How does $1 million sound?
That’s the prize pool the NBA 2K League will award during the course of its inaugural season, the league announced Friday. There are four opportunities to earn portions of the prize pool: three tournaments and the league championship, which will be the largest prize pool.
Wizards District Gaming director Grant Paranjape called the $1 million prize pool “impressive” and a significant investment on behalf of the NBA and its teams in support of the new league. He also thinks it should serve as motivation for those attempting to make it to the league.
“For 2K League hopefuls, I hope this inspires you as you continue to progress through the combine, knowing that a substantial base salary and opportunity for you to earn significant prize money lies ahead,” Paranjape said.
The league also provided clarity on player salary structure. All players will sign a six-month contract in March 2018. Players selected in the first round of the upcoming draft will receive a base salary of $35,000 and all other players will be paid a $32,000 base salary.
Players can earn additional compensation outside of their salary with the ability to sign endorsement deals that meet certain league guidelines.
Magic Gaming team manager Chris Toussaint says the level of monetary commitment from a first-year esports league is unprecedented. He is excited about the prospect of assisting his players in maximizing their individual worth.
“Magic Gaming is committed to working with our players to develop and grow their own personal brands for endorsement opportunities as well as prioritizing competitive success for additional compensation opportunities,” Toussaint said. “This is going to be incredibly exciting, and we’re almost there.”
Players will receive benefits that include medical insurance and retirement plans. The cost of housing for the entire season and relocation compensation will be provided, as players will live in one of 17 local markets during the season.
When players travel to a centralized location to compete in games, the league will cover travel costs such as housing, food and transportation.
League hopefuls are currently competing in the NBA 2K League Combine, attempting to showcase their abilities during 12 preset playing windows through February 21. The league will then finalize a pool of players eligible for the March draft as 102 players will be selected.
The first season of the NBA 2K League will run May-August.