17 NBA teams will be part of the National Basketball Association and Take-Two’s first official NBA 2K League season will take place in May 2018, it has been confirmed.
Engadget reports that the competing teams will begin the draft process in March of next year, with tryouts taking place in February. Each team will select a squad of five, all of whom will get a proper NBA-style contract.
NBA 2K League MD Brendan Donohue expressed a desire to make the League inclusive, encompassing those who, despite lacking the physical prowess needed for competitive NBA, do have the neccessary skills and mental agility.
The only requirement is that players be aged 18 or over, with both males and females welcome.
The actual mechanics of the tryouts are still being decided upon, as is what platform the games will be played on and how fans will be able to spectate. The media rights themselves have not yet been settled on, so it remains to be seen whether a streaming or TV network clinches the main deal, or indeed if the action remains exclusive to NBA TV.
Unlike other esports competitions where the teams are run by dedicated esports organisations, the NBA 2K League will comprise of actual NBA teams.
The confirmed teams are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.
These could be joined by a further four or five teams in the second season, with Donohue adding that the organisers “expect to expand pretty quickly”.