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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver at the NBA 2k league draft. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

The esports industry continues to tussle with creating viable paths for amateur gamers to turn pro, but the NBA 2k league seems to have come up with something that's working.

How it works: Anyone who owns the game has a legitimate shot at getting into the 2k league.

All you have to do is play in 2k's Pro-Am mode. Once players reach a certain number of wins they qualify for the league's combine where 2k officials evaluate their performance head to head against the competition. Play well in the combine and chances are you'll enter 2k's draft pool.

Why it matters: The league's blueprint for finding talent could eventually become the norm as new games emerge and expand around the industry.

  • "One of the things we do really well at the NBA is we have a funneling process. We wanted to take that and give our teams as solid a base as possible," Director of League Operations Daniel Tsay tells Axios.
  • 2k leans on the NBA to help with "the little things" like creating competition committees and designing infrastructure, Tsay said.

Between the lines: Esports' infrastructure hasn't been established because it's so young and teams are rarely tied to specific esports like the NBA 2k league teams are, esports consultant Rod Breslau notes.

  • "A draft in some leagues means breaking up already established good teams as more are added," Breslau tells Axios. "Fans typically don't want that."

The big picture: 2k's method of digging up talent is working. It might not be perfectly replicable for already-established leagues, but more fledgling esports with already built bases may certainly give it a try.

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.