Over a year in the making, the highly-anticipated NBA 2K League is finally coming to fruition. A joint collaboration between Take-Two Interactive and the NBA itself, based in New York City, it’s the first sports to esports league of its kind and stature.
After announcing its initial plans to launch back in February of last year, we’ve seen a ton of movement from the league curators that has helped to set the stage for the NBA’s digital partner in crime to thrive and gain ample media attention. With a nearly 200 game season ahead of us in an unexampled league that is a first of its kind, we’ve drafted a guideline to help follow the action and better understand the teams involved, including which commercial partners they’ve signed.
The NBA 2K League will be streamed on Twitch, after the two signed a multi-year partnership.
The 2K League itself has signed partnerships with HyperX (Official Headset Partner) and Scuf Gaming (Official Controller Partner).
In May 2017, it was announced that 17 of 30 NBA teams would participate in the 2K League’s inaugural season. After a combine that shaved 72,000 participants down to just 102 draftees our teams and players are ready to step onto the virtual court. The teams, their players and owners, and announced partners are as follows:
Fusing Philadelphia’s iconic Liberty Bell and the 76ers’ signature branding, the 76ers GC is set to jump start the 2K League as one of the maiden squads. The players will be practicing in comfort on some sleek red, blue and black premium gaming chairs custom fashioned as part of an official gaming chair agreement with the Raynor Group.
Partners: Raynor Group
|Mihad ‘I F E A S T’ Feratovic||PF||New York|
|Antonio ‘Newdidni33’ Newman||SG||Illinois|
|Ethan ‘Radiant’ White||PG||Michigan|
|Alexander ‘Steez’ Bernstein||SF||California|
|Tilton ‘xTFr3sHxX’ Curry||C||Georgia|
|Rashann ‘ZDS’ Petty||PG||Indiana|
Welcoming aboard a new team into Portland, Oregon, Blazer5 Gaming will be the latest addition for the north-western city. Sporting a classic red, white and black palette mirroring the signature look of the Portland Trailblazers, the team is hoping to do some damage in the first tournament with their 6th overall draft pick, Dayne “OneWildWalnut” Downey.
Partners: Not yet announced
|Connor ‘Dat Boy Shotz’ Rodrigues||PF||California|
|Grant ‘GRANT MONSTER’ Barker||SG||California|
|Jomar ‘Jomar12 PR’ Varela-Escapa||C||Puerto Rico|
|Andron ‘Lavish_phenom’ Thomas||SF||New York|
|NIdal ‘Mama Im Dat Man’ Nasser||PG||California|
|Dayne ‘OneWildWalnut’ Downey||C||California|
Sticking with a more digital adaptation of a classic Milwaukee Buck’s logo, Bucks Gaming is paying homage to their roots – even sporting a rich green trim throughout their home court design! Bucks Gaming will be sporting premium gaming chairs as a result of their latest deal with Vertagear which solidifies them as the official gaming chair partner of the squad.
|Jovan ‘BigBaby2k’ Tenner||SF||Texas|
|Aaron ‘DRAKE GRIFFIN’ Rookwood||PG||New York|
|Matthew ‘KinG PeroXide’ Hofmann||PF||New York|
|Timothy ‘oLARRY’ Anselimo||C||Florida|
|Jacob ‘Procis1on’ Walls||SG||Illinois|
|Mark ‘XxSTL2LAxX’ Hampton Jr.||SF||Missouri|
Cavs Legion GC
Inking a deal early on with Hot Pockets in December 2017 as founding partners, Cavs Legion GC will exhibit the Hot Pockets’ crest on their virtual jerseys during the inaugural season. Dan Gilbert would go on to broaden his esports resume and love for all things Cleveland by assuming a partnership deal under his Quicken Loans subsidiary, Rocket Mortgage, with Cavs Legion GC. Gilbert’s deep ties with professional esports organisation 100 Thieves and the Cleveland Cavaliers accentuates this cooperative effort in our opinion.
