eSports are taking off all around the world. Teams are being formed, tournaments played, streams are gaining money, and, crucially, investors are turning their heads.
When you think of eSports you think of something along the lines of World of Warcraft or Fortnite. Fantastical characters battling to be the last man standing. That is a big staple of the sport, but it only makes sense that these players, who are often arguing with varying degrees of seriousness to play in the Olympics, merge with the real-life sports that have the reputation for being a great source of entertainment.
That’s where NBA 2K comes in. All the people you love most are there, with new players controlling them. It brings a new edge to an old sport. Read on to find out how NBA 2K is leading the charge for eSports.
What is NBA 2K?
Like most sport tie-in games, NBA 2K takes the sport we all know and love and puts you in the driver’s seat. You can choose or build your team, play as your favorite players, and compete in tournaments, without the need for a rigorous training regime. Plus, the MyTeam, MyCareer and MyLeague features allow you to live out any aspect of an NBA career. Do you want to play? Skip between the highest paying teams with the MyCareer feature. Do you want to manage? Build your team with the MyTeam feature and train them up to victory. Or take control of the entire league with the MyLeague feature. There is always a new angle to take.
However, lately the game has found a new home, not in the screens of at-home basketball fans waiting for the next game, but in professional gamers who are competing in their own tournaments through the game.
NBA 2K has joined the ranks of battle royal games like League of Legends and Dota 2 as one of the most popular eSport games. When the real players aren’t on the court, basketball fans can tune in to see their respective avatars take over the court, controlled by one of the top professional players in the gaming industry.
What’s so innovative about that?
eSports creates a lot of new dynamics to gaming in general, but to bring those dynamics to a traditional sport makes for a lot of new avenues for the game to go in.
For one thing, the strategy and tactics of the game are brought to the forefront, proving that basketball, for example, isn’t about being the tallest or fastest, but about being smart about how you use your assets.
Meanwhile, betting is also being affected. Fans are looking to choose a trusted new casino that will accommodate their need to bet on eSports, which a lot of casinos are starting to allow.
NBA 2K is currently in its 3rd season, proving that someone is engaged with these games and tournaments. In 2020 alone, NBA 2K saw a massive jump in viewership, by about 70% on their Twitch streams, so maybe we’ll see more games follow suit soon?
Isn’t eSports a passing fad?
Ye have little faith. For comparison’s sake let’s take a look at the cinema. Everyone is worried the idea of seeing a movie outside your home will die out, but cinema has survived a lot of changes that were predicted to take it out: the talkies, the television, the internet and now streaming.
Gaming is no new concept. If we go back far enough in history you could call sports, gambling, board games, etc. all elements of gaming. The main elements are simply now on a screen. Even that concept has been around for nearly half a century now and was once considered a passing fad. As was the idea of streaming gamers, who are going strong on Twitch and YouTube and, let’s face it, were the steppingstone to eSports.
But the main thing that will convince those with little faith is that eSports bring in money. A lot of money. Enough money that any industry with a shoestring link to gaming is paying attention. Venues are being hired out, flight seats are being filled, streams are broadcasting the action, and betting shops are taking in the predictions. There is simply too much money in eSports right now to die out anytime soon.
And one of the biggest factors behind this growth is NBA 2K, which has greatly helped legitimize the eSports “fad”.