International basketball’s governing body FIBA has struck a new partnership with the NBA 2K League, the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) esports title.

Through a deal announced earlier today (June 27), a calendar for esports competitions across national teams’ basketball will be created.

Collaboration between the NBA 2K League and eFIBA tournaments will increase, meaning eFIBA participants will be eligible to take part in the NBA 2K League draft or even in the league itself.

There will also be onboarding of more national basketball federations into the esports ecosystem, “who will be encouraged and supported in entering national teams for participation.”

FIBA has said the collaboration will “help grow the global basketball audience” by reaching out to the younger generation and added that it has "a unique opportunity to leverage the growing popularity of esports and create a new generation of fans.”

The governing body added that the partnership also meets its goal to establish a global competitive gaming ecosystem for national teams.

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The first eFIBA window will take place later this year, in the Northern Hemisphere autumn. That stretch of time, in partnership with the ESL Faceit Group, “will act as a key lever in extending the reach of esports by making it more accessible and attractive to new players.”

The 2023 season of the NBA 2K League began on April 13 with the NBA2KL 3v3 Switch Open and runs until August 5 with the NBA 2K League 5v5 Finals.

The 25-team NBA 2K League was founded in 2017 and its inaugural season began in May the following year. Its broadcast partners are Twitch, YouTube, and the NBA TV service.

Image: Mike Stobe/Getty Images