Partners: Rocket Mortgage, Hot Pockets
|Macrus ‘Godddof2k’ Glenn||SF||Ohio|
|Brandon ‘Hood is Glitchy’ Caicedo||PG||Florida|
|Brandon ‘iBall x ToXsiK’ Raudenbush||SG||Florida|
|Christopher ‘SavageDoWerk’ Tracey||PG||New York|
|Gerald ‘Sick x 973’ Knapp||C||New Jersey|
|Christopher ‘TURNUPDEFENSE’ Anderson||PF||Nevada|
Celtics Crossover Gaming
“If there’s one thing that Splyce and the Celtics have in common it’s knowing how to win” said CEO and co-founder of Splyce, Marty Strenczewilk in a press release outlining the esports organisation’s partnership with CLTX Gaming. The Boston-based squad nabbed Albano ‘oFAB’ Thomallari with their 2nd overall draft pick, an addition sure to bolster the team’s lineup as a sublime all-around player.
|Devon ‘ARS0NAL x’ Peek||C||Maryland|
|Alex ‘Fusion’ Snowden||SG||Washington|
|Ahmed ‘Melo East’ Kasana||SF||New York|
|Albano ‘oFAB’ Thomallari||PG||Missouri|
|Mhabhusah ‘PalmOilPlease’ Koffa||PG||Maryland|
|Thomas ‘Speedbrook’ Genaj||PF||Canada|
Kicking off the debut season alongside the Memphis Grizzlies’ Grizz Gaming is America’s Navy as the 2K squad’s presenting partner. It may sound unconventional at first, but in a press statement from Grizz Gaming, the organisation believes the two share “mutual priorities of competition, teamwork, and modern technology” that will help tell the story of America’s Navy for younger generations to come. Additionally, while the 2K League announced its official partnership with esports gaming technology manufacturer HyperX, Grizz Gaming detailed they would be one of a few squads partnering with the company on a team level, as well.
Partners: HyperX, the American Navy
|Mehyar ‘AuthenticAfrican’ Ahmed-Hassan||C||Canada|
|Troy ‘ayeTHREAT’ Minott II||SG||Florida|
|Daniel ‘DDouble2K’ Davis||SF||Maryland|
|Bono ‘PHENOM vv’ Nikolic||PF||Illinois|
|Antonio ‘UniversalPhenom’ Saldivar||SF||Arizona|
|Larell ‘Winner_Stayz_On’ Mitchell||PG||Virginia|
Heat Check Gaming
Giving a nod to a basketball reference when a player is on a hot shooting streak, Heat Check Gaming has got its branding down right as the Miami Heat’s esports alteration gets ready to hit the court today in the 2K League’s first tournament. Heat Check Gaming is moving into their inaugural season sporting fresh partnership deals with esports club, Misfits and Miami-based computer technology company Alienware. Between the seasoned esports advising from Misfits and premiere hardware offered by Alienware, it’s safe to say the Miami esports troop has some strong and suitable backers as the 2K League commences.
Partners: Misfits, Alienware, Vertagear
|Juan ‘Hotshot’ Gonzalez||C||Florida|
|Rahmel ‘HyPeR iS Pro’ Wilkins||SG||New York|
|Jalen ‘Jalen03303’ Jones||SG||Louisiana|
|Basil ‘l 24k Dropoff l’ Rose||PF||Canada|
|Stanley ‘ MaJes7ic’ Lebron||PG||New York|
|Carlos ‘sharpshooterlos’ Zayas-Diaz||SF||Pennsylvania|
There’s a few things to note regarding Utah’s newest sport franchise Jazz Gaming: firstly, the team scored “point guard extraordinaire” Shaka “Yeah I Compete” Browne with their 3rd overall draft pick. Besides sashaying over 12 years of experience across many NBA 2K games, Browne gathered some notice as he transitioned from Uber driver to professional 2K League player. Players aside, the organisation caught some press attention after closing a deal with Utah-based Spacestation Gaming – working on co-developing an esports apparel collection.
