The newest NBA 2K League franchise, the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, is about to become a bit more local for North American fans.
On Tuesday, the organization announced it is relocating to the state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Kentucky for competition during its second season.
The team will play, practice, and compete at the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge at The Cornerstone.
Gen.G is joining the newly formed 12-team Eastern Conference. Being relocated to Lexington, Kentucky, will bring them closer to their primary competition. The new location will also provide Gen.G players an “opportunity to interact with UK eSports players and students as the community continues to grow on campus.”
The organization is hoping to allow fans into the facility for live games this season if and when it is considered safe to do so. Several NBA 2K League teams are in the same position on that front.
Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G, said the following in a press release provided to NBA2KLeague.com:
“We’ve forged an incredible global relationship with the University of Kentucky, so it’s only natural for our 2K League team to train and compete on the campus of the nation’s winningest college basketball program,” Park said. “UK is a vibrant community with state-of-the-art facilities, and our players are honored to be the first pro esports team in-residence at a major university.”
Likewise, Heath Price, the Associate CIO at UK, released a quote sharing the institution’s happiness concerning this development in the partnership with Gen.G.
“We are proud of our basketball heritage, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Gen.G.’s NBA 2K League team to our campus,” Price said. “The team will play at the Cornerstone which has the best internet connectivity east of the Mississippi. They will have our full support.”
Gen.G, the first non-NBA-affiliated team in the 2K League, is looking to take the next step after a somewhat disappointing first season in the NBA 2K League. The squad finished 6-10 in its inaugural campaign, but hopes are high that the team can show noteworthy improvement in their second season.
They have retooled the roster, which is highlighted by the addition of former Warriors Gaming star Alex “Bsmoove” Reese, who was acquired in a trade for the No. 3 overall pick in this year’s draft.
Along with Reese, Gen.G also has veterans and former NBA 2K League champions Chris “TURNUPDEFENSE” Anderson, Mihad “FEAST” Feratovic and Jordan “JMoney” Martinez, and two rookies in Donald “BumpyDon” Newsome and Kennedy “Sawc” Tauala, Jr.
Lennon Ross coaches the team.
The hopes are that the Gen.G 2K League team can follow in the footsteps of the organization’s other successful eSports squads in Overwatch, League of Legends, and Fortnite.
Gen.G’s journey to improvement begins on May 19 when they compete in THE TIPOFF powered by AT&T. The tournament runs through May 22 and carries a prize pool of $160,000.
Brian Mazique is a life-long hoops junkie and a fan of the NBA 2K franchise since its inception in 1999. Professionally, he has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, and has covered sports and video games for the past 15 years for a variety of platforms, including Bleacher Report, Forbes, and Heavy.com. The views on this page are that of this writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA 2K League or its clubs.