Last May, it was revealed that an eSports league surrounding the NBA 2K series would be forming. Earlier today, the league took its first steps in helping to legitimize itself – and eSports as a whole – as a competitive sport.
Mavs Gaming will select Artreyo Boyd, aka Dimez, as the No. 1 overall pick in the inaugural NBA2K Draft, league source tells ESPN. Draft starts soon, with Commissioner Adam Silver at the podium.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 4, 2018
As predicted, Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd was the first overall draft pick, taken by Mavs Gaming, the Dallas Mavericks’ NBA 2K team. He joined NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on stage, as the entire process mirrored a similar format to that of the NBA, NFL, MLB and Hockey, but with gamers instead.
Alongside a legitimate draft, Silver hopes to validate the newest eSports league, expanding it to find the same success as the others he oversees.
“From the NBA’s standpoint, this is our fourth league,” Silver said. “We have the NBA, the WNBA and the G League. Now, this is the fourth league in our family, and that’s exactly as we’re treating it: one more professional league.”
Before the draft even took place, pros were vetted over three-month process that began in January. Out of a projected 10,000-15,000 qualifiers, over 72,000 people won at least 50 “pro-am” games to qualify for the next phase. The entire month of February was devoted to a combine, tracking special metrics that wittled the group down to 250. After interviews, applications, and background checks, 102 players were drafted.
The league is made up of 17 teams, each owned by an actual NBA team. Of the 30 in the NBA, those teams include The Mavericks, Celtics, Jazz, Kings, Pistons, Trail Blazers, Heat, Magic, Knicks, Bucks, Raptors, Wizards, Pacers, 76ers, Grizzlies, Cavaliers and Warriors all have teams.
According to The Washington Post players that were skilled enough to be drafted in the first round will make $35,000, while those taken in the ensuing rounds will earn $32,000. That amount doesn’t even include the incentives, including housing and standard benefits.
Players will begin moving to their respective cities as soon as Thursday. There they will live with their teammates and be flown out to a consolidated locale for each game.
For more information, be sure to check back to the site for updates, as well as all of your other nerdy news and needs!