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Volume 24 No. 176
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NBA's Entry Into Esports Could Add Legitimacy To Competitive Gaming

The NBA's entry into competitive gaming with the NBA 2K League "could add to esports' legitimacy" and is part of the league's "effort to broaden" its base, according to Marco Santana of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. The Magic are part of the 17-team esports league, and team CEO Alex Martins sees "opportunity for his franchise." Martins: "The ability to attract a younger demographic through the esports side of basketball is very intriguing to us. It’s both an opportunity to grow our brand worldwide and cultivate younger fans." He added, "We are jumping into it the same way we approach all of our business lines. We are committed, and we are going to put resources behind it" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 12/13). In Indianapolis, Jim Ayello notes while Pacers Gaming is affiliated with the Pacers, the esports players will "not control digital versions of NBA players." Instead, they will "create customizable avatars and use those for the competition." NBA 2K League will "function much like other professional sports." The players "will have contracts, and while trades and free agency are not a part of the league in Year 1," Pacers Gaming's Dir of esports Operations Cody Parrent "foresees those aspects of the NBA game coming to the NBA2K league in the years to come." Not only will Parrent be "tasked with scouting, recruiting, drafting and coaching Pacers Gaming players, he also will conduct practices in a yet-to-be-determined facility, break down film and create game plans" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/13).

FIRST TEAM NAMES BEING ANNOUNCED: The Magic this morning announced its 2K League team will be called Magic Gaming, and its logo uses elements of the NBA's team marks. That includes the black and silver colors and use of a basketball. The Cavaliers, Kings, Mavericks, Pacers and Pistons yesterday unveiled their 2K League team names logos. Additionally, Hot Pockets has signed on to be the first founding partner of Cavs Legion GC (THE DAILY).

For more coverage of the business of esports, visit our partners, esportsobserver.com.