The NBA has partnered with Take-Two Interactive to form a global eSports league around its popular NBA 2K video game franchise.
As reported by ESPN, the NBA 2K eLeague will kick off in 2018 and will eventually feature 30 teams, each of which will be owned by a real-life NBA franchise.
The competition will be similar in format to the real NBA season, and will see teams of five players compete across a five-month season before heading to the playoffs and eventually a championship match.
There aren't any concrete details relating to salary caps and schedules as of yet, but NBA commissioner Adam Silver has revealed that all 30 NBA franchises are interested in participating -- although some might not be quite ready to jump on-board in 2018.
To fill out the league, the NBA will search for talented eSports players during an initial draft, before giving each NBA franchise the final decision on who plays for its eLeague team.
"You can be four feet tall in this league. You can be of any sex, shape, size, ethnicity, nationality," said Silver. "Our expectation is that we and our league partners are going to search for the most phenomenal players."
Selected players will be given full salaries and will be expected to train regularly, effectively treating the gig as a full-time job during the on-season.
As for what fans can expect, Silver explained the eLeague will stage events and live matches, sell merchandise, and negotiate licensing rights with media outlets so games can be watches remotely.