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!

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