Pacers Sports & Entertainment has unveiled the name and logo for its NBA 2K League esports team. Pacers Gaming, which will include a roster of five players, becomes the fourth franchise under the PS&E umbrella, along with the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
The Pacers Gaming roster will be selected in March through a League Draft. The team is one of 17 participating in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K League, which will debut in May, one year after plans for the league were announced.
Pacers Gaming is being led by Fever President and Pacers Senior Vice President Kelly Krauskopf. She tells Inside INdiana Business the organization is optimistic about the league’s economic impact.
"The esports global industry is about a $1 billion industry right now and it has grown significantly in the last probably 3-5 years," Krauskopf said. "You can just look at revenues in esports in general, there’s a significant growth trajectory that you’re seeing across the board in all game titles, not just the NBA 2K game titles. So what we see is the opportunity to get in front of that audience."
Krauskopf says Cody Parrent, who was hired in September to serve as director of esports operations, will continue to scout players ahead of the March draft. Parrent tells Inside INdiana Business he has already been scouting players on livestream platforms such as Twitch for months.
"I think we can really build a good team," said Parrent. "We have excellent support and leadership from the top down here at the Pacers who have given me the opportunity to really dive in deep to the 2K community so I think we have a lot of people in tune with our mission and it’ll set us up for success year one."
Parrent says, beginning in January, there will be a tryout mode implemented into the retail version of the NBA 2K game and players age 18 and older must win 50 games in the Pro-Am mode to be eligible for the next step in the tryout process, which will take place in February. Ultimately, 85 players will be drafted before the league begins.
Parrent says the regular season of the NBA 2K League will be available for viewing online, however a streaming platform for the games has not yet been announced.