Home I eSports I eSports I NBA 2K eLeague Announcement
The NBA 2K eLeague is the first eSports league operated by a major pro sports league in the United States. We show you what it’s all about in this article!
With the past couple of years, the growth in the eSports industry has been revolutionized to the next level. People from all around the word are participating as well as contributing towards the eSports industry in different forms. The professional teams and the tournaments arranged for them are not only the source of income for the players, but it is also a fun activity to perform under the supervision of coaches and staff.
The status of the eSports industry has grown exponentially over time. Developers from all around the world have invested their time in the eSports industry and witnessed an ongoing growth over the past decade.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) has recently revealed that the organization is all set to announce its very own eSports League.
Take-Two Interactive will partner with the NBA, which will power the organization’s dream to reality. Take-Two Interactive are the developers of “NBA 2K”, the official gaming series of the NBA.
With the initial developments taking place, it is projected that the league will start off in the first-half of the year 2018. The league is all set to run the label “NBA 2K eLeague”.
The NBA franchises will be managing the NBA 2K eLeague teams and the rosters of the basketball gaming league. Since it is a large project and will require time, massive investments and the right support, it is expected that eight to twelve teams will start the eLeague. However, in the months to come after the title is launched, the NBA 2K eLeague will include all 30 teams of the franchise.
The gaming league will follow the steps of the real-life NBA franchise. Gamers will be recruited through virtual try-outs leading to a draft during which teams will choose five players each. From there the teams will follow an 82-game schedule leading to playoffs and a championship.
As of yet the developers and the investors have not yet officially announced any distribution partners, but the video strategies of Facebook and YouTube will come into play as soon as the title kicks off.
eSports is one of the largest entertainment products of the modern day and it is only the beginning. The world of eSports is a $278 million industry, which could quite easily surpass $1 billion as early as 2018 according to the research firm Newzoo. The company estimates there are over 205 million eSports fans globally, and that number could easily scale to over 335 million by the year of 2017.
Credits go to the origin of video games streaming sites like Twitch and YouTube Gaming, some lucky (smart and talented) crowd is raking in cash by broadcasting their video game playing sessions on the internet network. It’s a good job if you have got the willingness and patience to get it. A report from the gaming market intelligence firm Newzoo expects 427 million viewers of eSports by 2019.
Like all the other professional and competitive eSports leagues, there will be a cash prize for the winner of the NBA 2K eLeague. However, the prize pool of the competition is yet to be revealed. But in all fairness, the prize pool is rumored to be less than the other well-establish professional gaming leagues.
2K Sports, which happens to be among the list of primary organizers of the currently running eSports tournaments, have distributed winnings worth $250,000. Meanwhile the 2016 League of Legends World Championship had a prize pool of over $5 million.
This investment in the world of eSports could be the sight of big things to come for the NBA on the global scale. The organization is not shy of making profits. Since in the 2014/15 season, they generated revenues of worth over $4 billion. And in eSports, same numbers could be seen, as statistically there was a growth of 51% in revenues of eSports in 2016 which regarding cash were approximate $500 million. With the current pace, in 2019 the industry will break the $1 billion mark.
This isn’t going to be the first time that the NBA will be venturing into the eSports world as some of the teams of the franchise have already made some investments. In September 2016, The Philadelphia 76ers purchased two eSports teams which are currently active in the professional league of the game “League of Legends.”
The former big names of the NBA have also caught the breeze of the eSports, and have made some smart investments in the competitive gaming. Magic Johnson, who is a former NBA star, has partnered with the Golden State Warriors to form a professional eSports team last Year.
Joining him in the eSports mainstream is the recently retired LA Laker star Kobe Bryant, who is reported to be investing in eSports through his $100 million investment fund.
Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA and also the man whose virtual avatar will hand out the trophy to the winner of the eLeague, said that “We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community.”
This is definitely a step in the right direction for 2K. Instead of trying to create a new IP geared towards eSport competitive play, like Battleborn or Evolve, they’re using a game with an already substantial user base. It’ll be interesting to see how successful the NBA 2K eLeague will become.
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