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10 February 2017

The NBA is taking to eSports with a new NBA 2K eLeague.

If you have any doubts that eSports is on the rise, you should put those to rest now.

Last week, EA’s Competitive Gaming Division announced a partnership with ESPN and its affiliated networks that will bring FIFA and Madden tournaments to these big-time broadcasters.

Now the NBA is announcing their own partnership with Take-Two Interactive Software. Together they will be launching the NBA 2K eLeague. This is the first instance of a traditional sports league becoming involved in the creation of a eSports league.

According to a NBA 2K press release, eLeague teams will be managed by actual NBA franchises.

The NBA 2K eLeague will follow a professional sports league format: competing head-to-head throughout a regular season, participating in a bracketed playoff system, and concluding with a championship matchup,” the press release states. Each team will be composed of five professional eSports players, who will play using in-game avatars they have created themselves.

The press release also includes comments from NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, probably to prove just how committed the NBA is to making this venture a success.

We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing eSports community,” Silver says. “We look forward to combining our best-in-class NBA sports team operators with Take-Two’s competitive gaming expertise to create a brand new league experience.”

The NBA 2K eLeague isn’t set to start until 2018. We will be patiently waiting to see how similar or different a competitive gaming league will feel when it’s run by a traditional sports league as opposed to how they run now.