The NBA and Take-Two Interactive joined forces back in Febraury to start an NBA 2K eSports league, run by the individual teams. The league had left it open to the 30 teams whether they wanted to participate or not, but after some deliberation, it looks like 17 are stepping to the line to take their shot.
The teams will be 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. The league will kick off in 2018, giving team time to select their players and organize the eSports teams. Participation will be for three years and be worth about $750,000 per team.
"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," NBA 2K esports league managing director Brendan Donohue said in a statement. "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."
Of course, eSports is nothing new for some teams. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was the first to get involved in early 2015 with eSports book Unikrn The 76ers co-own Team Dignitas, while the Miami heat co-own Misfits, with Miami already announcing that Misfits will operates their NBA 2K team. Several other oweners and ownership groups have invested in eSports teams as well, including the Kings, the Wizards, the Warriors, and the Celtics.
John Keefer posted a new article, NBA 2K eSports League Gets 17 NBA Teams to Participate