The NBA 2K League Format!
We finally have answers about the NBA 2K League and this information comes right after the inaugural draft and just days before players started moving into their team’s housing. Now they have about three weeks to get together before the season starts on May 1, 2018, a start date sooner than many anticipated. Here is what you need to know about the upcoming season:
Regular Season Format
The NBA 2K League kicks off in the middle of the NBA playoffs the format is a little different than originally expected, but it still works. The regular season will consist of 14 games, with games taking place on Fridays and Saturdays. The top seven teams automatically qualify for the playoffs and a chance to win the playoff prize money.
Additional Tournament Play
There will be three tournaments in addition to the playoffs. The first will be a tournament with pool play in four different groups. From there the top two teams from each group will move on to a playoff round. This is a nice way to kick off the league because players will get a chance to get a feel for their teammates. It also gives fans a sense of how games will be broadcasted. Players will become more accessible to fans in this tournament as well. The prize money is $100,000 to the winning team.
The other two tournaments are single elimination. With 17 teams in the league only 16 will make it to the single elimination format. The 16th and 17th seed will compete in a play-in game to determine the final spot in this tournament. The seeding will be based on the regular season (records/standings) for the four weeks prior to the tournament. Each winner of those two tournaments will get $150,000. The winner of the last tournament will get the final playoff spot. If a team is already one of the top seven, then the 8th place team will earn a playoff spot instead.
The three tournaments are May 1-5, June 8-9, and July 13-14 respectively. Locations have not yet been announced for these events. The tournaments are a nice touch because they help to spread the wealth. If there were just one prize at the end of the season, teams would have just one goal in mind. Winning each tournament can significantly change the outlook on the rest of the season. Obviously winning the championship is important, but bragging rights and money in tournaments works too.
The playoffs are when things get interested. The top seven teams plus the winner of the last tournament get the nod into the playoffs. The first round will be single elimination, where the semi finals and finals will be best of three. In a playoff format, single elimination would be rough. Best of three helps to make things even out, but personally a best of five series would be really cool for the finals. When it comes to having a chance to win $300,000 they need to make sure the team is certainly the best team in the league.
Inaugural Season Format and Beyond
Overall, the format works. Initially, it seemed like there would be more regular season competition because the players have six-month contracts. Although that is not the case this format works really well. Maybe in the future it would make sense to start the league after the NBA playoffs. A lot of fans will be distracted by the NBA playoffs and the NBA 2K League may get pushed aside because of it.
It is nice that the finals will be at the end of the summer as to not conflict with the beginning of the NBA season. There is a lot to be excited about with the league. Teams are starting to bring their players in and get to work. Stay tuned for more information including how to watch the 2K League when it starts in May.