A look at the teams not in the NBA 2K League

17 teams are entering the NBA 2K League. That is more than half of the 30 teams in the NBA participating in the 2K League’s inaugural season. While a few teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers have deeper roots in esports than others, there are 13 teams waiting for their opportunity to enter the scene.

Eventually the NBA would want every team to join the NBA 2K League. I’m optimistic that it’s not a matter of if they’ll join, it’s a matter of when they’ll join. The NBA 2K League will thrive with more competition synonymous to the NBA. As a result it will present excellent opportunities for the community as well.

Who are these teams?

  1. Atlanta Hawks
  2. Brooklyn Nets
  3. Charlotte Hornets
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. Denver Nuggets
  6. Houston Rockets
  7. LA Clippers
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Minnesota Timberwolves
  10. New Orleans Pelicans
  11. Oklahoma City Thunder
  12. Phoenix Suns
  13. San Antonio Spurs

Business as usual

While a number of teams don’t have any reported esports experience, they have the business experience to make the NBA 2K League a success. In a marriage between esports and traditional sports, it’s a transition that’ll help grow both industries for the world to see.

There are three teams that have their feet wet in the esports landscape and have created successful moves. But because these teams have esports experience doesn’t necessarily mean they’re locked in for season two nor does it mean that the other 10 teams are less likely to join either.

Denver Nuggets

One of the two Los Angeles teams in the Overwatch League. Courtesy of LA Gladiators via Twitter.

Josh Kroenke, Nuggets President, and his father Stan Kroenke co-own the Los Angeles Gladiators after securing a league spot in the Overwatch League. Blizzard set a $20 million fee to own a regional franchise in the Overwatch League and the Kroenke’s can pay the bill.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment is a sports and entertainment holding company based in Denver with control over five professional sports franchises. The Kroenke’s own numerous Colorado sports franchises including the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Rapids and the Colorado Mammoth.

With the Los Angeles Gladiators as their first venture into the esports landscape, the Denver Nuggets joining the NBA 2K League next season is a possibility.

Houston Rockets

Clutch Gaming has a spot in the NA LCS. Courtesy of Clutch Gaming via Twitter.

Tilman Fertitta, Rockets Owner, owns Clutch Gaming after securing a league spot in the North American League of Legends Championship Series. The Clutch Gaming brand coincidentally inspired from the nickname given to the Houston Rockets, Clutch City.

It also helps that Daryl Morey, Rockets General Manager, is an avid supporter of esports and joined the MLG Board of Directors back in 2013. In an interview with ESPN, he spoke esports as “[t]he 1950s basketball right now, where there’s that kind of opportunity.”

 

 

There’s enough esports involvement to believe the Houston Rockets will eventually make their way into the NBA 2K League sooner rather than later.

Los Angeles Lakers

Shaquille O’Neal and Magic Johnson. Courtesy of Fox Sports.

Magic Johnson, Lakers President of Basketball Operations, is an investor for aXiomatic which has an ownership in Team Liquid. Johnson is no stranger to business and Team Liquid may be his first stop among many in his esports career.

Other traditional sports figures include former Lakers, Rick Fox and Shaquille O’Neal, who are making waves of their own. Both Echo Fox and NRG are continuing to grow and recruit the best talent in their respected esports.

Meanwhile both Northern California teams, the Warriors and Kings, are in the NBA 2K League this year. There’s a lot of opportunity in a large market like Los Angeles and we hope to see the Lakers and Clippers soon.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Find NBA 2K18 Players: Interview with DeShea Witcher of 2KFreeAgent

Playing NBA 2K18 by yourself at the park or in Pro-Am can be really frustrating. Many of us have experienced disappointment playing with strangers which elevate our stress levels. You want to play the game to have fun and win the game of basketball. Playing with HeroBallKyle2005 isn’t your idea of spending your free time at night.

Finding the right players to build your team is possible with the help of 2KFreeAgent.

What is 2KFreeAgent?

Search by position, rating, and even time zone. Courtesy of 2kfreeagentcom via Twitter.

DeShea Witcher, creator of 2KFreeAgent, offers the solution to the madness of strangers in NBA 2K18. Except the solution is finding strangers in NBA 2K18 to have fun and win.

2KFreeAgent is a database of players that are also looking for teammates like yourself to play with. With over 160 players to team up with there is a group of players that you can build team chemistry with easily.

