Not-for-profit organisation the British Esports Association has partnered with the British Basketball Federation, Britain’s governing body for basketball, to collaborate on selecting and managing a team of British NBA 2K21 players.
The team selected will compete in the FIBA Esports Open II, a global tournament organised by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The tournament will see a total of 38 countries participating across six regional conferences.
Team GB will be captained by Harry ‘HazzaUK’ Hurst, a professional NBA 2K player for Knicks Gaming.
Andy Payne OBE, British Esports Association Chair, commented on the partnership in a release: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the British Basketball Federation to select a GB Team for the latest FIBA Esports Open. It’s a great example of sports and esports working together to promote British talent and we look forward to seeing how the team gets on, led by Harry.”
Each team taking part in the tournament will consist of seven players, five on-court and two reserves. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will take place online using the Pro-AM mode on NBA 2K21.
Maurice Watkins CBE, British Basketball Federation Chair, also spoke on the deal: “This is an exciting development of a new basketball genre led by FIBA. We are delighted to establish a partnership with the British Esports Association, with their recognised knowledge and experience in esports. This gives the British Basketball Federation a solid foundation and support to enter a GB team in the next round of the next FIBA Esports Open scheduled in December.
“It is a positive example of esports and sport working together. We look forward to supporting the GB Team, as they take to the virtual basketball court in a FIBA competition.”
Esports Insider says: The cross-pollination between esports and sport has become even more prevalent due to the current global situation. The British Esports Association has partnered with other sporting bodies in the past, so it comes as no surprise to see it continuing to collaborate with others.