There will be a video game in which gamers will have a chance to win NBA title, in a real NBA arena. They’ll get paid by the same people that pay to Lebron James and Steph Curry.
The NBA 2K eLeague will be the the first eSports league that is going to be operated by one of the major pro sport leagues in the United States.
This Thursday NBA announced that the best gamers will have a chance to compete representing real NBA teams. The Commissioner Adam Silver belief that this will expand the global league brand.
“The large part of my mission is to grow the game of basketball,” Silver said. “There’s going to be an opportunity for this first of a kind league to attract a group of gamers who might be playing some other game. Now, they can say `Maybe I couldn’t play for the Knicks, because I didn’t have the physical prowess to compete at that level. But I do have the mental and physical prowess to compete as an egamer for the eKnicks.”
This eLeague is going to start in 2018. There will be between 8 to 12 teams early on, but later in time all 30 NBA teams will be represented.
The gamers are going to be recruited by the NBA teams and will go through a virtual combine and draft, which will be streamed online.
NBA teams can select five gamers to represent their teams.
Silver said that they will play an 82 game season, advance to a play off and the top teams will compete for a championship, which might take place in a NBA arena.
“We want to make this as real as possible,” said Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, the company that makes 2K games. He said that the cash price will be similar to the old NBA 2K tournaments, reaching up to $250,000.
The avatar of Silver is going to present to the winner the championship trophy.
The concept for this came from the success of “NBA 2K16 Road to the Finals” video game competition last year.
The Take Two CEO said that there were over 2 million matches at the tournament hoste by Indiana Pacers Paul George. He mentioned that each NBA team could train selected gamers.
“People already have their own consoles and computers,” he said. “I do think that teams will be fully engaged with training players. That could mean providing gear, but it won’t be a very significant investment.”
This idea could pay large amounts of money as similar attempts were made in Europe with soccer.
Ryan McCaffrey, who is an executive editor of Image Games Network, said that this NBA move with the video game company could be quite profitable.
“There are risks, but if this does work, this will pay off enormously,”
“Not necessarily for the financial in the short term, but more of the longevity and health of the NBA and brand with retaining that young audience. I think them tying the eLeague to the actual NBA teams is brilliant.” McCaffrey said.
Source : NBA.com