The first NBA 2K League draft was held a few days ago, with plenty of glitz and glamour. Now that the 102 best NBA 2K players have found homes, they’ll get to work preparing for the first season, the schedule for which was released today.
The season will start on May 1 with a Tip-Off tournament. This will include all the teams, with group stages and a single-elimination playoff taking place over five days. Players will be eligible for prize money from almost day one as the tournament will carry a $100,000 prize pool.
From there, regular season matchup play will take place each Friday and Saturday from May 11 to Aug. 11 for a 15-week regular season. Each team will play 14 regular season games.
The exception to the schedule are two single-elimination mid-season tournaments held June 8 to 9 and July 13 to 14. The mid-season tournaments will each feature $150,000 prize pools with the final tournament also guaranteeing a playoff spot to the winner.
Joining the tournament winner in the year-end playoffs will be the next seven teams with the best regular season records. The playoff quarterfinals start Aug. 17 with semifinal play on Aug. 18 and the final held a week later on Aug. 25. The semifinals and finals will use a best-of-three format.
The total playoff prize pool will be $600,000, with the champion receiving half of the total. With a $1 million prize pool in its inaugural season, in addition to player salaries and benefits, the NBA looks to be financially invested in the success of the league. The costs to start this venture may be small for NBA teams with billion-dollar valuations, but it’s still a strong step forward in the world of esports.