Fiba sets esports

Jonas N. Panerio

THE International Basketball Federation (Fiba) has announced the staging of its very first international esports competition called the Fiba ESports Open 2020 on June 19 to 21 in Riga, Latvia.

The Philippines will be one of 17 teams that will be competing in Fiba’s first foray into the esports movement. The other countries participating are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Cyprus, Indonesia, Italy, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, New Zealand, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Each team will be made up of seven players—five on the court and two reserves. Games will be played remotely on NBA 2K using the Pro-AM mode. Full customization of player avatars, uniforms and arena designs are allowed.

The entire Fiba Esports Open 2020 series will be produced from the brand-new Fiba Esports Studio situated in Riga, Latvia, with a daily four-hour show featuring up to six games. Each game will be shown via live stream on FIBA’s Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels with live commentary in English.

“Fiba is extremely proud and excited to start its esports journey with the FIBA Esports Open 2020, a pilot project of exhibition games between national teams in collaboration with NBA 2K,” said Frank Leenders, Fiba media and marketing services director general, in a statement.

“The esports initiative was identified by the FIBA Central Board as important and consistent with the strategic objective to enlarge the FIBA Family. In these challenging times, we feel encouraged by the enthusiasm of some of our National Federations who are already active in this space and have been our charter partners during the last few months.”

“NBA 2K is honored to partner with Fiba in creating the Fiba Esports Open 2020,” added Jason Argent, senior vice president of basketball operations at 2K.

“Through these matches, we’re excited to be able to celebrate the global appeal of basketball.”