With the NBA 2K League draft complete, we’re one step closer to finding out whether an esports audience exists for sports games

Posted April 5th, 2018 at 8:15 am

It’s no secret that sports video games have struggled to gain any traction in esports. Competing against and being compared to the real world sports they attempt to simulate, and video game tactics taking precedence over real strategy and coaching decisions, have resulted in general apathy and broadcasts with low viewership numbers. Millions of dollars are being poured into esports initiatives for games like Madden which draw only a few thousand viewers while games like Fortnite have organically found over a million people tuning into individual streams.

The NBA 2K League hopes to change that. Tipping off next month, the league has the backing of the NBA with 17 teams participating in its inaugural season. Also critical to its appeal is that the competition which runs through August is team-based rather than individual. For those reasons it has the best chance to build an engaged audience but it probably isn’t going to happen overnight. For more on where the NBA 2K League is at now and the challenges it faces check out the piece today on Sporting News.