This is the next phase of the NBA 2K League’s rapid growth

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  • Published date: August 20, 2021
    • United Kingdom

The NBA 2K League has announced the process for tryouts for the upcoming season. It will start in 2021. This new format will offer more than 35 Pro-Am tournaments, which will be managed by NBA 2K League teams. The top teams will be featured in a League-hosted "NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series" and the first-of-its-kind NBA 2K League Combine.

This is the next phase of the NBA 2K League’s rapid growth. Brendan Donohue (Managing Director of the NBA 2K League) described it to me recently during an interview as "transformational".

This season, the second season of the NBA 2K league year, saw a major increase in both viewership and distribution. Donohue explains "Just trying to compare apples with apples, our broadcasts via Twitch are increasing by more than 70% year after year," and that there were numerous distributors across the globe that included ESPN 2. Live games were broadcast on ESPN2 along with ESPN's digital platforms, Sportsnet Canada, Sportsnet in Southeast Asia, Loco in India and, on delay, eGG Network Southeast Asia. This was the first time that 2K League games have been broadcast on linear television.

In total ESPN2 took on 29 nights of programming throughout the course of the season. Every NBA 2K League match on ESPN's platforms was also broadcast live in the Caribbean, Latin America, Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa. The unique viewership of ESPN2 and Twitch viewers combined with distinctive Twitch viewers to watch the NBA 2K League attracted more than one million viewers each time it was broadcast.

Twitch alone saw more than 1.1 million people tune in to watch the NBA 2K League Finals in which the Wizards Gaming team defeated the Warriors Gaming Squad, 3-1. Donohue said "As you watch in gaming and in esports generally, there is a phenomenal growth overall. We certainly benefited from this."

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