NBA 2K LEAGUE – AT A GLANCE
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 and the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.
- The NBA 2K League tipped off its inaugural season in May 2018 with 17 teams, each affiliated with an NBA team. Since then the league has expanded to 23 teams, 22 of which are affiliated with NBA teams. The league completed its third season in August 2020.
- 2020 NBA 2K League Champion – Wizards District Gaming
- 2019 NBA 2K League Champion – T-Wolves Gaming
- 2018 NBA 2K League Champion – Knicks Gaming
- NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue oversees all league operations.
- The 23 NBA 2K League teams are: 76ers GC, Blazer5 Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, the 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, Nets GC, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, T-Wolves Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad, and Wizards District Gaming.
- Teams compete in 5 vs. 5 gameplay using unique characters (not existing NBA players).
- Teams live in their home markets during the season.
- In September 2019, Gen.G – the global esports organization connecting the best gamers in the U.S. and Asia – launched the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai as the 23rd NBA 2K League team and centerpiece of a long-term strategic relationship between the NBA 2K League and Gen.G to grow the NBA 2K League’s global player pool and fanbase.
Tryout Process for 2021 Season
- NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series: From October – early December, NBA 2K League teams hosted more than 30 NBA 2K21 Pro-Am tournaments on Sony PlayStation 4 or Microsoft Xbox One.
- In January, following the release of Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles, the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series continues with NBA 2K League teams hosting NBA 2K21 Pro-Am tournaments on Sony PlayStation 5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X.
- All players on the winning team from each team hosted tournament—on both current generation consoles and next generation consoles—will be made eligible for the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft.*
- NBA 2K League teams are also able to select one player not on the winning team of each tournament they host to receive a “Prospect Badge” and become Draft-eligible.*
- The NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series Showcase, a two-day, single-elimination tournament that featured winning teams from the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series’ current-generation tournaments, took place Dec. 14 – 15.
- From Dec. 13 – 14, Gen.G and the NBA 2K League collaborated to host the “NBA 2K League 2020 Gen.G Shanghai Invitational,” an online tournament featuring top Chinese 2K players.
- In January, the NBA 2K League hosted the second NBA 2K League European Invitational (Jan. 8 – 10) and third NBA 2K League APAC Invitational (Jan. 15 – 17), which featured top players from Europe and the broader Asia-Pacific region competing in high-intensity, online gameplay in front of NBA 2K League coaches and scouts.
- The NBA 2K League’s second Women in Gaming Development Camp will take place online from Jan. 27 – 29 and will feature top female players showcasing their skills as they compete alongside and against current NBA 2K League players.
- The NBA 2K League will award additional Draft eligibility to a select number of players, including players from the international qualifying events, participants in the Women in Gaming initiative, and high-performing players in the 2K community, as determined by league and team officials.*
- NBA 2K League Combine: In February, select players who are eligible for the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft will compete against one another in providing NBA 2K League teams with an unparalleled opportunity to evaluate players before the Draft as they compete in high intensity gameplay.
- The 2020 NBA 2K League regular season began May 5 and concluded August 28 with the 2020 NBA 2K League Finals delivered by DoorDash.
- Wizards District Gaming won the 2020 NBA 2K League Finals after defeating Warriors Gaming Squad 3-1 in the best-of-five series.
- The entire 2020 NBA 2K League season was played remotely with all 23 teams participating from their local markets.
- Games aired live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels, in addition to select games airing live on ESPN2, ESPN’s digital platforms, Sportsnet in Canada, and on delay on eGG Network in Southeast Asia and Loco in India. Dash Radio’s Nothin’ But Net channel also provided live game coverage.
- ESPN2 picked up a total of 29 NBA 2K League broadcasts throughout the 2020 season.
- The NBA 2K League implemented an innovative production model that allowed for a remote broadcast in all 23 team markets and NBA 2K League broadcasters to announce games in their homes from a virtual NBA 2K League Studio.
- Raptors Uprising GC won the first two in-season tournaments – THE TIPOFF and THE TURN powered by AT&T – becoming the first team in NBA 2K League history to win the first two tournaments of the season. Raptors Uprising GC went on to become the first team in NBA 2K League history to complete the regular season with an undefeated 16-0 record.
- Through the 2020 NBA 2K League season, 2K League broadcasts on Twitch were up 69% YoY in average unique viewers per stream, up 48% YoY in average minute audience per stream, and up 55% YoY in average minutes watched per stream as compared to the 2019 season.
- NBA 2K League content has generated more than 441 million video views across all NBA and NBA 2K League social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and YouTube).
- The NBA 2K League and its teams have more than 2 million combined followers on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
- During the 2020 season, NBA 2K League partners included Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, Dash Radio, DoorDash, eGG Network, ESPN, Facebook, GameStop, HyperX, Jostens, Loco, Panera Bread, Raynor Gaming, SAP, SCUF Gaming, Snickers, Stance, Twitch and YouTube.
About NBA 2K
- The NBA 2K series has sold-in nearly 100 million units worldwide.
- NBA 2K17 remains the highest-rated sports game of the current console generation.
- NBA 2K19 has sold-in more than 12 million units.
- NBA 2K20 content has generated nearly 2.2 billion views on YouTube and more than 64 million hours watched on Twitch across hundreds of channels.
- NBA 2K Online in China remains the #1 PC online sports game in China with more than 49.5 million registered users.
- The global esports audience will reach 453.8 million this year and will generate revenues of $1.1 billion (+26.7% YoY; Source: Newzoo, 2019).
- 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
* Draft eligibility is contingent on passing a background check and satisfying all NBA 2K League eligibility requirements.