A league of 30 teams, with five players each and a total of five months of competition around the latest edition of the NBA 2K videogame, is what the NBA and TakeTwo Interactive Software are planning to create in the next few years.
It's an innovative eSports league, presented last Wednesday by NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, and CEO of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick.
According to the idea presented, each NBA team -a total of 30- will have its own eSports team to participate in the tournament, which will last for 5 months, first in a regular season system, and then playoffs that will lead to a finale.
The original idea is for all the teams to have their virtual representative, but the NBA commissioner said it's likely that some of them won't make it in time for the eLeague, whose first season is scheduled for 2018.
The NBA teams must do a draft for the eSports who'll be part of their team of five, respecting the tradition of the leagues with college players.
The eSports players will have a salary, training times and be eSports professionals during the season.
While Silver didn't confirm how much the NBA will invest in the project, both companies expect the competition to draw in big numbers.
The companies' idea is for the new league to have special events, sell tickets to attendees, create merchandise based in the tournament, sign with sponsors and negotiate the rights for fans to watch the games remotely.
It's the first step a major league like the NBA takes in the world of eSports, but not the first from an association member, since many teams like the Philadelphia 76ers or the Houston Rockets, have invested and even acquired eSports teams.