Take-Two Interactive and the NBA are trying to crack into the esports market. The company and association announced the NBA 2K eLeague yesterday by way of press release. As that announcement indicates, this is "the first official eSports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league."

The league is set to kick off in 2018, will feature the latest NBA 2K title and teams of five players that are operated by NBA franchises. The release indicates that there will be a regular season, bracketed playoffs and championship. Sounds like a legit league to me.

The partnership with the NBA is really intriguing

Esports, whether we like to admit it or not, has been a semi-fringe genre of sporting entertainment for years now. It's getting bigger every day, there's no doubt about it, but the competitive pastime has a ways to go when it comes to finding authenticity among non-gamers.

The fact that the NBA sees value in esports is what's most impressive about this whole thing. The NBA is willing to throw their own franchises behind actual teams of pro gamers in order to make this thing work, and that's pretty crazy to consider.

Good luck, contenders. We'll be watching as 2018 nears.