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Marian Härtel

NBA and 2K sports together to launch esports league

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NBA and 2K sports announced a partnership to launch in 2018 an esports league. The NBA 2K eLeague will begin in 2018 and in time is expected to feature a team with ties to every NBA franchise. Five players will form each squad as selected through a draft, and will utilize their personal created players in the game rather than actual NBA players. There will be a full regular season followed by a postseason and championship series.

“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. “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 process to try out for consideration will certainly be fascinating considering that sustained involvement will be up for grabs. Unlike other eSport attempts with games such as “Madden” and “FIFA,” “NBA 2K” will be reliant not just on individual skill but also on that of teammates and chemistry between the five on each squad. That could make for a more intriguing product, but logistically will make it even more difficult to both coordinate and sustain.

Besides the general reasons why eSports haven’t taken off for sports video games — most notably that the main viewing attraction for fans is the real sports and that the games are played in a fashion that doesn’t always look like the sports they are supposed to represent — “NBA 2K” has some other big questions that surround its potential to grow in the competitive arena.

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