Activision has its Call of Duty World League; EA Sports announced a completely separate division that concentrates on competitive gaming; and both ESPN and TBS have expressed interest in more eSports-related coverage, with the second season of Heroes of the Dorm (aHeroes of the Storm collegiate competition) set to broadcast on ESPN 2. Now, Take Two is primed to slam-dunk its way into the action.
The publisher announced in a statement that it will launch a tournament featuring its massive basketball hit NBA 2K16. The top prize will be $250,000, and the event begins in mid-February, eventually leading to the finals in June, to coincide with the NBA Finals happening at the same time.
The competition will be broken into a sixteen-winner bracket, with events that run throughout the months, leading up to a single-elimination tournament starting May 21st.
“Our series has long inspired rivalry among gamers, and we’re looking forward to encouraging our fans to enjoy the thrill of competition on a larger scale,” said Alfie Brody, vice president of marketing for NBA 2K, regarding the tournament.
Although it’s just a small dip into the eSports world, this could eventually lead to bigger things for the company. 2K Sports also has a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment that will last several more years, making it the publisher of forthcoming WWE 2K games. As such, it could easily host similar tournaments during the company’s bigger events, such as Wrestlemania and Summerslam.
For that matter, eSports wouldn’t just have to be relegated to the sports titles. Other 2K IPs, like forthcoming fantasy-shooter Battleborn, could easily be brought into competitive gaming.
As it stands, NBA 2K will take focus, and Take Two should have no trouble driving this competition to the basket for an easy score.