Partners: Spacestation Gaming, HyperX
|DeMar ‘Deedz’ Butler||PF||Virginia|
|Jashion ‘l 24k JSmoove l’ Scott||SF||Texas|
|Malik ‘MrSlaughter01’ Leisinger||C||Ohio|
|Michael ‘Stambreezy’ Stam||PF||North Carolina|
|Delano ‘Tifeworld’ Allsup Jr.||SG||Massachusetts|
|Shaka ‘Yeah I Compete’ Browne||PG||New York|
Kings Guard Gaming
Who better than Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal to be named the General Manager of Kings Guard Gaming for their debut season? The self-made entrepreneur has an eye for spotting great business ventures and it’s not his first stab at esports either – Shaq invested significantly into the Overwatch League’s San Francisco Shock in September of last year. Alongside this (literal) heavy-hitter, Kings Guard Gaming fastened a couple more strategic partnerships with esports betting platform, Unikrn and Playwire ahead of the 2K League launch.
Partners: Unikrn, Playwire
|Cole ‘ColeWorld2K’ Motta||SG||Illinois|
|Christian ‘cowboyxcollazo’ Collazo||SF||Texas|
|Mitchell ‘Mootyy’ Franklin||PF||Virginia|
|Shane ‘Safiya4ya’ Farrar||SG||Virginia|
|Eric ‘Timelycook’ Donald||PG||Ohio|
|Jhade ‘worthingcolt’ Black||C||Texas|
Alongside the infamous New York Knicks brand comes Knicks Gaming; parading a logo that closely resembles that of the classic Knicks brand with an edgy ‘KNX’ on top to refashion the squad for their esports adaptation. Knicks Gaming scored a sweet partnership agreement with none other than Turtle Beach in April that will see players using high-performance headsets during their games and practices.
Partners: Turtle Beach
|Dayvon ‘G O O F Y 7 5 7’ Curry||PF||Texas|
|Adam ‘iamadamthe1st’ Kudeimati||PG||New Jersey|
|Idris ‘Idrisdagoat6’ Richardson||C||South Carolina|
|Nate ‘NateKahl’ Kahl||SF||Wisconsin|
|Marc ‘xKPMR’ Rodriguez||PF||New York|
|Eric ‘YEYNotGaming’ Ward||SG||Indiana|
The Orlando Magic unveiled Magic Gaming as their NBA 2K counterpart with a squad that is surely ready to shake things up leading up to the debut event. Signing Florida-native Christopher “KontruL” Cantrell – a point guard with a regarded shot – as their initial draft pick.
Partners: Not yet announced
|Cameron ‘KingCamRoyalty’ Ford||PF||Ohio|
|Christopher ‘KontruL’ Cantrell||PG||Florida|
|Jorge ‘marley213s’ Renteria||C||Arizona|
|Brian ‘NachoTraynor’ Traynor||SG||Ohio|
|Bilal ‘SUPREME PULLER’ Almashni||SF||Illinois|
|Emmanuel ‘UCMANNY’ Cruz||PF||New York|
Underneath the Dallas Mavericks organisation spawns Mavs Gaming, the latest asset to the Dallas sport franchise. Mavs Gaming earned some street cred when they picked up Artreyo ‘Dimez’ Boyd, otherwise referred to as the “LeBron James of NBA 2K” with their 1st overall draft pick. The caliber of skill and recognition Dimez brings to the young organisation is likely to volley them to the forefront of the 2K League in more ways than one. Mavs Gaming was also one of the few teams that came to a partnership deal with HyperX, who is sponsoring the 2K League in its entirety, but also on a team level.
|Waseem ‘BallLikeSeem’ Talbert||SG||Pennsylvania|
|Ryan ‘Dayfri’ Conger||PF||Texas|
|Ryan ‘Devillon’ de Villon||SF||Canada|
|Artreyo ‘Dimez’ Boyd||PG||Ohio|
|Harry ‘HazzaUK2K’ Hurst||C||United Kingdom|
|Jannis ‘JLB’ Neumann||C||Germany|
Indiana is one of the 17 cities boasting their own 2K League teams with Pacers Gaming stepping into the debut NBA 2K circuit. Featuring a “modernized Pacers Panther” in their logo unique to the franchise, the team looks to further bridge the connection between professional sports organisations and esports.
