports league format: competing head-to-head throughout a regular season, participating in a bracketed playoff system, and concluding with a championship matchup. The founding teams, each composed of five professional eSports players who will play the game as user-created avatars, will be announced in the coming months
“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We look forward to combining our best-in-class NBA sports team operators with Take-Two’s competitive gaming expertise to create a brand new league experience.”
“We are proud to expand our strong relationship with the NBA and co-create the NBA 2K eLeague,” said Strauss Zelnick, Chairman and CEO of Take-Two. “Through the NBA 2K series, which is renowned throughout the world for capturing the authenticity of the NBA and the passion of its fans, we have a proven track record of highly successful collaboration. With this new venture, Take-Two and the NBA aim to fuel the accelerating growth of eSports and take the thrill of competition to exciting new heights.”
This is pretty insane. Not only does the NBA own an Esports league now, but the franchises are going to be running the actual teams. NBA 2K17 sold amazingly as the series is the top selling sports game of this generation, so there is no doubt that this will be successful. The only question is how successful will it be?
Let us know what you think below.