Today the NBA and Take-Two Interactive (the parent company of 2K Sports) announced the creation of the NBA 2K eLeague.
“First official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league“, according to an NBA press release.
“Comprised of five human players [and] will play out a five-month season that mirrors the real NBA season.” said ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe. The main goal is for all 30 NBA teams to have their own eLeague teams.
However, the real NBA players will not be represented on the eLeague teams, said Zach Lowe. Members of the clubs “will design the on screen avatars which will be based on their own stylistic preferences.”
Sarah E. Needleman of The Wall Street Journal reported that all of the NBA teams “have expressed interest” in participating in the eLeague, however Commissioner Adam Silver foresees only the half of the 30 teams will be participating in the 2018 inaugural season.
“The popularity of NBA 2K with the young and growing eSports community provides a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the gaming community. We look forward to combining our best-in-class NBA team operators with Take-Two’s competitive gaming expertise to create a brand-new league experience,” stated Silver.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the Commissioner also disclosed that the NBA and Take-Two Interactive have hopes to broadcast online and on television before showing games with the title implications in stadium settings.