Professional basketball player LaMelo Ball is entering the world of esports. Late last month, Ball announced he would be launching his own video game brand in conjunction with the technology firm One Up. This organization will be known as MB1 Gaming.
“Instead of backing an esports team, I’d rather start my own eventually and in order to do that I needed to build an esports brand and start building community, which is why I partnered with One Up,” Ball said in an email to Forbes. “This collaboration will be the first step to discovering the top gamers to join my team in the near future.”
To celebrate the launch of the company, MB1 has teamed up with Puma and One Up to sponsor a free-to-enter NBA 2K tournament that will begin on February 5th. The tournament’s finalists will advance to the next round where they will compete for the lion’s share of the event’s $25,000 prize pool. This tournament will take place in Cleveland, Ohio during the weekend leading up to the NBA All-Star Game, which is scheduled for February 20th. All qualifying finalists will receive complimentary airfare, hotel expenses, and a pair of LaMelo-branded Puma MB.01 shoes.
LaMelo Ball is a 20-year-old basketball player from California that was drafted into the NBA in 2020. Last year, Ball was named the 2020-2021 NBA Rookie of the Year.