In one of the biggest tie-ups between video gaming and a major sports league, the National Basketball Association has just announced it is teaming with video game publisher Take-Two Interactive to create an e-sports league in the US.
The basketball e-league – known as the NBA 2K ELeague – will start playing in 2018. The teams, which will feature 5-on-5 action, will play a five-month season that mirrors the real NBA schedule.
Those chosen to make up the teams will be given salaries and play the game as avatars that they create for themselves, rather than representing actual team players as virtual counterparts.
In other words, the players on the new NBA ELeague teams will be actual video gamers, not players assuming the role or performance rating of an existing NBA star. Seattle has a surplus of that kind of talent!
“We believe we have a unique opportunity to develop something truly special for our fans and the young and growing e-sports community,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
Speaking of growing “fan bases,” why not let markets like Seattle who had a world championship NBA team displaced when the franchise was sold to an out-of-state owner, take a “virtual” step back into the NBA?
Ironically, Seattle’s impediment to getting back into NBA league action has been locating an arena in a physical space that does not create traffic or business concerns.
The ongoing saga concerning the city’s vacation of Occidental Avenue in SODO was rejected by the city council in May 2016 in a 5-4 vote, but since that time, the group behind SonicsArena.com , including Chris Hansen, Wally Walker, Erik and Peter Nordstrom and Seattle Seahawks QB Russel Wilson has made substantial changes to its proposal, including offering to privately finance the entire project.
Seattle officials have confirmed that a proposal for a new arena in Sodo will only be considered after the city has vetted its options with a KeyArena renovation.
Until that happens and the new arena is built, why not let Seattle’s elite status in video gaming translate into a formidable team of NBA ELeague renown?
Eventually, all of the 30 NBA teams will have an e-sports division, but initially only a few will be chosen. We think it would be an inspired and magnanimous decision to let the Sonics reclaim their rightful place in NBA history, and equally befitting that it occur in a world capital for electronic gaming.
To let your thoughts be known, send comments (or petitions) to the NBA via http://contact.nba.com/contact-nba/ or email: [email protected] and Take-Two Interactive http://www.take2games.com/contact/ or email: [email protected] [24×7]