NBA to announce players-only NBA 2K tournament shown live on ESPN - Dexerto

NBA to announce players-only NBA 2K tournament shown live on ESPN

Published: 31/Mar/2020 2:40 Updated: 31/Mar/2020 3:27

by Isaac McIntyre


The NBA is set to host a players-only esports tournament using sports sim title NBA 2K and it will be broadcast live on ESPN, according to reports.

On March 12, the NBA made the decision to suspend the 2019/20 season due to ongoing global events. Since then, basketball fans around the world have been left without something to fill the gap ⁠— until now, that is.

According to reports from Yahoo Sports, America’s top-flight basketball league appears set to follow other global competitions like Formula 1 into the world of esports. This swap to the digital realm, however, will be led by the stars.

The event is set to begin on Friday, April 3. It will likely see one pro player from each of the 30 NBA teams go head-to-head, according to league sources.

Each team is also expected to have one NBA 2K pro involved in the event, according to NBA insider Chris Haynes. Whether this will be in a playing capacity, or simply a coaching role, is yet to be confirmed.

The NBA's top stars will go head-to-head in the virtual world, live on ESPN.
2K Games
The NBA’s top stars will go head-to-head in the virtual world, live on ESPN.

Which NBA stars will compete in the 2K event?

There has been no indication, as yet, regarding which top stars will be joining the event. It is expected organizations will announce their representatives, and the gamers to be paired with them, ahead of the Friday tournament.

We can have a good guess though, especially considering how many NBA stars have already turned to gaming and streaming with the season delay.

Frontrunners for the esports limelight include Phoenix star Devin Booker ⁠— who is already tied to 100 Thieves and streaming ⁠— and Boston’s Gordon Hayward. Paul George, Jeremy Lin, and Ben Simmons could be other choices too.

Aussie star Simmons especially could be up for the challenge, considering he competed in FaZe’s Warzone tournament alongside big names like Dr Disrespect. Luka Doncic could be another shoe-in after he started streaming last week.

One inclusion many fans are likely crossing their fingers for is, of course, LeBron James. While he’d certainly bring extra interest, the Lakes may not be too keen to have him as a rep considering he refuses to play 2K “properly.”

Some of the NBA's biggest names are set to do battle in a new 2K tournament
2K Games
Some of the NBA’s biggest names are set to do battle in a new 2K tournament.

Esports marches on during sports delays

It’s no real surprise the NBA and ESPN are turning to gaming after the 2019/20 season delay. Across the globe, leagues have ground to a halt. Broadcasters have been left scratching their heads about what to air instead.

Enter esports. Already F1 has aired multiple F1 2019 and racing simulator events. More than 350,000 tuned in to watch the Bahrain Virtual Grand Prix on Twitch. Similar events have been run by NASCAR Racing and NFL Madden as well.

Perhaps the closest event to the NBA’s latest move came when the Phoenix Suns declared “the season isn’t over,” and began simulating their upcoming fixtures on Twitch. Now it looks like the rest of the league is following suit.


NBA 2K21 fans threatening to boycott after 2K adds “scummy” in-game ads

Published: 19/Oct/2020 2:01

by Alex Tsiaoussidis


NBA 2K21 is now forcing players to watch unskippable ads, and it seems like the huge basketball fanbase has finally had enough. Many are considering boycotting the 2020 release until they’re removed once and for all.

Nobody likes ads, period. But when you’re reading, watching, or playing something free, you can understand why they’re needed. However, NBA 2K21 is a full-price game, and it’s forcing players to watch ads. The worst part is you can’t skip them.

It’s something that has happened before in the NBA 2k series.

Last time, players rallied and revolted and coerced the company into removing them. Now they’ve gone ahead and done it again this year. They even waited until enough people bought the game, and added it afterward.

However, it seems like their ‘calculated’ move had done more harm than good. Players have flocked on social media to voice their concerns, and needless to say, they’re less than impressed.

“Man, this headline returns every year, and every year it breaks sales records,” said one user in the top comment of a popular thread.

“Some people do have problems with abandoning games it seems.”

NBA 2K21 Unskippable Ad
2K Games
An ad for the Oculus Quest 2 as seen in NBA 2K21.

“Wow that’s really messed up,” said another in a separate thread.

“I’m not exactly shocked since this is 2k we’re talking about but it’s still scummy. The NBA is my favorite sport but I haven’t bought a new 2k in years… This move by 2k means I’m not buying NBA even when it’s on sale.”

Clearly, fans and players are angry. But the dissatisfaction and disappointment don’t end there. Twitter is filled with similar comments, some of which are even more savage.

“I’m playing NBA2k and I got a f**ken ad on NBA2K TV,” said one person. “I bought the full version of the game don’t ever do some slimey s**t like that again.”

“Seeing ads in triple AAA, full price games ($60+) is f**king disgusting,” said another. “F**k you NBA2K.”

NBA 2K21 could learn from EA Sports

2K does have a long history of doing these questionable practices, but they’re not the only ones to do it.

EA Sports recently came under fire for sprinkling ads into UFC 4 when players had to watch replays. Naturally, it didn’t sit well with fans and players. The backlash was so immense, EA had no choice but to adhere to their demands and remove them.

“It is abundantly clear from your feedback that integrating ads into the Replay and overlay experience is not welcome,” said an EA representative.

“The advertisements have been disabled by the team and we apologize for any disruption to gameplay that players may have experienced.”

NBA 2K21 Unskippable AdAn example of an intrusive ad seen in UFC 4 before they were removed.

It might be a bit of a stretch, but hopefully, 2K can learn a thing or two from their rival company and listen to their fans on this issue once again.

Hell hath no fury like a player base scorned. If enough players make their voices heard, surely 2K will cave, and ditch the ads in NBA 2K21 once and for all.