British Basketball Federation confirms participation in first eFIBA Open

British Basketball Federation confirms participation in first eFIBA Open

19 January 2023

When it comes to esports in the UK, virtual versions of sports like football and Formula 1 have been rising in popularity over the past few years. In contrast, virtual basketball operated somewhat in the shadows. Until now, that is, because the British Basketball Federation, in collaboration with the National Esports Federation, has announced Great Britain’s participation in the first ever eFIBA Open, the International Basketball Federation’s (FIBA) official NBA 2K23 esports tournament that is taking place later this month.

Inaugural season

The fact alone that in just over a week time, the first edition of the eFIBA Open ever will be launching says enough about virtual basketball’s development in the UK and many other parts of the world so far. Adoption levels in our region are still far behind those of titles like FIFA and Street Fighter, but they might just start catching up this year. The Visual Concepts title NBA 2K23 has a considerable number of fans in our region already and the inaugural eFIBA Open Season 1 will soon place the game in the spotlights.

The first season of the eFIBA Open is organised by FIBA and operated by the ESL FACEIT Group (EFG), one of the world’s leading esports platforms and organisers of esports leagues. The event will see thirty National Federations across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europa and the Middle East face off against each other to decide who will be the first-ever Conference Champion. The Open will start with seven regional qualifying stages, with the European qualifiers set for Sunday, January 22nd. Great Britain start their journey to eFIBA success against Turkey with the goal of eventually reaching the European Regional Finals, which are taking place on Wednesday, January 25th.

“This is another great opportunity for Great Britain to be part of an emerging basketball genre.”  said a spokesperson for the British Basketball Federation, “We’re delighted to continue our partnership with the British Esports Federation, given its knowledge and experience in the field, and we’re sending all our support to Great Britain as they prepare to compete in the Regional Qualifiers later this month”.

Roster revealed

In the build-up to the eFIBA Open Season 1, the British Basketball Federation and the British Esports Federation recently revealed the player roster for the team that will be representing UK esports during the tournament. Great Britain will be captained by Harry “HazzaUK” Hurst from Knicks Gaming, and consists of Samual “SamThaRules” Adegun, Kieren “Kiesteel” Steel, Abdul “Jiinxy”, Kyan “KyBaands”, and Jemal “JaiiOnline” Grant.

“We’re proud to be a part of the eFIBA Open once again,” said Chester King, CEO at British Esports Federation, after the Great Britain team roster reveal, "The continued partnership with British Basketball exemplifies the synergy between esports and traditional sports, and we’re happy to team up with the British Basketball Federation to promote British talent on the international stage once again”.