NBA 2K League Overview
- The NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world.
- This is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.
- Brendan Donohue, Managing Director of the NBA 2K League, oversees all league operations.
- Four organizations have joined the NBA 2K League for the 2019 season: affiliates of the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves (Hawks Talon GC, NetsGC, Lakers Gaming and T-Wolves Gaming, respectively).
- The 21 NBA 2K League teams are: 76ers GC, Blazer5 Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Grizz Gaming, Hawks Talon GC, Heat Check Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Magic Gaming, Mavs Gaming, Nets GC, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, T-Wolves Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad, and Wizards District Gaming.
- The first stage of qualifying for the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft began Friday, November 2 at 12 p.m. ET and ran through Monday, November 26 at 6 p.m. ET.
- To measure commitment and skill, each player was required to win 100 games in NBA 2K19’s Pro-Am mode or at the Jordan Rec Center, and win at least 50 percent of their games, in order to advance in the process.
- Each participant had to complete an online application by Nov. 26. The online application was available on NBA2KLeague.com in November.
- The NBA 2K League Qualifier was open to anyone around the world who has a copy of NBA 2K19 (PlayStation 4 or Xbox One), an internet connection, is in the High School class of 2018, and 18 or older by the time Qualifier starts.
- The NBA 2K League Combine, the second stage of qualifying for the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft, began on Saturday, December 8 and will run through Friday, December 28 for players who successfully completed the Qualifier in November.
- Combine games are in a 5-on-5 format with each participant competing with, and against, nine other qualifiers in full games.
- Players from the Americas and Europe are required complete a minimum of 40 games at one position and players from every other region need to complete a minimum of 30 games at one position, all during pre-set time windows.
- The inaugural season of the NBA 2K League culminated with the first-ever NBA 2K League Finals on Saturday, August 25, 2018.
- Knicks Gaming defeated Heat Check Gaming 2-0 to become the first-ever NBA 2K League Champions.
- Eight teams made the playoffs: Blazer5 Gaming, 76ers GC, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, Cavs Legion GC, Heat Check Gaming, Wizards District Gaming, and the winner of THE TICKET tournament: Knicks Gaming.
- 17 NBA teams participated in the inaugural season, which tipped off on May 1, 2018.
- Teams compete in 5 v 5 gameplay using unique characters (not existing NBA players).
- The season ran for 17 weeks, beginning in May and ending in August: 12 weeks of weekly matchups, three weeks of in-season tournaments (May 1-5; June 8-9; July 12-14) and two weeks of playoffs.
- Teams played at least one game per week during the weekly matchups (14 total); games consist of four, six-minute quarters.
- Teams lived in their home markets during the season and competed in league play each week at the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in New York City.
- All NBA 2K League games and tournaments were streamed on Twitch (tv/nba2kleague).
- The NBA 2K League and the 21 teams have more than 1.8 million combined followers on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- NBA 2K League content has generated more than 55.2 million video views across all social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Twitch and YouTube).
- In season one, the 17 NBA 2K League teams formed more than 90 corporate and marketing partnerships
About NBA 2K
- NBA 2K is currently the highest-rated and best-selling sports title of the current console generation among U.S. sports leagues.
- NBA 2K18 sold approximately ten million copies worldwide and is the best-selling edition in franchise history.
- In 2017, NBA 2K18 was the top-selling sports video game in the U.S. and second best-selling overall (behind FIFA); 1.6 million daily active users; 5 million monthly.
- The global audience for esports is expected to reach 557 million by 2021, including 250 million esports enthusiasts and 307 million occasional viewers (Source: Newzoo, 2018)
- A number of NBA teams, owners and former players are already looking to the future of the esports industry, investing in esports franchises/holding companies.