You, along with other players, can find a team from the list by adding your MyPlayer to 2KFreeAgent. There’s a private messaging system that notifies a user via email and through their inbox. More features are always in the works.

“I use 2KFreeAgent myself. One time I used it and I was in a 25 game winning streak all because people want to play the right way. People want to play team ball,” Witcher told The Game Haus on his success from using his own website.

Why you started 2KFreeAgent?

The idea behind 2KFreeAgent didn’t happen overnight.

“I actually had the idea during 2K17. Every time I went to the park or at Pro-Am, me being an older player, I don’t have a lot of friends that play the game. Dealing with a lot of random players, ball hogs, and inexperienced players. Frankly when time is short you just want to play a good game,” Witcher said about his idea for 2KFreeAgent.

A lot of players voice their complaints on Reddit where people are getting the same experiences playing with bad teammates. Many comment how it’s hard just to have fun and play basketball right when they team up with randoms.

However players have too many platforms to find other players in. 2KFreeAgent is the solution to solve that.

“I decided to make a place where you could do all of them on one place rather than going on different forums on Reddit, Xbox Live looking for a group. I kind of want to bring it all into one place. There’s also people looking on social media as well on Twitter and Facebook looking for people to run with, looking for people to start a Pro-Am team.” said Witcher about creating a single platform for players.

Response to the support from the 2K Reddit community

Finding people to play with in MyCareer. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

During the idea for 2KFreeAgent, Witcher wanted to gauge the interest with the 2K Reddit community by speaking to the Moderators and everyone in the community.

“You know it kind of blew up and people were saying yeah we need this,” Witcher said on the initial response on Reddit. “The community was actually waiting for this and it was solving a problem.”

In its official launch there were over 500 signups on the website within the first seven days of release announced in its first Reddit thread. Due to issues the website recently relaunched with more features in its latest Reddit thread. 2KFreeAgent continues to grow and allows the community make the game more enjoyable to play.

“The whole reason why people are adding their players to the website is because they’re frustrated with playing with random people or playing with kids. They already are coming in with a mindset of finding a team not just for themselves. They’re ones who find the actual team to play on.” said Witcher on why the 2K Reddit community finds the website useful.

What to look for in the future

There are more features coming aside from the recent private messaging system implemented. The next website feature is going to be built around Pro-Am.

“I’m going to start working on creating a place for Pro-Am teams to recruit and to find players and make it a lot easier to fill their teams.” Witcher said in creating a resource for Pro-Am teams as well. “I’m also gonna be getting to the website is a blog that keeps the discussion about the NBA 2K League for any news and interviews.”

“All the feedback that I’ve gotten about the website has been excellent. The community has helped me grow the website to where it is right now. Adding features, fixing any issues, the response has been positive.” said Witcher on recieving feedback.

Witcher has gained the support from the community and help 2KFreeAgent flourish to create a fun environment for people to play basketball.

 

Visit www.2KFreeAgent.com to find NBA 2K18 players to team up!

Follow 2KFreeAgent.com on Twitter for updates and Twitch for live streaming NBA 2K.

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Is your brand important for NBA 2K League tryouts?

A lot of fuss has been going around the NBA 2K League tryout process. However at the end of the day there’s mystery behind the system of how it all works. Players speculate the expectations and responsibilities that come with being a prospect. A fact we do know for certain is that tryouts start in February and the best 85 players in the world will come out of it.

Just know that the NBA 2K League are looking to do things right and not fast. They’ll equip whatever it takes to find the best talent possible and Cody Parrent, Indiana Pacers Director of Esports Operations, tweeted his advice for any NBA 2K League hopefuls. Remember what matters is the skill set you bring to the table.

Is the NBA 2K League a popularity contest?

Some players wonder if being a live streamer or a YouTuber would have an advantage over players without the recognition. The best players isn’t synonymous with most popular players because the sample size representation on these platforms are only a minority of players who play NBA 2K18.

Many players are concerned that you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t have a presence in the 2K community. However it’s definitely not the case for players to be worried about because it has been a common question that gets answered by people who work in the league.

Anthony Muraco, Director of Gaming Operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers, confirmed on Twitter that being popular doesn’t have any value in the tryout process.

Here’s another response by Muraco on the subject of popularity.

Once again the only objectivity going into the NBA 2K League tryout process is your skills. Your talent and skills is the most important asset to the 17 NBA teams.

