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THE eLEAGUE IS COMING!

By Aaron Callaghan
 

The Framework

The NBA in partnership with 2K Sports Gaming recently announced the formation of the NBA eLeague, an esports league to run in conjunction with the NBA regular season. The eLeague teams will be operated by 17 of the 30 NBA franchises with an rumoured initial investment of $750K with play tentatively set to be begin in 2018. The eLeague players selected will design their own MYPLAYER style players, as opposed to playing with actual NBA players likeness. 

Who's Involved? 

At this stage, it's probably fair to assume that the vast majority of players representing the 17 NBA teams will be from North America and perhaps a spattering of foreign players from Europe and Asia. The League has officially shut down reports that there were plans to play a standalone e-league in China for the Chinese market.

"The NBA is not actively planning a separate esports league in China," - Brendan Donohue, recently appointed NBA 2K eLeague managing director told ESPN. (source: ESPN.com)

The 17 NBA teams involved are the Celtics, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Warriors, Pacers, Grizzlies, Heat, Bucks, Knicks, Magic, 76ers, Blazers, Kings, Raptors, Jazz and Wizards. As previously mentioned the NBA has appointed Brendan Donohue as managing director of the NBA 2K e-League. Take Two games chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick said in a recent interview with NBA.com - “The league will have all of the structure and polish of the NBA, coupled with the thrills and engagement of our industry-leading NBA 2K franchise to provide an exciting new entry into the world of competitive gaming.” (source: NBA.com) 

How can I be selected?

Initial information on how to be selected for an eLeague team is sketchy. However, Commissioner Adam Silver said in an interview with ESPN’s Zach Lowe, that the NBA and 2K will begin with a global pool of players, assuming those already actively playing MYPARK and PRO-AM game modes and conduct an NBA style virtual draft, pulling from men and women from all walks of life. 

“As opposed to the bricks and mortar NBA where you need to be 7 feet tall … You could be 4 feet tall” – Silver said.

Adam Silver went on to say that just like the real NBA, players can be found in obscure ways from obscure parts of the world, indicating that the draft isn’t the be-all and end-all, however trying to narrow down a player pool in the hundreds of thousands will be extremely challenging,  draft day standouts and superstars will be on the scouts radar. Players outside the continental USA, rejoice and start building your profile! Get on Youtube, get on Facebook and start hustling. 

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