As it stated in The move marks the first time that an official esports league will be operated by a professional sports league in the United States.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Take-Two Interactive reveal plans to launch the NBA 2K eLeague.
The league will launch next year and will consist of teams operated by real NBA franchises.
Over 68 million NBA 2K games have been sold worldwide since Take-Two partnered with the NBA 1998.
The NBA 2K eLeague will follow the traditional league format with head-to-head matches throughout the regular Basketball season.
NBA and Take-Two form NBA 2K eSports League
The NBA has partnered with Take-Two Interactive to form a global esports league around its popular NBA 2K video game franchise.
To fill out the league, the NBA will search for talented esports players during an initial draft, before giving each NBA franchise the final decision on who plays for its eLeague team.
As reported by ESPN, the NBA 2K eLeague will kick off in 2018 and will eventually feature 30 teams, each of which will be owned by a real-life NBA franchise.
“Our expectation is that we and our league partners are going to search for the most phenomenal players.”
The competition will be similar in format to the real NBA season, and will see teams of five players compete across a five-month season before heading to the playoffs and eventually a championship match.
NBA Take-Two launch eSports league
NBA 2K eLeague, centered around Take-Two’s “NBA 2K” franchise, will launch in 2018 and represents the gamemaker’s first major push into the world of competitive gaming.
Take-Two, which also makes the “Grand Theft Auto” series, and the NBA have been business partners since 1999, when the publisher launched its “NBA 2K” franchise.
Even with its high-profile partner, Take-Two is a latecomer to the esports field.
The publisher has dabbled in esports before, launching an “NBA 2K”-themed tournament last year, but has largely stayed on the sidelines of competitive gaming.
“Investments by professional sports teams into esports [is] a way to maintain viewership and engagement and to connect with millennials.
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