Along with its Players Association and game developer 2K, the NBA has announced its first ever online game tournament, the “NBA 2K Players Tournament,” that will see real NBA players go head-to-head outside of the court. The tournament will also raise funds to support the fight against the coronavirus.
While the rest of the NBA season has been suspended due to the ongoing pandemic, it doesn’t mean that the show can’t go on. On Tuesday, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on its official website that it will work together with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and game developer 2K to hold the first ever “NBA 2K Players Tournament” in hopes to keep the global basketball community entertained.
Beginning on Friday (April 3), the virtual online tournament will see 16 different current NBA players—including top seeds Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks – compete head to head in a single-elimination “NBA 2K20” contest on Xbox One. Besides getting the bragging rights and being globally recognized as basketball’s ultimate video game champion, the winner will also be able to select a charity beneficiary which will receive a USD300,000 donation from the three organizers in support of ongoing coronavirus relief efforts.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” said Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together—including athletes, fans and families—and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”
At the beginning of the tournament, every player will get to pick eight current NBA teams, each of which can only be used once. If any of the players happen to go for the same team, then the away team will be awarded first pick. Afterwards, they are to compete in a single elimination match in the first and second rounds, while the semifinals and finals will use a best-out-of-three system.
Just like in the NBA, the tournament features a seeding system based on player ratings from the game. Players who are rated equally will be seeded based on their respective team league position. Below is the list of seeds:
1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
11. DeMarcus Cousins (81)
12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
Basketball fans all around the world will be able to follow the tournament on either ESPN or ESPN2, as well as on the ESPN App, NBA.com, the NBA App, and 2K and NBA social channels including Twitter. Make sure you mark your calendar with the schedules below:
Friday, April 3: ESPN
• 7-7:30 p.m. ET: NBA 2K Players Tournament Preview Show
• 7:30-8:30 p.m. ET: Derrick Jones Jr. (16) vs. Kevin Durant (1)
Friday, April 3: ESPN2, 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, April 5: ESPN2, 12-4 p.m. ET
Tuesday, April 7: ESPN2, 7-11 p.m. ET
Semifinals & Finals
Saturday, April 11: ESPN, Timing to be announced.
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