Partners: Not yet announced
|George ‘FrostytheTruth’ Polk||PF||California|
|Tucker ‘JordanLocksUp’ Henry||C||Washington|
|Nicolas ‘Swizurk’ Grech||SG||California|
|Samuel ‘The Playa’ Beniaminian||SF||New York|
|Jamie ‘vGooner’ Bull||PG||United Kingdom|
|Bryant ‘WoLF’ Colon||SF||New York|
From the “Motor City” itself and under the illustrious Piston’s brand is the Pistons GT. Securing Ramo “Lets Get It Ramo” Radoncic with the 5th overall draft pick the team is looking sharp ahead of their debut where they will be the inaugural game of the Tip-Off event. The logo is designed to be “representative of the toughness, attitude and hardcore spirit of the region and its basketball history.” Pistons GT will also sport their own HyperX partnership alongside several 2K League teams.
Partners: Not yet announced
|Kris ‘iiNsaniTTy’ Dellarciprete||SF||Pennsylvania|
|Fred ‘Im So Far Ahead’ Mendoza||PG||Virginia|
|Rochell ‘ixsplashkingxi’ Woods||SG||Tennessee|
|Joseph ‘JosephTheTruth’ Marrero||C||New York|
|Ramo ‘Lets Get It Ramo’ Radoncic||PF||New York|
|Matt ‘NeNe’ Rux||C||Illinois|
Raptors Uprising GC
Pitted with the 11th overall draft pick, Raptors Uprising is representing the northern city of Toronto, Canada. Recently penning a joint venture deal with Toronto/Los Angeles-based WorldGaming, the union is aiming at bringing 2K tournaments to other Canadian players to sharpen their skills as future potential 2K League players.
|Trevion ‘All Hail Trey’ Hendrix||SF||Arkansas|
|Christopher ‘Detoxys’ Doyle||PF||New Hampshire|
|Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Hailey||PG||Tennessee|
|Seanquai ‘KingQuai614’ Harris||C||Minnesota|
|Yusuf ‘Kobeyusuf’ Abdulla||C||Canada|
|Joshua ‘TsJosh’ McKenna||SG||Georgia|
Warriors Gaming Squad
Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, the Warriors Gaming Squad is set to participate in the 2K League’s inaugural season. Picking up Illinois hopeful, Trong “Shawn_Win” Ngueyn and shooting guard Alex “Bsmoove” with the 17th and 18th overall draft picks – the squad is looking ready to get things underway at the Tip-Off tournament.
Partners: Not yet announced
|Alex ‘Bsmoove’ Reese||SG||Oregon|
|Wallace ‘EatSleepHoop15’ Williams III||PG||Minnesota|
|Jordan ‘LeVert’ Gates||PF||Massachusetts|
|Cody ‘Promeister’ Hart||PG||New Jersey|
|Trong ‘Shawn_Win’ Nguyen||SF||Illinois|
|Zavier ‘Type’ Vescovi||C||Indiana|
Wizards District Gaming
Alongside Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the ownership group behind many of D.C.’s leading sports franchises such as the Washington Wizards, Capitols and now, Wizards District Gaming are preparing to debut its newest addition into the esports-sphere. The metropolitan esports squad just inked a deal with leading greater Washington D.C. regional grocery chain Giant Food, that gathered some notable regard. Giant Food will be highlighted as a sponsor throughout the season appearing across various in-game assets. The indentations in the logo resembling the Washington Monument pay tribute to a prominent landmark of the DC skyline and were designed as a welcoming into the Monumental Sports & Entertainment family.
Partners: Giant Food
|Evan ‘Doom’ Hinsch||SG||Washington|
|Johnathon ‘Fresh Prince JT’ Fields||PG||Illinois|
|Jin ‘Jinsanity’ Choe||SF||Maryland|
|Maurice ‘ReeseDaGod23’ Delaney||SG||Illinois|
|Austin ‘Shump’ Painter||PF||Virginia|
|Isaac ‘xGREATxGILLY13’ Gilton||C||Oklahoma|
You can follow the action live throughout the season through Twitch’s 2K League channel thanks to a multiyear deal between the streaming-tech giant and NBA. Pistons GT will square up first against Bucks Gaming in the 2K League’s season opener.