By Cameron Lee
April 3, 2019
The $1 billion global esports market is on the rise, and the Hornets Sports & Entertainment announced today they will own and operate an esports team that will join the NBA 2K League in 2020. The league, a professional esports organization co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software launched in 2018 features the best NBA 2K players in the world. Charlotte is now the 22nd franchise in the NBA 2K League, which is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional league.
“Hornets Sports & Entertainment is thrilled to bring the next professional sports league franchise to Charlotte,” said Hornets President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “The popularity and growth of esports both in the U.S. and internationally continues to rise at a tremendous rate. Our NBA 2K League affiliate will provide us with another opportunity to extend the HSE brand and reach a highly-coveted, as well as hard-to-reach, younger demographic of fans. We look forward to joining the NBA 2K League in 2020 and bringing exciting, fast-paced and entertaining esports action to the fans of Charlotte.”
COMING 2020… 🐝 X 🎮
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) April 3, 2019
Every NBA 2K League team features six players competing in 5-on-5 play in a mix of season games, tournaments and playoffs. The 18-week second season kicked off on Tuesday, April 2, and all regular-season games will take place at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York and livestreamed on Twitch.
How does one get on a NBA 2K League team? A pool of draft-eligible players are elected by a tryout process and the league’s invitational tournaments for a NBA 2K League Draft that took place on Tuesday, March 6 at Barclays Center.
Each team is composed of six players and all players get paid a guaranteed, competitive salary, with benefits and housing. Players live in their respective team’s market during the season for training and travel like normal athletes.
The Hornets NBA 2K League name and logo will be announced in the coming months at hornets.com/2kleague.
Check out the recap from the Day 1 NBA 2K League 2019 tipoff event.