Watching the NBA 2K eLeague fantasy ecosystem develop is going to be very interesting to say the least. As the first of the big four professional sports leagues in the US to enter the eSports game, the NBA has sailed us into uncharted waters. Here there be dragons.
There are a few key elements that are going to play roles in creating an entirely new fantasy vertical:
- Traditional Popularity – Fantasy leagues & daily fantasy shops like DraftKings and Fanduel capitalize on the popularity of traditional sports. The current eSports landscape consists of games that do not have a traditional cultural following (like League of Legends or DOTA 2). Basketball has a following much larger than any video game.
- Plug & Play – Basketball fantasy sports is a known entity. People already know exactly how to draft, manage a team, enter daily fantasy contests, etc. The transition to the NBA 2K eLeague fantasy game is seamless.
- Media Dollars – The NBA will be promoting the NBA 2K eLeague with big media dollars around NBA games and events. While video game publishers have spent some money in the past supporting eSports for their titles, this is an entirely new deal. You have a large market that understands the sport and has money to spend.
- Team Fans – NBA teams represent cities and as we all know the fans can get real. The fanatics will drive interest in the league simply by supporting their teams as they are owned by (and promoted by) the actual NBA franchises. This will drive overall interest in the eSports league and fantasy in general.
- The Hustle – The obvious appeal of making money in fantasy sports will drive popularity early on. Serious fantasy players know that there is money in anything new and they will jump on board and start pushing buttons.
As soon as any new NBA 2K eLeague fantasy info is released you will here it here first. It’s going to be an interesting ride.