It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour of OWL, OPL and the other major leagues. So, when something awesome happens across both traditional sports and esports (in this case, NBA 2K League Draft), we should pay attention.
NBA 2K League Draft happening soon
The NBA 2K League Draft is scheduled for 1 pm ET at Madison Square Garden in New York. It’s going to be a huge event with 102 players to be picked for various teams.
What’ll be really awesome about this year’s particular draft is that Adam Silver. As the NBA Commissioner (think: head of the organisation), he will be announcing the first pick of the draft.
Why this move by Adam Silver is important
For a while now, esports and traditional sports have been teaming up or getting involved in each others’ events and initiatives. At this point in time, we can’t say that there’s a complete overlap between the two but it’s making its way there.
What esports needs in addition to leadership within its ranks is representation and leadership outside of its space. So, getting the head of the NBA to be directly involved in what is essentially the esports equivalent of the NBA is a big sign of progress.
According to ESPN, Silver is known as a strong advocate for esports. It would be easy to think that traditional and esports would compete with each other. But, in reality, they complement each other perfectly. This is definitely the case for the NBA and NBA 2K.
Thankfully, someone’s (not) thinking about gender
Of course, the part of this story I like the most is the forward-thinking involved in the draft. That is, that Adam Silver is also a strong advocate of diversity in the NBA 2K League.
One of their initiatives in supporting female players for this year’s draft involved players not providing gender information. That way, when they filtered down from their >70,000-player tryout, they didn’t factor in gender. It was only when they narrowed the draft down to the top 250 players that they found players’ genders. Unfortunately, no women made it to the top 102 (sadface).
In any case, this kind of diversity advocacy within a sports/esports organisation is a relief.
Image: NBA 2K (Facebook)