For a perennially bottom-feeding franchise like the Philadelphia 76ers, the prospect of hoisting an NBA Championship trophy are a distant dream. However, in a delicious example of art imitating life, the 76ers could easily lift the Larry O’Brien trophy next year, albeit in the e-sports world.
17 of the 30 NBA teams now have official eLeague teams who’ll compete for the first professional gaming league backed by a major US sports organization.
Take-Two, the publisher of the hit basketball simulator, is launching the NBA 2K eLeague in 2018, which will mimic the real-life NBA season, right down to the finest detail.
Related: NBA 2K17 review
Each team will draft their own players following a combine (pre-draft workouts), before competing in 82 regular season games and hopefully advancing to the playoffs and finals.
The structure outlined makes it seem like each gamer will take control one player on the floor at any given time. The tournament winners will net around $250,000, Take-Two says.
Eventually, all 30 teams will be represented, but the 17 teams confirmed to compete in the inaugural season are as follows:
Golden State Warriors
New York Knicks
Portland Trail Blazers
An official Madden NFL eLeague would finally give lowly teams like the Cleveland Browns the chance to battle the dominant New England Patriots on an even playing field.
However, as in the real world, we can’t rule out the official Patriots using a number of cheat codes to give them the upper hand on their virtual rivals.
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Fancy your chances of making an NBA eLeague roster? Which team would you like to represent? Let us know in the comments below.