Current NBA rookie of the year and easily the best Ball brother in the league, LaMelo Ball, has officially entered the Esports space.
Tuesday (Jan.25), LaMelo Ball and One Up, an Esports technology company, officially announced a new partnership to help launch his Esports brand MB1 Gaming. Per a press announcement, MB1 Gaming will expand Ball’s connection with his fans with gaming tournaments, original content, and merchandise.
But that’s not all. MB1 Gaming will also “create a new pathway for gamers to monetize their gaming skills or become entrepreneurs,” taking a page out of the Ball family playbook. Also, Ball will be throwing his first NBA 2K Invitational presented by PUMA, with registration to take part in the tourney beginning today. Virtual tip-off of the invitational starts February 5th, 2022. The top 4 finalists will compete in Cleveland during NBA All-Star Weekend on February 18, 2022, to win $25K.
There will also be a One Up app launching on January 29 that will serve as a one-stop for all original content and where fans can tune in and catch all of the NBA 2K Invitational and future tournaments. The app also uses “first-of-its-kind Esports software” that will allow “anyone to create, market and monetize their own personalized gaming brand and community centered around esports tournament competition in literally minutes.”
Speaking on his new Esports Brand, Ball said, “When I am not playing and focusing on basketball, I’m gaming. This was a way to extend my brand to new fans and empower a next generation of esports athletes to compete and monetize their skills,” said Ball. “MB1 will be the destination for the gamer who wants to compete and be a part of my gaming community.”
One Up CEO Brandon Pitts added, “We are excited to partner with stars like LaMelo in the creation of their own esports brands and communities through One Up’s turn-key technology platform. Many professional athletes are big gamers and are looking for unique ways to use their own gaming fandom to ignite and expand their fanbase. We are completely democratizing competitive esports and providing gamers with the infrastructure to either compete and monetize their skills or launch their own esports business.”
Professional athletes are some of the biggest gamers on the planet, so this move should surprise anyone. With names like Ben Simmons and others investing in Esports organizations, you can expect more big names from the NFL, NBA, NHL, FIFA, MLS, WNBA, and MLB to follow Ball and make a similar move.
Photo: MB1 Gaming