The NBA 2K League announced player salary and prize pool figures today.
The initial season, which will run from May to August, will have a total $1 million prize pool for three tournaments and the end-of-season playoffs and league championship. In addition, players will be signed to six-month contracts ranging from $35,000 for first-round draft picks to $32,000 for all others.
The player salary totals pale in comparison to salaries for the League of Legends NA LCS, which average in the six figures, and some prospective players have expressed their disappointment on social media. Expectations should be tempered, however, because the 2K League is venturing into the unknown as the first major esports league based on a sports title. Also, since player salaries are only six months long, the salary totals range from $64,000 to $70,000 on an annualized basis.
In addition to salary and prizes, the 2K League will provide other benefits that are more consistent with contracts in traditional sports, including housing, medical insurance, and a retirement plan. Some of these features are not yet standard in esports. Players will also be allowed to sign endorsement contracts in conjunction with league guidelines.
The 2K League is currently in the midst of a player combine, where qualified players compete over three weeks to prove their worth. At the end of the process, the league will use player statistics to identify the top 102 players, who will then be drafted by each of the 17 franchises.
The combine will run through Feb. 21 with the draft happening in March. Play for the first season will run from May through August.