Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. announces that, along with Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), it is establishing the eBASEBALL Pawapuro Pro League, a professional baseball esports league whose competition titles will consist of Konami baseball content.
This initiative came about owing to a shared desire between KONAMI and NPB to offer new ways to enjoy baseball through esports, as well as to grow the sport’s fan base.
The competition titles for eBASEBALL will be PlayStation®4 title "Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu Championship 2018," available on PS Store from Wednesday, July 25, and PlayStation®4 title "Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu 2018" (online update required).
In this new initiative, all 12 NPB teams, namely the six teams of the Central League and the six teams of the Pacific League, will have esports players registered to them, with the pennant race being played out by means of the above titles. The selection process for each team’s esports players is scheduled to begin in the near future. Further details will be released on the official website and elsewhere as they become available.
In addition, information including match schedules and results will be posted on the official website and also through general sports media outlet SPORTS BULL*. These two sources will also host livestreams of the esports player draft as well as all matches.
NPB Commissioner Atsushi Saito had the following to say:
"eBASEBALL, which we’re proud to be starting with Konami Digital Entertainment, will offer everyone new ways of enjoying and just in general connecting with baseball as well as other sports. In addition to appealing to fans of baseball, we hope to generate interest among those new to the sport as well."
Meanwhile, Hideki Hayakawa, Representative Director and President of KONAMI, had this to say about this initiative:
"Through our eBASEBALL initiative with NPB, we’ll work hard to promote and further broaden the ways to enjoy baseball, whether that’s for the esports players participating, the spectators cheering on their team in person, or the fans watching the livestreams."
KONAMI will continue to offer ever more consumers fun and exciting experiences through esports initiatives.
NPB Commissioner Atsushi SaitoKONAMI Representative Director & President Hideki Hayakawa
About KONAMI’s esports initiatives
Esports, a term that denotes games played as sporting competitions, is growing in popularity, primarily in the U.S. and Asia. The numbers for both spectators attending tournaments as well as broadcast audiences are on their way to rivaling those of established major sports. KONAMI has held World Championships for the Winning Eleven series and the “Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game" since 2001 and 2003, respectively. For the domestic market, in 2016 it launched the Japanese Championship for the Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu series. Through such initiatives, the company is working to further stimulate and expand the esports market.
About the Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu series
A flagship KONAMI IP, the Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu baseball game series has been enjoyed for over 20 years, going back to its birth as a console title in 1994. In 2014, KONAMI released mobile title "Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu," which features the player training mode known as Success Mode. Series entries have also gathered attention as esports competition titles; in 2017, an esports tournament played by means of the Jikkyou Pawafuru Puroyakyu series was held as part of the Culture Program of the National Sports Festival of Japan.
*About SPORTS BULL
SPORTS BULL is a general sports media outlet operated by Undo Tsushin Inc. (Representative Director and President: Kojiro Kurotobi). Founded on providing article content to affiliated newspaper companies and specialty media, it distributes approximately 700 pieces of free video content, such as sports highlights and original programming, on a daily basis. Going forward, it aims to expand article and video content and elevate the value of free sports media. Currently, it has over 60 medium and media affiliations, primarily with a leading national newspaper and sports newspaper web media (as of June 2018).
"PlayStation" is a registered trademark or trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.