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You no longer have to be good at actual basketball to join the Cleveland Cavaliers or Golden State Warriors.

Take-Two announced today that 16 NBA teams have signed up to be part of its NBA 2K eLeague, an esports group launching in 2018 for the publisher’s hit basketball video game series. This is the first time one of the four major U.S. pro sports organizations is starting its own professional gaming league.

The 16 teams include:

  • 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
  • Toronto Raptors
  • Utah Jazz
  • Washington Wizards

The eLeague will replicate the structure of the NBA. The organization will hold a virtual combine, and each team will pick five players in a draft. Teams will then fight in 82 regular season games, advancing to playoffs and a championship. Winners will receive a cash prize “similar to some of the past NBA 2K tournaments that awarded a $250,000 grand prize.”


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The NBA and esports have become friendly over the past year. The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the first major sports organizations to get involved with professional gaming when it bought Team Dignitas.

“In working closely with the Philadelphia 76ers for the past eight years, I can attest to its reputation as a fearless, innovative organization,” said NBA 2K esports league managing director Brendan Donohue in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “Its existing investment in the esports space with Team Dignitas will enable them to share tremendous insight and experience across our league as we take the NBA 2K global phenomenon to even greater heights.”

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