Top-tier German soccer side Bayern Munich have gone against the grain by announcing the formation of an NBA 2K esports team.
The Bundesliga outfit’s esports venture, which will be called Bayern Ballers Gaming, plans to scout and field eight players to play in the basketball simulation video game series.
The first application phase ends on the 10th of May 2018, while a training and development phase will follow in June, with the team's first matches planned for August.
The news that the Bayern Munich has entered the esports space via its basketball division, and not through soccer video games, is surprising given the path trodden by European contemporaries Paris Saint-German and Manchester City.
The news comes after the new NBA 2K League esports competition announced that the Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch has secured media rights to its inaugural edition, which is due to take place from 1st May. The league is being run by the National Basketball Association (NBA) and 2K Games, and will feature esports offshoots from 17 NBA franchises.
"Within no time, our marketing and partnerships division, together with very engaged partners, set up an exciting test project to gather first experiences in the rapidly growing space of esports," said Andreas Burkert, head of media and communications at Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich were recently crowned Bundesliga champions and are 22 points clear of second-placed FC Schalke 04. Bayern host La Liga giants Real Madrid in the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final on Wednesday.