New official professional esports league in the making. US professional sports league, the National Basketball Association (NBA), is set to debut the NBA 2K eLeague in 2018, in collaboration with Take-Two Interactive Software.
The NBA 2K eLeague “will bring together the best basketball online gamers in the world,” and marks the first official eSports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.
The competitive gaming league will consist of teams operated by actual NBA franchises. The founding teams, each composed of five professional eSports players who will play the gambling game as user-created avatars, will be announced in the coming months.
The NBA 2K eLeague will follow a professional sports league format: competing head-to-head throughout a regular season, participating in a bracketed playoff system, and concluding with a championship match up. There will be betting odds on this event.
“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, said. “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 has a long-standing relationship with Take-Two with its NBA 2K series selling over 68 million units worldwide. The most recent release, NBA 2K17, is the highest-rated annual basketball simulation video game of the current console generation and the highest-rated title in the history of the NBA 2K series.