The New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers are among 17 teams who will participate in the NBA 2K eSports league, the National Basketball Association announced Thursday. The league will be the first eSports league operated by one of the four major pro sports leagues in the U.S.
Each team will select five gamers which will compete while representing actual NBA teams. The plan is to eventually have all 30 NBA teams participate.
eSports is a growing entity around the world. Last month, New York City FC became the first Major League Soccer team in history to sign a eSports player. In 2016, eSports had 256 million viewers worldwide and the industry saw 43% year on year revenue growth.
As eSports continues to gain momentum, the NBA has decided that now is the time to engage in the industry. Plans for the NBA 2K Sports league were announced in February.
Participating NBA teams include:
- Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Indiana Pacers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards
Known as the NBA 2K eLeague, the organization is a partnership between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of 2K Sports, which publishes the popular NBA 2K series of basketball video games.
Competition in the eLeague will resemble the structure of a traditional sports schedule: head-to-head matchups over the course of a “regular season,” followed by a bracket-based playoffs setup leading to a championship showdown.
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