NBA and Take-Two to Launch Competitive Gaming NBA 2K eLeague
The NBA and Take-Two announced a professional competitive gaming league, NBA 2K eLeague, to bring together the world’s best online ballers.
We’ve reported on stories of Football Clubs are signing pro-gamers as official members to compete in FIFA. This marks the first time an official eSports league is operated by a professional sports league.
The league itself will follow NBA league format with 5 actual pro-gamers on each team (each with their own custom avatars), head-to-head matches throughout the regular season, and bracketed playoff systems that end in a dramatic championship matchup.
This isn’t the first time NBA 2K has dip its toes into eSports. Back in December, the NBA 2K17 All-Star Tournament launched where competitors a chance to head to the NBA All-Star 2017 in New Orleans and eventually compete for the $250,000 grand prize.
Strauss Zelnick, Chairman, and CEO of Take-Two spoke a bit about their relationship with the NBA:
We are proud to expand our strong relationship with the NBA and co-create the NBA 2K eLeague,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.
The NBA 2K series has sold over 68 millions units worldwide since 1999. NBA 2K17 so far has sold-in nearly 7 million units that would make 2K’s highest-selling sports title ever.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver spoke about the future of the partnership:
We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community. 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.
NBA 2K eLeague is set to make its debut in 2018 with NBA teams announcing their official rosters in the next few months.