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Miami Heat to participate in NBA 2K esports league’s inaugural season

The new 17-team league begins play next year.

ESports: East Coast Throwdown Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat will be among 17 NBA franchises participating in the inaugural season of the NBA 2K esports league, which will debut in 2018.

The Heat organization acquired a stake in esports expansion team Misfits, who compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Super Smash Brothers and Heatherstone: Heroes of Warcraft, in January 2017 as part of a cross-promotional deal between the two franchises. The strategic partnership also includes the Heat handling marketing, branding and promotion of Misfits, who were formed in June 2016 and have immediately taken the world of esports by storm.

“We are thrilled to be working alongside 16 other NBA teams on this innovative esports league,” said The HEAT Group President of Business Operations, Eric Woolworth. “Given our unique integration into the esports community through our relationship with Misfits, we feel confident in our ability to reach Miami HEAT and Misfits fans alike, as we help create a new and exciting league from scratch.”

First announced in February 2017, the new NBA 2K esports league will be a professional competitive gaming league attracting the top players worldwide.

“This is the first step in what promises to be an extraordinary league, bringing together the world's best gamers and showcasing elite competition on an international stage,” said NBA 2K esports league Managing Director, Brendan Donohue. “Our teams have expressed tremendous enthusiasm for esports, and we are looking forward to forming something truly unique for basketball and gaming fans around the globe.”

The Heat will be joined by: