• Kyle Zwiazek

The NBA 2K League Inaugural Draft: Date, Format, and Expectations

The next step for the NBA 2K League is upon us as teams and fans prepare for the inaugural draft. This whirlwind has finally come together and the league has narrowed down their top players. For people who have played sport video games their entire lives, this is an exciting time to be alive: at long last there is an opportunity for the everyday, traditional sport gamer to succeed in an esport. The draft’s date is set, the community is pumped, and the NBA 2K League has decided the order in which teams will pick. Since everything is coming together it is time to look at how the draft will work.

First off, the NBA 2K League draft is going to be held at The Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is a fitting arena for the new league because Madison Square Garden is considered the Mecca of Basketball. It only makes sense that the new basketball league gets its start within the greatest arena in the world. The draft is going to take place on April 4, 2018 at 1:00 PM Eastern Standard Time. At this point there is no information about ticket sales or how to watch the draft. The best way to keep track of the action will most likely be the NBA 2K League twitter account.

The draft will work much like many fantasy sports drafts. It will be a snake (or serpentine) format where the picks will have an order in one round and then reverse direction in the next round. This is the only fair way to make sure that teams are as even as possible. It would be almost impossible to figure out a mock draft for this league because each team should value positions and players differently based on what they’ve seen from the combine, player streams, and social media.

The order was picked on March 13, 2018. League officials used a lottery system to determine which teams would pick in which position. This was not weighted, meaning all 17 teams had the same opportunity for the first pick. When a new league comes into place that is the only fair way to go about it.

With a stroke of luck, Mavs gaming won the lottery and will be picking first on April 4th. From there the order goes: Celtics Crossover Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Pistons GT, Blazer5 Games, Heatcheck Gaming, Magic Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Raptors Uprising GC, Wizards District Gaming, Pacers Gaming, 76ers GC, Grizz Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, and Warriors Gaming Squad.

The NBA 2K League has also narrowed the list of prospective professional gamers to 102 players. Each team gets the opportunity to select six gamers for their team. They have to pick from that group of 102 players. Even though this makes sense from a logistical standpoint, it hurts the teams that may have found players that were not the marquee names. Although one might assume that they should be able to sign players as free agents moving forward. Changes are certainly bound to happen in the future, but for now try to contain your excitement before the draft as we follow player and team social media and streams to figure out who will be starting the first NBA 2K League on top.

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