Hornets Sports & Entertainment, owners of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, will join the NBA2k League for the third season of play in 2020, the league announced today. The organization, led by NBA legend Michael Jordan, will be the 22nd NBA franchise to join the esports league.
The league started with 17 clubs in 2018. After the conclusion of its first season, four additional NBA franchises signed off for the 2019 season. At the time, 2K League officials indicated that additional franchises were exploring the opportunity to join the league but were not able to complete the diligence and application process in time for the second season.
“We are excited to welcome Charlotte to the NBA 2K League as the first expansion team for our third season,” NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue said. “With North Carolina’s rich basketball history and the Hornets organization’s commitment to innovation and fan engagement, we know they will be a great addition to the NBA 2K League family.”
Play in the second season of the league just kicked off on April 2 with the start of THE TIPOFF tournament. That gives Hornets a full year to prepare for its entry into the league.
“Hornets Sports & Entertainment is thrilled to bring the next professional sports league franchise to Charlotte,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “The popularity and growth of esports both in the U.S. and internationally continues to rise at a tremendous rate. Our NBA 2K League affiliate will provide us with another opportunity to extend the HSE brand and reach a highly-coveted as well as hard to reach younger demographic of fans. We look forward to joining the NBA 2K League in 2020 and bringing the exciting, fast-paced and entertaining esports action to the fans of Charlotte.”
With the addition of the Hornets, the 2K League now includes representatives from nearly three-quarters of all NBA squads. Given the league’s growth through the first few seasons, it could be only a couple years before all 30 franchises have a 2K League affiliate.