Frequently Asked Questions - NBA 2K League

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What is the NBA 2K League?

The NBA 2K League is a professional competitive gaming league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two
Interactive Software, Inc. Bringing together the world’s best basketball gamers, this marks the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.

What is Take-Two?

Take-Two is a leading developer, publisher and marketer of interactive entertainment for consumers around the globe. It is the parent company of 2K Sports, which publishes the popular NBA 2K video game franchise.

When is the second season?

The second season will tip off in the Spring of 2019. Exact timing will be announced soon.

How many teams are participating?

The NBA 2K League consists of 21 teams, all operated by NBA franchises:

Blazer5 Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Grizz Gaming, Hawks Talon GC, Heat Check Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Magic Gaming, Mavs Gaming, NetsGC, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, 76ers GC, T-Wolves Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad and Wizards District Gaming.

How are games played?

Players will compete as unique characters (not as existing NBA players) in 5-on-5 gameplay. No artificial intelligence will be used; playing ability is strictly determined by skill.

Where will games be played?

League play will take place in our NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in NYC.

Will the games be broadcast?

Twitch, the world’s leading social video service and community for gamers, will live stream all NBA 2K League games at twitch.tv/nba2kleague. After each live broadcast, games will be available to view on demand.

What is the structure of the season?

The season will run from Spring to Summer 2019, and like the inaugural season, it will combine the best of esports and the NBA with a blend of weekly matchups and tournaments that lead the NBA 2K League Playoffs and NBA 2K League Finals.

What is the playoff format?

Playoff seeding will be determined by regular-season standings. Eight teams will make the playoffs: the seven teams with the best records and the winner of the final tournament. If the tournament winner has a top-eight record, the top eight teams will make the playoffs. The quarterfinals will be single-elimination play, followed by best-of-three series for the semifinals and NBA 2K League Finals. (Click here for more on the schedule.)

Is there prize money?

During the season, teams will compete for $1 million in prize money across the three tournaments and playoffs.

How many players per team?

To allow for roster flexibility, each team will be composed of six players.

How did the teams fill their rosters?

All 17 original teams protected two players on their roster prior to the expansion draft in September 2018. As part of the expansion draft, the four expansion teams (Hawks Talon GC, NetsGC, Lakers Gaming and T-Wolves Gaming) selected two players each from the non-protected player pool.  Only one player from each of the original 17 teams could be selected in the expansion draft.

After the expansion draft, the original 17 teams had the opportunity to retain up to two additional players from their year one roster who were not selected in the expansion draft by forfeiting draft picks in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft. Teams were also allowed up to two trades during a designated trade period. Only players and draft picks could be traded and all trades were required to have a 1:1 ratio (i.e., a player or a 2019 draft pick).

All players who were not protected or selected in the expansion draft were added to the draft-eligible pool for the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft after successfully completing the NBA 2K League Combine requirements. All 21 teams will complete their rosters at the Draft.

How was the pool of eligible players determined?

The pool of draft-eligible players consists of new players who were selected by the league following a two-month tryout process, players from the league’s APAC Invitational that took place in Hong Kong, and unretained players from the inaugural season who successfully completed Combine requirements.

Is there an age requirement for the players?

Each player had to be 18 as of Nov. 2, 2018, and must have graduated from high school (or, if the player did not graduate, the class with which the player would have graduated must have graduated).

What will the experience be like for the players?

All players will be paid a guaranteed, competitive salary, and they will have benefits as well as housing. Players will live in their respective team’s market during the season for training.

Who oversees the NBA 2K League?

Brendan Donohue, a sports industry veteran with more than two decades of experience in team and league operations, is the Managing Director of the NBA 2K League. Donohue, who joined the NBA in 2009, previously served as NBA Senior Vice President, Team Marketing and Business Operations (TMBO).

Where is more information available about the NBA 2K League?

Follow NBA 2K League on Twitter (@NBA2KLeague) and Instagram (@NBA2KLeague).