eSports go Big
Back in February the NBA announced a deal with Take-Two to create a professional basketball league directly sponsored by all NBA teams. Adam Silver’s hope was that half of the teams would sponsor their own eSports team, and that eventually, all NBA teams would jump on board.
ESPN is now reporting that 17 out of the 30 NBA teams have jumped on board and will be sponsoring their own eSports teams. The list includes:
- 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
- Washington Wizards
ESPN also stated that all these teams have agreed to participate for three years, and that the amount per team is close to $750,000.
Brendan Donohue, managing director of NBA 2K eSports League to ESPN.com
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.
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.
Scott O’Neil, 76ers CEO talked to ESPN.com
There’s still a lot to learn from our perspective as to how the league will work and the infrastructure, where the revenue is coming from, how will the draft will work. But we’re excited, it’s a good opportunity to reach younger fans in a different way and hopefully incorporate them into our fanbase and vice-versa. We’re hoping to make Sixers, eSixers fans and bringing them into the Sixers fold.
The NBA 2K eSports League is set to launch in 2018 and will be the first eSports league directly sponsored and hosted by one of the major professional sports.