Frequently Asked Questions - NBA 2K League

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NBA 2K League?

The NBA 2K League is a professional competitive esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two

Interactive.  The NBA 2K League is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league and features the world’s best NBA 2K players.


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 do the 2023 competitions begin?

The competitions tip off March 8 with the NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN, the first of three tournaments in the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES, and will culminate with the NBA 2KL 5v5 Finals as on Saturday, Aug. 5.


Where are games being played?

NBA 2K League games will be played both remotely and in-person.  In-person NBA 2K League games will take place at the new District E Powered by Ticketmaster in downtown Washington, D.C.


How many NBA 2K League teams are participating in 2023?

Twenty-five NBA 2K League teams will compete this season.  They are:


76ers GC, Blazer5 Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Celtics Crossover Gaming, DUX Infinitos, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, Grizz Gaming, Hawks Talon GC, Heat Check Gaming, Hornets Venom GT, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Magic Gaming, Mavs Gaming, NBL Oz Gaming, Nets GC, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, T-Wolves Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad, and Wizards District Gaming.


Do non-NBA 2K League teams get to play?

Community teams from around the world will have the opportunity to participate alongside NBA 2K League teams for a share of the 3v3 tournament prize pool in the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES.  For more information on the new combined SLAM OPEN and SWITCH OPEN qualifying event, which tipped off Jan. 28 and went through Feb. 11, click here.


How are NBA 2K League games played?

Players will compete as unique custom characters (not as avatars of NBA players) in 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 gameplay.  No artificial intelligence will be used; playing ability is strictly determined by skill.


When will NBA 2K League games be played?

Remote games will tip off at 6 p.m. ET Tuesday – Friday.  In-person games in Washington, D.C. will tip off at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday – Saturday.


Are NBA 2K League games broadcast?

Games will be simulcast live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels, and will be available on Dash Radio, Loco in India, and SPS.


What is the 2023 competition structure?

For the first time, the NBA 2K League season will be separated into 3v3 and 5v5 halves.  The 3v3 portion of the season begins with the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN on March 8 and finishes with the NBA2KL 3v3 Finals on Saturday, May 13.  The 5v5 competition tips off on Wednesday, May 23 with THE TIPOFF Powered by AT&T and will culminate with the NBA2KL 5v5 Finals on Saturday, Aug. 5.


New for this season, the SLAM OPEN and SWITCH OPEN tournaments will use a double-elimination format.  NBA 2K League teams and community teams will qualify for the NBA 2K League 3v3 Playoffs based on their performance in the prior competitions throughout the season, with the STEAL OPEN remaining the last chance tournament for teams still trying to qualify for the 3v3 Playoffs.


THE BANNER CHAIN SERIES Powered by AT&T and the NBA 2K League 5v5 Playoffs will continue to feature only NBA 2K League teams.  All 25 teams will compete in THE TIPOFF and THE TURN.  The five top performing teams from each conference at the end of those tournaments will automatically qualify for the NBA 2K League 5v5 Playoffs.  The 15 remaining teams will compete in THE TICKET, with the winning teams from the two conferences earning the 11th and 12th spots in the Playoffs.


Is there prize money awarded in the NBA 2K League?

The NBA 2K League will award $2.5 million in cash prize money across THE BANNER CHAIN SERIES Powered by AT&T and Coinbase NBA 2KL 3v3 BLACKTOP SERIES tournaments, with the largest portion reserved for the NBA 2K League 5v5 Finals champions.


How many players are on each NBA 2K League team?

Each team will be composed of five players.


How did NBA 2K League teams fill their rosters?

Each of the 24 teams that competed in 2022 protected at least one and up to four players who were on its roster at the end of the 2022 season from selection in the expansion draft.  Teams that protected two players had the opportunity to retain two additional players after the expansion draft.  Teams that protected three players automatically forfeited a third-round pick in the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft and had the opportunity to retain one additional player after the expansion draft.


Players who were not protected made up the player pool for the expansion draft, during which expansion team NBL Oz Gaming selected three players.


All 25 teams then completed their five‑player rosters by making selections from the pool of eligible players during the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft in February.


How was the pool of eligible NBA 2K League players for the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft determined?

The 2023 draft pool consisted of unretained players, players who earned draft eligibility as part of the NBA 2K League Become a Pro Series, NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series, select competitors from the NBA 2K League’s APAC, Australian and European Invitationals, and high-performing players in the 2K community as determined by league and team officials.

Is there an age requirement for players in the NBA 2K League?

Players must be 18 years old, 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), in order to be eligible to play in the NBA 2K League


What will the experience be like for players in the NBA 2K League?

All NBA 2K League players will be paid a guaranteed, competitive salary and will receive benefits including housing.  Teams will either live in in the league’s central location of Washington, D.C. or their respective team’s market during the season for training.  The NBA 2K League will play a combination of remote and in-person games in Washington, D.C.


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 President 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?

For more information, fans can sign up to receive emails at and follow the NBA 2K League on Twitter (NBA2KLeague), Instagram (nba2kleague), Facebook (NBA 2K League), TikTok (nba2kleague), Twitch (NBA2KLeague) and YouTube (NBA 2K League).