NBA 2K League: Everything to Know Heading into 2018

NBA 2K League FAQ

Everything To Know About The NBA 2K LeagueThe end of the year brought a ton of new information about the NBA 2K League. If you missed anything and want to get caught up or just want a quick refresher, here is a comprehensive rundown of everything we know about the 2K League as of now.

NBA 2K League logo official
Official NBA 2K League logo

It’s officially called the NBA 2K League

… not the NBA 2K eLeague, e-League or any other variation.

Here is the league’s logo

Think of it as an esports-ized version of the NBA logo. You’ll notice the design is absent of a human silhouette, which the league says “speaks to the inclusive nature of the league and the opportunity for any type of player to try out – young or old, male or female, based domestically or abroad.” More on this below.

Meet the 17 teams competing in the inaugural season

Celtics Crossover Gaming     Cavs Legion GC     Mavs Gaming     Pistons GT
Warriors Gaming Squad     Pacers Gaming     Grizz Gaming     Heat Check Gaming
Bucks Gaming     Knicks Gaming     Magic Gaming     76ers GC     Blazer5 Gaming
Kings Guard Gaming     Raptors Uprising GC     Jazz Gaming     Wizards District Gaming

And these are their logos

NBA 2K League team list logos 2018Be sure to check out the team branding reveal videos and a behind-the-scenes look at the design process.

So you want to play in the 2K League? Here’s how:

NBA 2K League Pro-Am
The NBA 2K League Qualification arrives in January.

The NBA 2K League Qualification starts January 1 and runs through the 30th. Players must win 50 games in NBA 2K18’s Pro-Am mode and complete an online application (check out during that time frame. The qualification is open to anyone around the world who is 18 or older and playing on a Playstation 4 or Xbox One. 

Players that meet the above requirements will advance to the tryout stage in February. More details coming regarding this stage, but this is where overall skill becomes paramount. Teams will be scouting these hopefuls with the intent of identifying the top 85 players on the planet. 

Bonus tip: If you want to improve your chances of being discovered for your NBA 2K prowess, be sure to use #2KDraftMe on social posts and live streams. NBA 2K League team managers are keeping an eye on that hashtag, in particular. Also, public image is paramount, and something players should be prioritizing.

There will be a draft

The league will host a live draft in March. The draft order will be determined using a lottery system. Each of the 17 teams will draft five players to their roster as 85 players [UPDATE: 102 players will now be drafted] in total are selected to become professional NBA 2K League athletes.

It’s moving time

Players will move to their respective cities in April to begin preparations for the start of the season. They will live in a house or apartment provided by the team.

This is a full-time job

All players will be paid a competitive salary. They will also have the opportunity to earn additional compensation through league tournament and playoff incentives. Also, players will have the ability to sign endorsement deals with outside sponsors.


The NBA 2K League season starts in May and runs through the playoffs in August. The season format will consist of a mix of head-to-head play and tournaments, creating a combination of the best of the NBA and esports. Games will see 5-on-5 action with each player controlling their own personalized avatar. 

Coming to a studio near you 

NBA 2K League games will be played in a centralized studio.

League games will be played on a weekly basis at a centralized studio, or two. The league is currently working to finalize the location(s). A majority of the venues being considered are equipped with room for spectators, league managing director Brendan Donohue said. So expect a fan presence during live games. The league will fly the teams in from their respective markets to compete.

Tune in from the comfort of your home

The league is currently in the process of negotiating distribution rights, likely to include both broadcast and streaming options. Expect an answer on this in the near future.

Brand involvement

In-game advertising, both in the virtual arena (on the court and surrounding signage) as well as on player jerseys, will be a prevalent aspect of the league. Some teams, like Cavs Legion and Mavs Gaming, have already announced sponsorship deals with Hot Pockets and HyperX, respectively. More team sponsorship announcements are on the way. 

What’s next

Outside of the ones already mentioned, a few aspects of the NBA 2K League are unclear. Of note:

  • The finalized game mode the league will use to compete
  • Official league schedule, including game days and times
  • How alternate players will be handled

Be sure to check back as we find out the answers to these questions and move closer to the start of the season.

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