NBA 2K League: Everything You Need To Know

The first esports league operated by a U.S. pro league debuts today. The NBA2K League features 17 teams -- all affiliated with NBA franchises. Each team has five players and a wildcard, who will compete in Take-Two Interactive's popular title.

How To Watch

Every one of the 199 regular season games will be live streamed on the league's Twitch channel.

The NBA and Twitch already partner on live streaming G League games. Amazon owns Twitch -- and they've proven they're hungry for live sports content.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said, "Twitch is a completely different experience than watching on TV, it’s information overload. But that’s how this young demographic is consuming the sport today.”

The Draft

Adam Silver led the NBA 2K Draft weeks ago from Madison Square Garden. Just like the NBA, the league used a ping-pong ball draft lottery to determine the official draft order.

"We view this in the same way as those other leagues as something that we’re going to develop over a very long time,” Silver said.

The Tech

On the eve of the historic first season opener, the league announced it would be supplying all its players with HyperX headsets.

The league's managing director Brendan Donohue said, “Communicating with teammates during play is vital for success and partnering with HyperX will allow our players to compete at their best.”

Dell's Alienware hardware will be used during live studio productions of league competitions.

In March, Dell announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art 8,000-square-foot Alienware training facility for Team Liquid, an esports team partially owned by Golden State Warriors owner Peter Gruber and Wizards owner Ted Leonsis.

A Real Sport?

Silver is adamant that the professional players drafted to the NBA 2K League be referred to as athletes:

I see them as athletes because I think it requires a unique combination of physical and mental skills to excel. And I think it’s not that different than in the NBA where of course you have to have incredible physical skills, but our very best players bring a certain mental focus and prowess to the court, as well.

Going Global

As soon as the NBA gets all 30 of its franchises into the esports league, they'll set their sights on global expansion.

“We’re going to have teams eventually from Team Beijing play Team Dehli play Team London against the Celtics and create truly global competition,” Deputy Commissioner Tatum said.

FC Bayern Munich is proof that esports and basketball is internationally viable. The soccer club just announced they'll be launching an NBA 2K Team of their own.

Further Coverage

Photos: Mike Stobe/Getty Images, NBA2K/Twitch

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