NBA Announces 17 Teams Ready For 2018 Esports Launch
The NBA2k league — a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive — is on track to launch in 2018, with 17 out of 30 NBA teams signed on to participate.
NBA Teams Taking Part In Esports League
What teams are taking part in NBA2k? At the time of this writing, the 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, and Washington Wizards have committed to the league
for three years at $750,000 per team.
Brendan Donohue, NBA 2K managing director, enthused, “This is the first step in what promises to be an extraordinary league, bringing together the world’s best gamers and showcasing elite competition on an international stage. Our teams have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for esports, and we are looking forward to forming something truly unique for basketball and gaming fans around the globe.”
NBA2k league Early Adopters
In February, the NBA and Take-Two made a statement concerning their commitment to developing the league. And in following through, the NBA can claim the label “first sports league to jump on the esports bandwagon.”
Arguably, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the first NBA owner to get involved in the business end of esports. In 2015, he invested in esportsbook Unikrn, a leading esports betting website.
Everyone’s Excited About The Potential Opportunities
76ers CEO Scott O’Neil told ESPN, “It’s fun, we’ll be participating. There’s still a lot to learn from our perspective as to how the league will work and the infrastructure, where the revenue is coming from, how will the draft will work. But we’re excited; it’s a good opportunity to reach younger fans in a different way and hopefully incorporate them into our fanbase and vice-versa. We’re hoping to make Sixers, eSixers fans and bringing them into the Sixers fold.”
The Miami Heat esports organization is called the Misfits and its CEO Ben Spoont recently told ESPN: “2K is uniquely positioned as a professional sport video game title to be able to reach fans that are esport fans as well as NBA fans and 2K fans alike. The opportunity here is to be able to reach fans that are in vastly different markets but all with a common thread, which is their love of the NBA and/or video games.”
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