The future of esports is here in Memphis!

Many people mistakenly perceive gamers as kids stuck in their parents’ basements, but in many cases this stereotype couldn’t be further from the truth. Gaming has evolved significantly over the years, developing into a multimillion-dollar industry in a relatively short amount of time. And for some gamers, their favorite thing to do is no longer just a hobby, but a career.

Just ask the 102 new players who recently joined the NBA 2K league draft, among whom are the inaugural class of the Memphis Grizzlies gaming team.

How does it all work?

The popularity of esports has soared in the past few years as gaming became increasingly versatile, challenging and engaging. Today, the NBA 2K esports league boasts professional gamers from across the country who are drafted by NBA to engage in a national tournament.

Players earn a salary of more than $30,000 and are given housing, products to facilitate their gameplay and the chance to earn prizes from a pool of over $1 million.

Much like big-name basketball players, NBA 2K gamers are true professionals who spend hours perfecting their craft. In fact, most draftees and members of the league spend eight to 12 hours a day practicing, analyzing plays and sharpening their competitive edge.

Introducing the inaugural class of gamer Grizzlies

After the Memphis Grizzlies drafted the inaugural class of gamers just a few months back, the team had the 15th overall pick in the draft. Post-draft, general manager Lang Whitaker said he “got all the players [he] wanted” and is excited about the upcoming tournament. Sounds like the Grizzlies gaming team is ready to put our city on the esports map.


Impact on Memphis and Memphians

Whatever the tournament’s outcome, one thing’s for sure: The recent draftees to the Grizzlies team are slated for a life-changing experience, with many players quitting their jobs, putting school on hold and moving to Memphis.

In the process, the city itself will be exposed to an array of growth opportunities, with local businesses taking advantage of advertising and Memphians of all stripes jumping on the gaming bandwagon. Watch this space!

Looking for more stories on what makes Memphis great?

Follow our Instagram page below!

You Might Also Be Interested In…


New Ballet’s Springloaded captivates Memphis!

New Ballet Ensemble’s Springloaded captivated audiences this past weekend with a powerful repertoire honoring the essence of humanity and a child’s right of passage into adulthood. Seamlessly fusing the dance forms of New Ballet’s professional and student artists […]


The entertainment lineup for Celebrate Memphis has been released!

For 42 years, Memphis in May has brought the world to Memphis by saluting the cultures of 38 different countries. But this year, instead of saluting a country, Memphis in May will honor a city. A city with a rich heritage and colorful history. A city whose culture has impacted the world, and is […]


The Memphis bicentennial is next month; here’s what to expect!

The Memphis bicentennial, which is the 200th birthday of the city, is May 22, 2019. This day marks an important date in the history of the city and one that will be observed with a lot of hoopla and fanfare. Taking its name from the ancient Egyptian capital on the Nile River, Memphis was […]