There has always been a debate that e-sports and physical sports were very different. In some cases, opinions differed that online gaming shouldn't even be considered professional. However, the genre has made great strides with championship leagues and professional broadcasting through sports channels. Even with the Microsoft-owned Minecraft, communities have developed their own brand of 'unofficial' e-sports.
But who would have thought that the sandbox phenomenon would pair up with a sports team? Jaws dropped when the Dallas Mavericks team owner, Mark Cuban, announced a collaboration with Mineplex to create a project that sports fans and video gamers will both enjoy.
What is Mineplex? Mineplex is a hub server based in Minecraft. Its already popular online community grew exponentially since the Youtube persona Captain Sparklez began supporting it. With servers on both EU and US, it hosts a variety of minigames and even has its own Mineplex Competitive League for competitive players.
The Dallas Maverick's world, or "Mavs World," will feature a fully immersive re-creation of the American Airlines Stadium. Competitive players will be able to join in on contests and a basketball mini-game free of charge. More passive players will also be able to freely tour the virtual stadium and spectate the events.
Mark Cuban has always been interested in bringing technology and sports together, and what better way than a video game that his own son enjoys playing. According to the news post on the team website, the partnership will be able to reach millions of players every month.
“The Dallas Mavericks have always been big supporters of education in our community, but now we can truly be a part of it on a global scale. Minecraft is not just a game, it’s a way for kids (and adults) to build, explore and learn the fundamentals of computer science.”
The virtual world is expected to be releasing exclusively on Mineplex later in this summer.