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.
- Brendan Donohue, Managing Director of the NBA 2K League, oversees all league operations.
League Structure and 2019 Season
- 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.
- The 2019 season began Tuesday, April 2 with THE TIPOFF powered by AT&T and concluded Saturday, Aug. 3 with the 2019 NBA 2K League Finals. All NBA 2K League games and tournaments are livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch (tv/nba2kleague) and YouTube (youtube.com/nba2kleague) channels. The 2019 Finals re-aired in China on Tencent.
- Teams compete in 5 vs. 5 gameplay using unique characters (not existing NBA players).
- Teams live in their home markets during the season and compete in league play each regular-season week at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York City.
- Weekly regular-season matchups took place on Wednesdays from 6-11 p.m. ET, Thursdays from 6-10 p.m. ET and Fridays from 6-11 p.m. ET.
- For the first time, during the 2019 season two NBA 2K League tournaments were held outside of New York City: THE TURN powered by AT&T at HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas and THE TICKET powered by AT&T at The Fortress at Full Sail University in Orlando.
- T-Wolves Gaming defeated 76ers GC 3-2 to win the 2019 NBA 2K League Finals.
- Eight teams made the 2019 NBA 2K League Playoffs: Blazer5 Gaming, Mavs Gaming, 76ersGC, T-Wolves Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Pacers Gaming, Celtics Crossover Gaming, and the winner of THE TICKET powered by AT&T: Warriors Gaming Squad.
2019 NBA 2K League Draft
- The 2019 NBA 2K League Draft took place Tuesday, March 6 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
- Jazz Gaming selected Spencer “Ria” Wyman of Shoreline, Washington, with the No. 1 overall pick.
- Chiquita “Chiquita” Evans was selected 56th overall by Warriors Gaming Squad, becoming the first woman drafted into the NBA 2K League.
- The 198 draft-eligible player pool consisted of 144 new players who were selected by the NBA 2K League after an extensive tryout process, six players from the league’s first APAC Invitational that took place in Hong Kong in February, and 48 unretained players from the inaugural season.
- 126 players competed in the 2019 season, including 52 rookies.
Tryout Process for 2020 Season
- The NBA 2K League Qualifier: From Oct. 22 – Nov. 10, players had to complete an online application and win 50 games in NBA 2K20’s Pro-Am mode or at The Rec, while winning at least 50 percent of their games.
- The NBA 2K League Combine: From Nov. 18 – Dec. 9 for players who completed Qualifier.
- After interviews with a league representative took place, conditional offers for the NBA 2K League Draft Pool were made to the top 150 players during the week of January 13.
- The NBA 2K League European Invitational, the league’s first-ever qualifying event in Europe, took place Friday, Dec. 13 – Saturday, Dec. 14 in London. The two-day event identified several elite players from Europe who were made eligible for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft.
- The NBA 2K League APAC Invitational took place Monday, Jan. 20 – Tuesday, Jan. 21 in Seoul. The two-day event identified several elite players from the APAC region who were made eligible for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft.
- For the first time this offseason, teams hosted Pro-Am tournaments in their local markets with draft eligibility among the prizes.
- 11 teams hosted Pro-Am tournaments in their local markets with two participants from each tournament awarded spots in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft pool.
2020 NBA 2K League Draft
- The 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera will be held Saturday, Feb. 22nd at 6:00 p.m. ET at Terminal 5 in New York City and livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
- Wizards District Gaming will have the first overall pick in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread, as determined by the NBA 2K League Draft Lottery that took place in October. Knicks Gaming will have the second overall pick, and Kings Guard Gaming will have the third overall pick.
- With the addition of the two expansion teams, Hornets Venom GT and Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, 138 players will compete in the 2020 NBA 2K League season.
- During the offseason, 70 players who competed in the 2019 season were retained, leaving 68 roster spots available.
- NBA 2K League content has generated more than 353 million video views across all NBA and NBA 2K League social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 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 2019 season, NBA 2K League partners included Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, Dell, Facebook, HyperX, New Era, Raynor Gaming, SCUF Gaming, Snickers, Stance, Tencent, Twitch and YouTube.
Chiquita and Tim “oLARRY” Anselimo (Cavs Legion GC) were both nominated for a new award at the 2019 ESPYs for “Best Esports Moment”; Chiquita was nominated for becoming the first woman to be drafted into the NBA 2K League, and oLARRY won for his inspirational return to the league following the tragic shooting in Jacksonville in August 2018.
About NBA 2K
- NBA 2K20’s launch month sales were the highest for any sports game in history, and the NBA 2K series is now the 6th largest video game franchise based on tracked full-game dollar sales.
- NBA 2K19 was the #1 selling sports game in the U.S. and the second-best-selling sports game globally with more than 1.7 million daily active users.
- The NBA2K Online Franchise represent the #1 PC sports online game in China with a registered userbase that exceeds 40 million players.
- 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.