LaMelo Ball, the NBA Rookie of the Year and point guard for the Charlotte Hornets, is launching his own esports brand, MB1 Gaming, in collaboration with One Up, an esports technology firm that is modernizing and automating how esports tournaments and events are handled. The One Up OS platform is meant to provide esports entrepreneurs with the operating system and resources they’ll need to start and run their own successful esports enterprise and community. Ball will be able to not only increase his connection with his fans off the court with his new gaming endeavor with One Up, but also offer a new road for gamers to monetize their gaming skills or become entrepreneurs.
Ball plans to build his MB1 Gaming brand and business on his platform by holding free esports competitions, merchandise giveaways, and unique content. The NBA 2K Invitational presented by PUMA, which will take place on February 5, 2022, is already accepting registrations, with the top four finalists progressing to compete in Cleveland during the NBA All-Star festivities on February 18, 2022. Fans will compete for a share of the $25,000 prize pool, with the winner receiving $20,000. All finalists will get a pair of LaMelo’s signature PUMA MB.01 shoes. The candidates will be provided with flights and hotel accommodations courtesy of One Up. The competition is free to attend and open to anybody ages 18 and up on a first-come, first-served basis by signing up in the One Up app before February 2nd.
“When I am not playing and focusing on basketball, I’m gaming. This was a way to extend my brand to new fans and empower a next generation of esports athletes to compete and monetize their skills,” said Ball. “MB1 will be the destination for the gamer who wants to compete and be a part of my gaming community.”
When a gamer joins the One Up community within the app, they will not only be able to participate in the experiences created by celebrities like Lamelo, but they will also have access to behind-the-scenes content and live streaming events from their favorite celebrities. On Jan. 29, at the NBA 2K Invitational presented by PUMA, Ball will launch unique, original content on the One Up app discussing his passion for basketball and gaming.
One Up CEO Brandon Pitts added, “We are excited to partner with stars like LaMelo in the creation of their own esports brands and communities through One Up’s turn-key technology platform. Many professional athletes are big gamers and are looking for unique ways to use their own gaming fandom to ignite and expand their fanbase. We are completely democratizing competitive esports, and providing gamers with the infrastructure to either compete and monetize their skills or launch their own esports business.”
The new One Up OS app is a first-of-its-kind esports software as a service (SaaS) product that enables anyone to create, market and monetize their own personalized gaming brand and community centered around esports tournament competition in literally minutes.