NBA and Take-Two Create the NBA 2K eLeague

February 9, 2017Written by Tyler Treese

NBA 2K eLeague

(Photo: Business Wire)

Today the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Take-Two announced that they are launching a new competitive gaming league. Called the NBA 2K eLeague, it aims to turn virtual basketball into a profitable eSport. It’s the first time an eSports league has been operated by a professional sports league in the United States, and is set to debut in 2018.

The league will mirror how the actual NBA season goes down as teams will compete in a regular season that culminates in a playoff tournament. Teams will consist of five players, who will be using user-created avatars in-game (so don’t expect to see Lebron James posterizing other NBA stars). Each team will be operated by NBA franchises themselves, so fans will be able to cheer on these extensions of their favorite teams.

“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in a prepared statement. “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.”

The NBA 2K series has dabbled in competitive gaming in the past, and the NBA 2K17 All-Star Tournament is currently underway with a $250,000 grand prize, but this marks a huge step forward for the series. It’s exciting to have the actual sport involved, as it adds a lot of mainstream legitimacy that other competitive games lack. More on the league is expected to be announced as the 2018 debut approaches.

(Source: NBA 2K)