The National Basketball League (NBL) is taking on eSports, today officially announcing they will enter a team in the NBA 2K League.

The expansion team — NBL Oz Gaming — becomes the first Australian professional team to join a global eSports league and just the third NBA 2K League team from outside of North America, joining the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (China) and DUX Infinitos (Mexico).

“This is another historic day as we welcome Australia’s premier basketball league to the NBA 2K League family,” NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue said.

“The NBL has a demonstrated track record of not only transforming their league, but also growing a fanbase in new and creative ways. The NBL is the ideal partner to help the NBA 2K League do the same in Australia, where basketball and 2K are incredibly popular and we’re thrilled that NBL Oz Gaming will represent Australia in the NBA 2K League for years to come.”

MORE: Meason Camille opens door for Aussie 2K gamers

Following the addition of NBL Oz Gaming, the NBA 2K League now has 25 teams, with 22 affiliated with NBA teams.

“We have been intrigued by the esports sector now for some time, largely because there is a significant crossover between gaming fans and basketball fans – more so than any other sport,” NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said.

“We always want to partner with the best, and one of the best professional esports leagues in the world is operated by our long-standing friends and partners at the NBA. The global popularity of NBA 2K and the NBA 2K League continue to grow every year, and neither is showing any signs of slowing down. Our hopes and expectations are that NBL Oz Gaming will introduce the NBL to a legion of new fans around the world.

“But first, we have to turn our attention to building a strong and competitive roster and showing once again that the NBL can take on the best in the world. This time, it just happens to be a slightly different game!”

NBL Oz Gaming will participate in the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft in November, giving Australian gamers a chance to join the short list of players from Down Under to break into the NBA 2K League. 

In the 2019 draft, New Zealand’s Jack “Jaacko” Stevenson was selected with the 50th pick, becoming the first player from Australia/New Zealand to join the league, followed by Meason “xMiLo—” Camille (Australia), who was selected with the No. 62 overall pick in the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft but the Pistons GT.

The 2023 NBA 2K League season will live stream in Australia on Twitch and YouTube.

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