Creating your brand

While popularity doesn’t matter with the tryout process I wouldn’t necessarily discourage the process of creating your brand. It doesn’t hurt to create content for yourself because you’ll be building valuable skills that can translate to any professional career.

Whether your content is by live streaming, creating videos or editing pictures, you’re getting yourself involved with the community. You’re helping the 2K community grow by sharing your content that can help inspire other players as well.

Examples are creating a highlights video of your gameplay to NBA 2K memes on Instagram. Content doesn’t even have to be about NBA 2K and it can be about anything you want. Building a following is an essential skill to any business.

Building your own personal brand can be a fun and creative process. You’re developing your passion and commitment in what you believe in. Even if it doesn’t help you get drafted you should give it a shot.

Your brand is a representation of yourself

In a recent interview from The Ballgamer that included Josh Barney, Director of Esports & Tech for the Utah Jazz, spoke on branding in the draft process:

“Make sure you realize you are a brand, and how you interact in public space, whether that be social media or any video content you have out there, that reflects your brand,” Barney said. “And you need to make sure your brand is something that nationally recognized brands or global brands want to partner with.”

“Go in knowing that this is a business and you want to be professional as possible. If you get those two things nailed down, you’re sitting pretty.”

Whether or not you made it out past the tryout process in February, what Barney said holds true to becoming a professional when it comes to your own brand. It’s okay to have an opinion on subjects and have a voice on social media. Understand that what you put out to the world is a representation of you and your thoughts. Be mindful of your behavior and think about what you want others to know.

If it’s your aspiration to be among the best 85 players in NBA 2K18 then plan how you want to get there accordingly. The idea is to have goals. I encourage everyone to put themselves out there even if it doesn’t hold value in the tryout process. You never know what opportunities it leads you to.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Amazing potential for training camps in the NBA 2K League

Coming next year, 85 talented players will be drafted into their respected markets with 17 NBA teams entering the fray of esports in March. Scheduled for April is training camp in the NBA 2K League where the newly drafted break into their newfound careers. Players can develop their team chemistry by getting a feel of how everyone plays together within the system. Although there isn’t any information on training camp or personnel it’s fun to theorize the potential possibilities for player and team development.

Emulating NBA training camps

Cleveland Cavaliers’ first week of Training Camp. Courtesy of Cavs.

Is there any translation between traditional basketball coaching and training camps that can operate in the NBA 2K League? In a recent podcast by BBALLBREAKDOWN, Coach Nick talks about how NBA teams run their practice with Chris Oliver, head coach at the University of Windsor, and shared his thoughts on attending 4 different NBA teams practices during training camp.

In Oliver’s observation basically there are pre-practice, scrimmages and post-practice routines that players do for individual and team development. Each coach has a philosophy about giving feedback and a certain attention to detail from their own experiences. There’s no doubt that there’s structure for the NBA 2K League training camps made by their managers.

Even though the sport of basketball and the esport of NBA 2K18 are vastly different but similar in areas. Both are the game of basketball and even NBA players admit that playing NBA 2K18 gives them a better understanding of the game including their teammates and it can be a likewise tune for NBA 2K League players as well.

Should the NBA 2K League have coaches?

Anthony Muraco, esports Manager for the Dallas Mavericks, opened a question on Twitter whether the NBA 2K League should have coaches. 58% say Yes and 42% say No out of 1,764 votes which suggests the unknown certainty for NBA 2K18 coaching. Some esports managers would elect themselves to handle both managerial and coaching positions while others may differentiate the two.

Another set of eyes that can view the game outside the perspective of a player is one benefit to coaching. Coaches point out adjustments and nuances in the game that the players didn’t realize. Other benefits include another voice of leadership and empowerment for the team in a multitude of situations. Bringing players back up on their feet mentally and give them the belief to rise to the occasion.

Most of us can agree with Cody Parrent, Director of Esports Operations for the Indiana Pacers, on his thoughts on coaching in the NBA 2K League, “If their role is clearly defined and the team can see how it gives them a competitive advantage over opponents – I’m all for it.”

Team Practice Facility

You know what would be fun idea? If Take-Two developed a team practice facility similar to MyCareer that can have unlimited drills and powerful tools to create in-game situations. Similarly to the Situation mode introduced in NBA 2K11 where there’s a setup for creating in-game situations and scenarios. Introducing different tools to improve their in-game skills almost instantaneously through a team practice facility mode is an innovative idea.

