WXYZ — With the sports world waits for leagues to determine when it’s safe to return, one league is getting its season started from the comfort of home!
Next week, the NBA 2K League gets started with live games on the ESPN family of networks.
“This is now our time, we have to take off, entertainment wise we have to make it known, we have to make people watch us, give them a reason to actually stick around, this is the best time we’ll have to actually get attention of people we never had the chance to,” Pistons GT point guard Johnathon ‘Demon JT’ Fields said.
Pistons GT is the professional competitive esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive. The NBA 2K League is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league and features the world’s best NBA 2K players, and they want you to know, this isn’t just a hobby.
“People think, ‘oh it’s just a game, it’s just easy,’ no, we’re the best in the world, it’s not just something you pick up and say oh I can do this,” Fields said.
“Each player from last season was on the league proprietary build for a minimum of 1,200 hours in a six month period,” Pistons GT manager Adam Rubin said.
Their league schedule gets started on Tuesday, and you can watch it live on ESPN2, esports has been a growing trend in the last decade and now, with real sports still on the shelf, the league is looking at this as an opportunity to take center stage and show non-traditional fans, what they’re all about, especially since it’s likely you’re looking for something new.
“It’s our way to kind of take off, we’re on ESPN2 Tuesdays, ESPN3 Wednesday through Friday’s, if sports are on, its no chance of that happening, so to see that happening, to see that future we have get bigger, even brighter, it’s a wonderful thing,” Fields added.
“Probably for the first couple weeks of the shutdown, everyone was binge watching their shows, all of their watch-lists on Netflix or Amazon Prime, but as the weeks went on, everyone started craving for something live, okay now lets watch esports, what is this, they’re competing, oh, I play this game, so it’s drawing in an audience because it’s one of the only live broadcasts available now,” Rubin said.
We play at home for our enjoyment, and these guys have the capability to do the same, except for their livelihoods, and they better bring it, they’re competing for the prize of 1.4 million bucks.
Not a bad payday for the new wave of professional athletes.