The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced its involvement in a new eSports league expected to field 30 teams – each representing one of the NBA’s 30 franchises.
In a decision that promises to have significant implications for both online and land-based gambling firms – who see eSports as a unique opportunity to appeal to Millenials – the NBA has partnered with video game company Take-Two Interactive — which produces the hugely popular NBA 2K basketball game series — to create the NBA 2K eLeague.
Scheduled to begin in 2018, the league will comprise between eight and 12 teams in its first year but will eventually expand to include a team representing each of the NBA’s 30 franchises. The franchises will run their eSports team themselves and much like the NBA itself, players will be drafted following a series of online try-outs.
eSports featured heavily at last week’s ICE Totally Gaming trade show and exhibition in London.