The NBA 2K League formally announced the structure it will use for the upcoming 2018 season. The season will begin in May and will last until August, a total of 17 weeks. The regular season will last 15 weeks. Within those 15 weeks, teams will play 12 weeks of matchups and three weeks of tournaments. The remaining two weeks will include the playoffs as well as the NBA 2K League Finals.
Matchups will occur on a weekly basis on Fridays and Saturdays with “staggered game windows” in order to cater to viewers around the world.
The prize pool across the tournaments and playoffs will add up to $1 million. The “Tip-Off Tournament” will put teams into four different groups competing over five days. The top two teams from each group will advance to the single elimination playoff rounds. The “Tip-Off Tournament” will have a prize pool of $100,000. The following two single elimination tournaments will feature prize pools of $150,000 each. The final tournament also has more on the line, as it will award a playoff spot to the winner. The playoff prize pool will see the bulk of the $1 million prize pool. $600,000 will be distributed during the playoffs.
The playoffs will start in August and will last two weeks. The top seven teams based on records in the regular season will qualify for the playoffs as well as the winner for the final tournament. In the case that the final tournament winner has one of the league’s top eight records, then the top eight teams will advance to the playoffs. The quarterfinals will begin with single-elimination play and the semifinals as well as the finals will be a best-of-three.
Keep your eyes peeled for the NBA 2K League to tip-off on May 1st, 2018! You won’t want to miss the first time one of the big four (NBA, NHL, MLB, NFL) sports leagues has directly invested into an esports league!
The 17 Teams Are:
- Boston Celtics
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Dallas Mavericks
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Indiana Pacers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Miami Heat
- Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Portland Trail Blazers
- Sacramento Kings
- Toronto Raptors
- Utah Jazz
- Washington Wizards
The league will draft teams of five players to compete in a five-month season, which will mirror the NBA with a regular season, bracketed playoffs and a final championship match to wrap it all up. Players will create their own avatars for competition, so no one will be using avatars of the recognizable basketball stars that appear in NBA 2K, like LeBron James or Kyrie Irving.
The NBA is the first pro sports league to co-own an esports organization in the United States. In Europe, several soccer leagues have signed on to participate in a FIFA esports league. Earlier this year, ESPN partnered with EA for broadcasting rights of these FIFA matches. FIFA has also been chosen as one of the esports games to appear as a medal event in the 2022 Asian Games.
NBA Playgrounds is a new arcade basketball game where you see sweet dunks in the spiritual style of over-the-top basketball games of eras past like NBA Jam and NBA Street.
NBA has made a deal with Chicago-based Stats to use its SportVu video-based software to record and break down every last movement every player makes in every NBA game.
All 29 NBA arenas have been outfitted with six software-laden cameras that capture just how often the Clippers score when a player passes the ball within five feet of the basket (89 percent) and just how often the Spurs’ Top player scores when he gets the ball (24 percent). Those sports-nerd stats are a tiny sample of what the National Basketball Association has in store for fans for the approaching season as the league looks to gear up its content marketing with Big Data. Basketball stats like points and turnovers are about to become old news. For the first time, all 29 of the NBA’s arenas will have software-packed cameras that will record players’ every move, mapping 25 images per second. Chicago-based Stats, which is behind the video-based system dubbed SportVu, tested its platform with individual teams in the past few years before striking a cross-league deal with the NBA. Now Big Data will be employed during games shown on cable’s NBA TV, as well as in NBA.com’s postgame analysis stories and infographics. The league’s Facebook and Twitter accounts will constantly promote consumer engagement around the data as well.
All that Big Data, of course, leads to big sponsorship possibilities and the information can be used in a variety of ways. The software has already been used by some soccer teams in Europe and a few Major League Baseball teams, such as the San Francisco Giants,, but the NBA is going league-wide with it and bringing it to a whole new level. Baseball stats took a new turn when teams began adding statisticians.