Pacers Gaming is the name of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment entry in the NBA 2K League, which will debut in May 2018, PS&E announced Tuesday.
“We are very excited to be among the first NBA teams to join the NBA 2K League,” said PS&E owner Herb Simon of PS&E, which also includes the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever and Fort Wayne Mad Ants. “This is a great opportunity for us to get in on the ground floor of a fast-growing esports industry. I’m proud that our league is the first league to get into this exciting new world of professional esports competition. Our Pacers, Fever and Mad Ants fans now will have another team to root for.”
The organization also revealed the logo for Pacers Gaming, which will be one of 17 teams in the NBA 2K League. The logo features a modernized Pacers Panther that is unique to the franchise.
“Boomer is part of the Pacers heritage; the logo takes Boomer into another dimension,” said Kelly Krauskopf, Indiana Fever president and Pacers senior vice president and the primary leader of Pacers Gaming. “Our goal was to create a logo that connected with our past while communicating an edgy, confident and dynamic esports brand. I think we accomplished that.”
The NBA is the first U.S. professional sports league to operate an official esports league. The NBA 2K League is a partnership between the NBA and the game publisher Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. NBA 2K is a video basketball simulation game with gameplay that simulates a typical game of basketball.
“We are as committed to win from Day One with Pacers Gaming as we are with our other teams,” said PS&E president Rick Fuson. “We are confident with our leadership that we will be very successful in the first season and beyond. But we are most excited about the fact that the league offers unprecedented access and opportunity.”
The Pacers Gaming team will field a roster of five players who will be selected from a pool of the world’s best gamers via a league draft in March.
Height, speed and strength are not requisites for NBA 2K participation. NBA 2K playing skill is. That means potential NBA 2K players can be anyone — men, women, tall, short, young, old (age 18 minimum), domestic, international, whatever.
Cody Parrent is the director of esports operations for Pacers Gaming.
“We believe that in Cody we have one of the best judges of talent going forward in esports,” said Krauskopf, who hired Parrent in October. “We can’t wait to get started. We believe the 2K League presents the perfect opportunity to extend PS&E’s reach into the rapidly growing esports community.”