NBA COO Mark Tatum has expressed on multiple occasions that international competition will be part of the NBA 2K eLeague vision and it makes perfect sense to us.
Most people in the United States have no idea what eSports is but in many international markets this is far from the case. With Asian markets leading the charge eSports is expected to be a $500 million industry in 2017 and $1 billion by 2019.
“Long term, we can see a situation where a Team Shanghai is playing the esports Celtics, or the eSixers are playing a team in Paris, and this becomes a truly global esports league.”
– Mark Tatum, NBA COO
As we previously mentioned this makes perfect sense to us but obviously we already see the potential of the NBA 2K eLeague. Getting some international exposure, especially in markets where eSports is much more of a known entity, is a smart play.
“Our vision is, certainly in the short term having the 30 NBA teams, but there’s no reason why Team Shanghai won’t be playing the eKnicks or the eCeltics or the eLakers are going to be playing Team Paris as an example in a global tournament and a global championship.”
-Mark Tatum, NBA COO
Think of a simple vin diagram visualizing the overlap of the popularity of basketball in general and eSports… then setup some games and events. With Mark Tatum’s statement specifically mentioning Shanghai (an Asian market with a huge eSports following and a comparitively large basketball following), it looks like that is exactly what they are doing. We will be covering any international NBA 2K eLeague games or events so stay tuned and stay frosty.