There’s an amazing opportunity to emulate NBA team practices and training camps for players. Whether or not teams decide to hire more personnel still doesn’t hide the fact that 85 players will be given the best resources needed to be the best. There’s no better time to be a 2K fan and future prospect than it is right now.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Is J.R. Smith the hero we deserve in NBA 2K18?

Disgruntled 2K players are apparent in the game’s social media because of the game’s negative reception. The only voices that their social media listens to generally is from NBA players. Not hard to believe because of the negative replies coming from every new social media post. NBA players don’t use their social media platform to voice their thoughts about NBA 2K18 often. Everyone but the exception of J.R Smith of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the past week Smith has been the unsung hero in the NBA 2K community that was waiting for.

J.R. Smith’s off-ball movement. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

Microwave Badge On Twitter

The most popular Tweet that started it all was from two weeks ago about losing the ball too much in the Playground. With over 6,000 retweets and 15,000 likes, there are many players that can relate including myself and then there’s others with clever remarks. However no one from 2K was able to respond to Smith, not even Ronnie2K himself.

In MyCareer the shoe deal was bugged under certain brands and required players to purchase shoes with VC in order to keep their shoe deals. I was able to wear Adidas during games but I wasn’t able to get any shoes for the Street/Playground because your shoe deal doesn’t provide shoes outside of season games. Your shoe deal can be voided by wearing a different brand which results in a Catch-22. Smith commented on the problem with shoe deals and Ronnie2K responded that it will be adjusted in the next patch. Success!

And just like that J.R. Smith is the unanimous voice of the 2K community! It’s all been good and fun to see NBA players being able to get their input on the game. But this speaks more on the voice of the 2K community itself. How much value do our voice carry? We’ve seen their social media acknowledge NBA players but what about us regular players?

The Big Picture For The NBA 2K18 Community

There needs to be a voice in the community. YouTubers such as Chris Smoove can only go so far with their reach. The NBA 2K Reddit isn’t the best environment to get a direct response. However there needs to be constructive criticism with what people think is wrong with the game. After a while it’s hard to take us seriously when we trash the game within the first month of release. I will give credit to 2K for releasing a few patches within the month after release.

In order to give input with traction you’d have to follow a few people on Twitter. Is this some kind of sick marketing tactic for followers? Only kidding. If there are any gameplay issues you’re having then the man to ask is Mike Wang, Gameplay Director for NBA 2K. Throughout the past several weeks they’re slowly making hotfixes for certain issues such as heavily contested shots for example.

With the NBA 2K League coming out next year and their focus on the community, I want to be optimistic. Esports success comes from your customers and viewers that believe in the product. It’s hard to make everyone happy but they have to be able to distinguish constructive criticism. Although the 2K League will be it’s own separate game mode from NBA 2K18, the funnel to find the best players start at 2K18 itself. The NBA 2K League only have one opportunity for a first impression.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Philadelphia 76ers’ brotherly love For esports

Last year, the Philadelphia 76ers bought Team Dignitas and became the first North American sports franchise to buy an esports team. Earlier this year they became one of 17 teams that’ll participate in the NBA 2K League, the first esports league of its kind. Now, almost a week ago, the 76ers announced a partnership with HyperX, a gaming accessories company. The 76ers are incorporating esports into their company in efforts to further grow the industry.

Sixers Training Complex. Courtesy of NBA.

HyperX partnership

HyperX became the first endemic esports/gaming brand to partner with an NBA team. They will become the official headset partner of the Philadelphia 76ers and also sponsor Team Dignitas as well. HyperX also hasn’t shied away from sponsoring NBA players such as Gordon Hayward and De’Aaron Fox. The Business Wire reports, “During the 2017-2018 NBA season, HyperX will participate with the 76ers in a range of in-game activation elements, including courtside and in-arena LED ring signage and branding, exposure on scoreboard, concourse activations and HyperX giveaway nights.”

If you’ve been to an NBA game before, imagine a HyperX commercial during timeout breaks or ads during broadcasts. The HyperX partnership can potentially lead other gaming companies to develop their own partnerships with other teams as well. For example what if, Fremont-based, Corsair Components partner with the Golden State Warriors and their upcoming 2K League team? The HyperX and 76ers partnership will become a catalyst for more opportunities to come to the NBA.

Fan engagement

HyperX has untapped options to gain more exposure and normalize esports to the public. Scott O’Neil, CEO of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, spoke with SportTechie about their efforts to innovate fan engagement. O’Neil said, “Some of the improvements they made to the game and the way they’re engaging their fan base, I think it’s a great way to tie fans back and forth through esports and the real game.” Another example is Nike’s NBA Connected Jersey where you gain exclusive content by simply tapping your smartphone on the tag of the jersey.

