Esports comes to the NBA as it announces 2K league

ESPN reports that the NBA and Take Two Interactive have joined forced to create an eSports League based on the NBA 2K series.

Its anticipated that each of the NBA teams will eventually have a team in this newly developed league.  The teams will consist of 5 individuals playing out a 5-month season.  The league is scheduled to begin in 2018.  The teams will play head-to-head and have playoffs leading up to a championship.

via Wikimedia Commons
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en

Via ESPN:

The NBA will hold an initial draft of esports players, and each NBA franchise will pick five to play as its eLeague team. They will draw salaries, train and essentially treat the NBA 2K eLeague as full-time jobs during the season.

It’s clear that this is the next step for esports to become more mainstream.  The NBA investment in this league is likely substantial with the prospects of it becoming a lucrative stream of revenue for the league.  The report indicates that they will hold events to promote the league, sign sponsorships, sell tickets and produce merchandise.

Perhaps the only drawback for those into the realism of the video games, is that real-life players will not be represented in the games.  Players will come up with their own avatars.  Perhaps the inability to use NBA players likenesses is an issue that has yet to be discussed between the league and the players union.

British court comes down on pair that allowed minors to bet on EA video game

A British court has ordered two men to pay fines and costs for breaking gambling laws as their web site allowed minors to gamble on Premier League Football matches using a virtual currency.

The Guardian reports that FutGalaxy was a “social gaming” website which had no age restrictions and let minors use a credit card to place bets in a virtual currency earned on Electronic Art’s FIFA soccer video game.

The site made the equivalent $120,000 US dollars from July 2015 to February 2016.

His You Tube video enticed gamers to go to the site advertising that there were “no age restrictions.”

FutGalaxy took bets on matches played in the UK, France, Germany and Italy.

Valve tries to skin, skin betting in TF2

Valve Corporation announced late last week that it would begin blocking Team Fortress 2 gambling accounts.  This comes on the heels of a skin betting issue in which the state of Washington demanded that the company immediately ban of the transfer of weapons on its Steam platform.

 (via Wikipedia)

The Washington State Gambling Commission determined that skins were used as consideration in illegal gambling on third party web sites.

Valve was sued in Washington state due to allowing an alleged online illegal gaming market.  However, the court dismissed the case on Valve’s motion to dismiss.

The recent move by Valve likely looks to curb additional issues with potential skin betting and lawsuits down the road.