NBA Set to Launch Its Own Gaming League

Do you remember facing off with your friends around your tabletop arcade game, competing for the highest score? What if you could use those same gaming skills to become the newest member of your favorite NBA team? This is not a drill: real NBA teams are going to recruit the top gaming talent to play in a new e-sports league called NBA 2K eLeague. Think you have what it takes?

NBA 2K eLeague: Growing the Game

NBA Commissioner Adam Silva thinks the new gaming league is the perfect way to connect with the next generation of basketball fans.

“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing e-sports community,” he said in a press release.

The new league will be the first competitive video game league owned and operated by a U.S.-based professional sports league. At first, eight to 12 teams will compete, though Silver says that eventually all 30 NBA teams will have an online gaming counterpart. The NBA team owners will own and operate each online gaming team.

Who Will Make the Cut?

Aspiring professional “NBA 2K” gamers will participate in a virtual combine, similar to the process aspiring sports professionals undergo. The NBA teams will choose the players for their team in a virtual draft which will be streamed online. There will be five members of each team.

Similar to the regular NBA season, gamers will play 82 games, then playoffs. The final championship will likely be a live event that takes place at an actual basketball arena. Though the final details haven’t yet been announced, the winning team will probably take home a cash prize.

The Game

“NBA 2K17” was released to great fanfare. It’s currently the highest-rated sports game of this console generation. It’s already sold 7 million units and is likely to become the highest-selling “NBA 2K” title ever. If you thought you wouldn’t have any competition, think again. More people may play this game than own a basketball hoop, so fire up your console and start practicing if you want a shot at calling yourself an official NBA player.