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 2020 Season
- The 2020 NBA 2K League regular season began Tuesday, May 5 with at least six weeks of remote gameplay.
- Games begin at 7 p.m. ET every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday with four distinct matchups each night.
- NBA 2K League teams are participating in regular-season gameplay from their local markets with matches airing live on ESPN’s platforms, Sportsnet (Canada), Twitch and YouTube.
- Over the course of the six weeks of remote gameplay, each team is scheduled to play at least eight matches that will count towards its regular-season record.
- Each match will be played in a best-of-three format where each series outcome will represent one regular-season win or loss.
- 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.
- The remainder of the 2020 season schedule and structure, including the dates of tournaments, rivalry matches and round-robin events, will be shared as information becomes available.
2020 NBA 2K League Draft
- The 2020 NBA 2K League Draft delivered by Panera Bread took place Saturday, Feb. 22 at Terminal 5 in New York City and was livestreamed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
- Wizards District Gaming selected John “JBM” Mascone of Irvington, NY with the No. 1 overall pick.
- With the addition of the two expansion teams – Hornets Venom GT and the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai – 138 players are competing 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.
- The 228 draft-eligible player pool consisted of 147 new players who were selected by the league through the NBA 2K League Combine, 21 players from the 11 team-hosted Pro-Am tournaments, five players from the league’s first European Invitational, five players from the league’s second Asia-Pacific (APAC) Invitational, and 50 unretained players from the 2019 season.
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 Jan. 13.
- The NBA 2K League European Invitational, the league’s first-ever qualifying event in Europe, took place Dec. 13 – 14 in London. The two-day event identified elite players from Europe who were made eligible for the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft.
- The second NBA 2K League APAC Invitational took place Jan. 20 – 21 in Seoul. The two-day event identified 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 participants from each tournament awarded spots in the 2020 NBA 2K League Draft pool.
- NBA 2K League content has generated more than 373 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).
- NBA 2K League partners include Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, ESPN, Facebook, GameStop, HyperX, Panera Bread, Raynor Gaming, SAP, SCUF Gaming, Snickers, Sportsnet, Stance, Twitch and YouTube.
- Chiquita Evans (then with Warriors Gaming Squad) 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
- The NBA 2K series has sold nearly 94 million units worldwide, including more than 7 million units each for the past seven editions.
- NBA 2K20 has sold more than 8 million copies worldwide, up slightly from last year’s edition during the same time period.
- NBA 2K20 content has generated more than 276 million views on YouTube and more than 8 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 48 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.