It seems 2018 will be an exciting year for basketball fans. NBA 2K games will be heading to the eSports scene with its very own eSports league. This is good news for fans who have been asking where the “actual” sports are in eSports.
The NBA 2K games series can be considered as the most popular basketball video game series of all time. After all, its numerous features throughout the years offered a lot of customization options for basketball fans. This may be the reason why it is no surprise that the franchise will get its own league soon.
However, the direction the NBA 2K games league will take may be interesting to explore. After all, plans for the league have not been finalized yet. Just how will a 2K Sports League work out?
NBA 2K Games: eSports League in the Works?
The news came courtesy of a partnership with NBA and Take-Two Interactive. The latter is the parent company of 2K Sports, the publisher of the critically-acclaimed 2K games. The new eSports organization is called NBA 2K eLeague.
A news release from both NBA and Take-Two praises the NBA 2K eLeague as the first official league operated by a United States-based professional sports league. According to Polygon, the eSports teams in the league will have five members. The teams themselves will be run by real-life NBA clubs.
As per ESPN, the league will have a tentative launch in 2018. NBA will even hold an initial “draft” of players, and each franchise may be even able to pick their “players” for their teams. They will have salaries and training. This means the league is to be treated as an actual job. Interestingly, the competitors will design on-screen avatars based on their preferences.
Furthermore, the competition in the league will resemble a traditional sports schedule. There will be matchups over the course of a “regular” season. This will be followed by playoffs, all fixed within a bracketing system. Lastly, there will be a championship showdown between the teams.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the popularity of the 2K games has led to the creation of the league. The growing eSports community worldwide is also a good avenue to develop something “new” for the gaming community. Take-Two head Strauss Zelnick said this league will hopefully be as exciting as matches under normal multiplayer.
Interestingly, Visual Concepts, the developer of the games, has been taking leaps into the eSports industry. The studio started a tournament known as Road to the Finals last February 2016 with the release of 2K16. The competition had a $250,000 prize pool and ran for months.
The new eLeague concept opens a ton of opportunities to explore within the realm of both eSports and professional leagues. Seeing that 2K is one of the most popular sports franchises in the market, it makes sense for the NBA to get a partnership with them.