NBA Commissioner Adam Silver referred to the 2K League as the “fourth league of our family” at Wednesday’s NBA 2K Draft. It was there that Cleveland, Ohio native, Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd, was selected first overall to Mavs Gaming. The 2K League team owned by the Dallas Mavericks.
The 2K League is joint owned by the National Basketball Association and Take-Two Interactive. The league has 17 teams, each owned by an NBA franchise. Games will be played in 5 versus 5 Pro-Am mode with players using preset characters and skills.
102 players were selected on Wednesday out of 72000 Entrants. All draft picks will make a minimum of $32,000. The NBA’s commitment to esports is apparent with even Commissioner Adam Silver saying at the Draft, “It’s something that we’re going to develop over a very long time, and we’re building this league as something that’s going to be around forever.”
ICYMI: The #GameTime crew recapped the inaugural NBA 2K League Draft!
The NBA is the first to bring a franchise model to the world of esports. While traditional sports team owners like New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (OWL: Boston Uprising), Los Angeles Rams/Colorado Rapids owner Stan Kroenke (OWL: Los Angeles Gladiators), and Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob (NA LCS) own teams in professional esports leagues. Most teams are still affiliated with owners from the esports ranks. For example Teams like Cloud9 and Team Envy own teams in the Overwatch League. This is the route North American esports is heading in. EA Sports and NFL teams have partnered for Madden Tournaments and the NHL has announced it’s first esports Tournament. Major League Soccer is joining the esports ranks as well with the eMLS.
'Madden 18' eSports events will air on ESPN and Disney XD https://t.co/01GuleoG3U
Competition coverage kicks off tomorrow when ESPNEWS airs the Madden NFL 18 Club Championship quarterfinals. The tournament is taking place at the Pro Bowl and features players repping all 32 NFL… pic.twitter.com/9dLP68PYAg
— Louz Wate (@LouzWate) January 27, 2018
Silver was the driving force behind creating this new esports league. As he sees potential in the multi-billion dollar industry. “We have the NBA, WNBA and the G League. And now this is the fourth league in our family, and that’s exactly how we’re treating it.” said Silver. Make no mistake the landscape of professional esports is changing and it seems that this change will be aided by the money and notoriety of traditional sports leagues.
If you want to know more about the 2K League check out their website here.