The Atlanta Hawks are joining esports, according to Atlanta Inno. The NBA 2K League, which began as the “eLeague” last year, announced that the Hawks would join three other NBA teams: the Brooklyn Nets; Los Angeles Lakers; and Minnesota Timberwolves, for the league’s second season in 2019, Esports Insider reported. The Hawks team will be called Hawks Talon GC and be part of the first official esports league run by a U.S. pro sports league.
Last year, each game was broadcast for live-streaming on Twitch TV, attracting about 300,000 viewers. The 2K League held a live draft at Madison Square Garden in New York for its inaugural season. Each of the 17 teams drafted six players, all of which were required to have contracts with teams and salaries between $32,000 and $35,000, according to Esports Insider. Each team also had to relocate players to their home cities. Weekly matches were held at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in Queens, N.Y.
The four new teams, like the original 17, have committed to participate in the league for three years. The goal is to get 30 teams participating over the next few years, Brendan Donohue, NBA 2K League managing director, told Sports Business Daily, Esports Insider reported.