• Kyle Zwiazek

How Does The NBA 2K League Work?

The end of open competition for entry into the NBA 2K League is over. Now it is time to start narrowing down the competition and find the next big eSports stars and the league is using a combine to weed out the best. When we hear the word combine many of us think about the NFL combine before the draft where they do different drills to show their raw skills. The NBA 2K combine is a lot different than that.

The combine is for the players that managed to get 50 wins before January 31, 2018 in the NBA 2K League Qualifier. From there they have the opportunity to compete against other players in 40 games as part of the NBA 2K League combine. It is important to note that to actually be a part of the combine, players must be 18 years old as of February 1, 2018 and have graduated high school. Initially it was thought that there would not be an age requirement, but it is in place now.

Another big change is that the pool of players went from 85 to 102. Each of the 17 teams will be drafting 6 players instead of 5. This may even grow as the league grows. Why not make it like a real basketball league and have some bench spots as well. Things happen and players may have to miss games for one reason or another and it is important to have enough players to compete. In the grand scheme of the league, 102 players is a small number. The managers of each team have a long road ahead trying to scout all of these players.

The combine will only last from February 2nd to the 21st. These few weeks will have 12 time slots where combine play must take place. During those timeslots, players must participate in a minimum of 40 games at one position of the player’s choosing. Where the combine differs from the qualifiers is that players will not be using their MyPlayer’s skillset. Meaning they will have archetypes to choose from when playing each game. These archetypes will determine the skills of each player. This helps level the playing field and ensure the best players can rise to the top instead of the players with the best characters.

The archetype element is exactly what the league should have done in the qualifiers. Granted a lot more players would have been able to grab the 50 wins, but the 2K League might have missed out on some players (like myself) because of this. Overall, they will have plenty of options to choose from during the combine. It will be interesting to see what happens after the combine. The NBA 2K website makes it seem like there will only be a pool of 102 players to choose from. That is not how drafts work. There should be a bigger pool that teams can choose from. This can help teams find the diamonds in the rough.

One of the more interesting aspects on the NBA 2K League combine is the way the teams and players can analyze how they are doing. There will be options for statistics like scoring, rebounding and assists. The more fascinating statistics are shot release time, pass to assist and block efficiency. These latter stats show exactly how good of a gamer these players are. Efficiency can go a long way in both the game of basketball and the NBA 2K League. It is great that these statistics will be available to both players and teams alike. Also players have access to videos of each of their games as well as the statistics. Overall, these resources can be useful in helping players improve during the combine and attracting teams.

It is important to note that these games may not be able to be viewed by the public. Not enough information has been put out about the combine for public consumption. The NBA 2K League should show some of the matches to get the fans excited about some of the players coming out. If they are going to be available they will probably be on a streaming website such as twitch. The NBA 2K League is starting to actually come together. Fans should be excited and start paying attention to some of the players that are making moves to be the top pick in the draft.

* Information from NBA.2K.com.

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