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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.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.