INDIANAPOLIS– Pacers Sports & Entertainment is adding a fourth team to its family of Indiana sports teams.
The company is joining the esports industry with Pacers Gaming, one of 17 teams in the NBA 2K League.
The league will make its debut in May 2018.
The NBA is the first U.S. professional sports league to operate an official esports league. The NBA 2K League is a partnership between the NBA and the game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc.
NBA 2K is a video basketball simulation game with gameplay that simulates a typical game of basketball. The Pacers Gaming team will field a roster of five players who will be selected from a pool of the world’s best gamers via the League Draft in March.
“We are very excited to be among the first NBA teams to join the NBA 2K League,” said PS&E owner Herb Simon. “This is a great opportunity for us to get in on the ground floor of a fast-growing esports industry. I’m proud that our league is the first league to get into this exciting new world of professional esports competition. Our Pacers, Fever and Mad Ants fans now will have another team to root for.”
“We are as committed to win from Day One with Pacers Gaming as we are with our other teams,” said PS&E President Rick Fuson. “We are confident with our leadership that we will be very successful in the first season and beyond. But we are most excited about the fact that the league offers unprecedented access and opportunity.”
NBA 2K playing skill is the primary qualifier to being a player in the 2K League; men/women, tall/short, young/old (18 or older), domestic/international – if one is among of the world’s best 2K players, he or she can be a part of this league.
Pacers Gaming, which will be the official name of the Pacers NBA 2K League team, unveiled its new logo on Tuesday. The logo features a modernized Pacers Panther which is unique to the franchise.
“Boomer is part of the Pacers heritage; the logo takes Boomer into another dimension,” said Kelly Krauskopf, current Indiana Fever President and Pacers SVP. “Our goal was to create a logo that connected with our past while communicating an edgy, confident and dynamic esports brand. I think we accomplished that.”