The FIBA Esports Open III started yesterday for African and Middle Eastern teams ©FIBA

The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Esports Open III has tipped off, with the NBA 2K21 tournament attracting a record 60 national teams.

Starting yesterday, the competition features six regional conferences, just like the second edition of the event.

The toal of 60 teams is an increase from 38 in the FIBA Esports Open II.

Six teams will compete in the South East Asia, Africa and Middle East conferences. 

Eight teams are in the North and Central America conference, with seven in the equivalent for South America.

Europe's conference features 28 teams.

The North and Central American and European conferences feature two divisions for the first time - current generation, played on PlayStation 4, and next generation, played on PlayStation 5. 

The competition is scheduled to run until May 9, having begun with group-stage games yesterday.

All matches will be available on FIBA's digital channels, with live content streamed on Facebook, Twitch and YouTube.

Remote casters will commentate on early matches through a partnership with commentary platform Spalk, with coverage of all playoff games to produced from FIBA's virtual studio in Latvia.

Argentina, Australia, the Ivory Coast, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States were all winners in their respective conferences during the Esports Open II, which took place in November and December last year.

Australia, Argentina, Italy, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia won their conferences in the inaugural competition in June and July 2020.