NBA 2K Players Tournament Furthers Mainstream Esports Adoption

Today marks the start of the NBA 2k Players Tournament. 16 NBA players will go head-to-head in a single elimination tournament played on Xbox One. The winner will receive $100,000 that will benefit the charity of the winners choosing in support of the ongoing battle to slow down coronavirus.

“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. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”

The seeding in the tournament is determined by the player’s actual 2k rating, followed by the length of the player’s tenure in the NBA. Each player will choose between eight NBA teams of their choice, and they can only use each team once. If two players select the same team, then the away team will be awarded their choice of team first.

Here is the actual seeding of the event:

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)

This event marks a huge step for esports in the wake of the coronavirus situation. A live video game event between professional athletes will get some heavy mainstream coverage on ESPN of all networks. The world will potentially be forever changed in regards to how live sports are played from here on out, and this also signals a huge step forward in terms of mainstream adoption of esports.

ESPN is clearly struggling to fill all of their content slots and is now resorting to video games. Who knows, maybe a year from now, the Fortnite Championship Series may be shown on ABC/ESPN as a premiere television event instead of just an online streamed event.