In further evidence of the barriers of reality melting away, today NBA partnered with Take-Two Interactive Software to launch an esports league of its own. But rather than dip their toes into the waters of titles like CS:GO or League of Legends, like some individual team owners have already decided to do, this esport league will focus exclusively on the NBA 2K series. That’s right; the world’s biggest basketball league is now hosting a competitive league dedicated solely to the simulation of the world’s biggest basketball league.
The league will begin play in 2018, and will (eventually) feature 30 teams of five players each. “Every NBA team will be represented; instead of the Mavericks, it’ll be the eMavericks. Instead of the Bucks, it will be the eBucks,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. I don’t know if that naming convention can top the utter, ouroboron strangeness of the NBA NBA 2K eLeague (fingers crossed for that title,) but somehow they found a way to make esports teams with stupider names than “Ninjas in Pajamas” or “Unicorns of Love.”
Structural details beyond that are scarce; we know that the league will play a five month season that matches the NBA, that esports players will be drafted into teams, and that the league will handle ticket sales, broadcasting rights and sponsorships—all the things you would imagine a basketball league doing, but, you know, “e.” We can only imagine that ten years from now, we’ll be staring down the barrel of a league where you play simulations of esports players playing NBA 2K, and then all our brains will dribble out of our ears.