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Case Keenum, but it’s

Date Sep. 13th 08:58 AM Icon 92 Date 0


On the night LeBron James began the second round of the playoffs [url=www.49erscheapstore.com]Ahkello Witherspoon Jersey[/url] , a computerized Cavalier tormented teams the way the real Cleveland superstar does.

The NBA is betting there are enough fans for both versions.

The league is staging the opening tournament this week of its NBA 2K League , hoping to cash in on the combination of the global popularity of basketball and the burgeoning business of esports.

Television ratings have soared in recent years to watch James, the rise of the Warriors, and a thrilling era of high-flying dunkers and long-range snipers. But will fans really race to their computers to watch other people sitting around playing video games?

”I think the esports universe is answering that question for us,” NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue said. ”People are completely, 100 percent engaged with watching others play games. I think Twitch is walking proof of that, and all the success these other games have had. The esports space has doubled in size the last three years and every prediction is it’s going to double in size the next three years, so I think we’re almost beyond that question a little bit.”

So do NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and many of his owners. Donohue said the league hoped to get eight to 12 teams for its inaugural season and instead got 17, with enough interest remaining that he expects rapid expansion. Some owners of NBA clubs were already invested in popular esports such as Overwatch and League of Legends and had seen their arenas host well-attended competitions even before the league created the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.

”Esports are big and getting bigger. 2K is a way to connect not only with gamers, but gamer fans and to turn both into NBA and Mavs fans and vice versa,” Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote in an email. ”We think we can take traditional NBA fans, 2K fans and strengthen the bond they have to the NBA.”

Each of the major sports leagues is looking to claim its share of what Newzoo, the market research firm [url=www.giantscheapstore.com]Davis Webb Jersey[/url] , reports will be a $1 billion industry by 2019.

The opening day of the Tipoff tournament had some excitement, highlighted by two 40-point performances by Cavs Legion GC’s Brandon Caicedo, who plays under the handle Hood. (The players are playing as themselves, not the guys on the NBA’s Cavaliers.) But the league was already encouraged by the response even before the games began.

When Cuban’s team used the No. 1 pick on Artreyo Boyd (Dimez) in the draft, Donohue said 450,000 watched on Twitch, the streaming service popular with video-game players that will feature NBA2K action. More than 40 percent of that audience was from outside the U.S., providing the international eyeballs that have been so crucial to the NBA. Some of the players drafted that day bring their own individual fan bases that have watched streams of their games in other competitions, and even people who don’t know the competitors may know enough about basketball to watch anyway.

Kings Guard Gaming’s Mitchell Franklin, the No. 4 overall pick whose gamer handle is Mootyy, said that’s what separates NBA 2K from Overwatch League and Dota 2, which draw huge esports audiences.

”Me, and I know I’m not the only person [url=www.raiderscheapstore.com]Fred Biletnikoff Jersey[/url] , I know there’s tons, if you don’t know what’s going on, you turn it on, you don’t know what’s going on,” he said. ”With 2K, it’s very similar to basketball. It’s not like any unique twists or turns to it, so the average basketball fan, anyone and their mother that’s ever picked up a basketball can literally flip it on and really see and understand what’s happening.”

The only thing the league can’t provide, at least for the first season, is the live atmosphere of playing in the arena. All games and tournaments will take place in a Long Island City studio, which features a first-of-its-kind competition venue in which the teams sit five on a side, diagonally from the player at their same position, with monitors in front of them and a huge video board called ”the boat” above. There’s a table above the playing stage for the pregame studio analysts and one gameside for the duo calling the game [url=www.seahawkscheapstore.com]Rasheem Green Jersey[/url] , making it look just like an NBA game.

Except that there are only about 115 seats for fans, so teams playing Warriors Gaming Squad won’t face anywhere near the noise they would if traveling to Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. Donohue said perhaps next season the league would experiment with taking some games on the road, but doesn’t seem concerned about the location for now.

”We think the vast majority of the audience, no different than any sport, is actually outside of the building,” he said. ”So no different for us.”

The NBA is treating the gamers just like players, including the same rookie transition program that first-year players receive, where they get everything from media training to lessons about sleep and nutrition, and explanations of their benefits.

And they will receive the same power of the league’s marketing arm, which has made one-name stars of its players for years and now will attempt to do the same with its gamers.

”I think now you combine the same talents, you have NBA teams and the NBA, you have 2K and their story telling and the incredible talents they have [url=www.buccaneerscheapstore.com]Adarius Glanton Jersey[/url] ,” Donohue said. ”It’s the same folks who are actually doing the story telling, so I think it’s a great opportunity for us. And some of the stories are incredible.”

Such as Wizards District Gaming’s Austin Painter, who left a State Department job shortly before th

Not only is Paxton Lynch not the quarterback of the future for the Broncos, he’s not even the quarterback of the present in Week Four of the Preseason.

Broncos coach Vance Joseph announced that second-year man Chad Kelly would start the preseason finale and play the first half, while Lynch would mop up the second half of the most meaningless game of the year.

They’re not going to play starter Case Keenum, but it’s a chance for Kelly to make his case the backup job, since the 2016 first-rounder has not.

In three preseason games, the former Mr. Irrelevant is 28-of-41 for 340 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, for a 107.8 passer rating.

Lynch is 14-of-29 for 102 yards and an interception, for a 42.6 rating, raising questions as to whether there’s a roster spot for him when all is said and done.
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