Every year technology continues to improve and reaches its way to innovate marketing. The 76ers can deliver creative fan engagement with their own fans and introduce them to esports with their own 2K League team. The idea can go both ways as you can also introduce esports viewers to the NBA. By increasing viewership, they create more streams of revenue and opportunities to expand between the two industries.

Getting other teams involved

Chad Biggs, Senior VP of Marketing Partnerships of the Philadelphia 76ers, believes more teams will take interest. “I don’t believe it undermines the league. We have some very strong teams. It will make a very competitive league and more teams will follow,” Biggs said in response to teams not participating from an interview from SportBusiness. Many teams want to view the success of the NBA 2K League’s first season before they want to jump in. After all the NBA and its teams are a business and, for some, esports is still considered a risk.

NBA teams know their business and can utilize their resources to translate into esports. O’Neil also commented, “You started to see a lot of my peers enter the space thinking, ‘OK, we understand how to sell tickets, we understand broadcast deals, we understand sponsorship.’” The Philadelphia 76ers has shown their admiration and potential for esports to create a connection between esports and traditional sports.


Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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Reddit Recap: Monumental Sports & Entertainment NBA 2K League AMA Summary

On Monday the NBA 2K subreddit hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with Grant Paranjape, Director of esports for Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), and Zach Leonsis, Senior VP and General Manager of Monumental Sports Network, about the NBA 2K League. Together they’re the esports team behind MSE and will be launching the Washington Wizards 2K team later this year.

Monumental Sports Esports AMA. Courtesy of Keiranthil via Twitter.

Many behind the scenes efforts are in preparation for the upcoming NBA 2K league. Paranjape and Leonsis shared more details by answering the community’s questions on Reddit. We have a little more insight about how it works. The NBA 2K League is still a work in progress. There are questions that remain ‘To Be Determined’ until further notice.

I highlight the key points in the AMA for readers interested in the NBA 2K League. Click here to read the entire AMA from Reddit.

Reddit AMA Summary

Central Studio

“The studio will completely equipped for players to play in, you will not have to provide your own console. Having everything played out of a central studio ensures that nothing will get in the way of creating the most competitive environment for the players as possible.” -Paranjape

Teams will travel to a central studio to play their games. The games are played in an environment with perfect connectivity.

Season Schedule

“The season will run the course of the entire summer (May-August) with regular season games, interjecting tournaments, and playoffs (and) finals.” -Paranjape

The number of games in a season is ‘To Be Determined’. Tournaments and playoffs are two different events.

Player Salary

“Not a bad question at all, teams will be providing housing + travel and it will not be the players’ responsibilities. From a team perspective, as well as my experience in esports, the salary is very competitive for a relatively new esports title and is enough to be considered a full time careers.” -Paranjape

Their competitive salary also includes benefits such as housing and healthcare. They also have the potential to earn more with tournaments and playoffs.

Training Regimen

“Different teams are pursuing different strategies, for our team we’re planning on hiring a coach, as well as potentially an additional analyst role. In terms of training days, everyday is a training day! But in all seriousness, there will be a set regiment that players will be responsible for following, under the guidance of the team manager & coach.” -Paranjape

Anthony Muraco, Esports Manager for the Dallas Mavericks, has already made plans for his team. Expect over 40 hours a week minimum with a combination of training, streaming, diet, and exercise regiment.

Selection Process

“I think there is no question that it is an extremely selective process (the numbers tell that story on its own). However, the reason it is so selective is to truly find the best 85 NBA2k players. Social following and exposure will not be the main factors that determine eligibility in the draft, we’re looking for the best players in game, period.” -Paranjape

Every team’s first shot in the selection process. There isn’t going to be a bias towards YouTube content creators based on their popularity.

Age Requirement

“Only players that are 18 or older will be eligible for the NBA 2k League draft.” -Leonsis

Draft will start in March. Keep playing kids.

Take-Two’s Tryout Mode

“Take-Two is developing a new tryout mode that will be released closer to the Spring, where all players are able to participate in a format that ensures that all players try out on an even playing field. The mode will ensure that we see a players’ true skill level, without attribute enhancements earned from previous gameplay.” -Leonsis

Tryouts will start in February. Anyone with a copy of 2K will be able to participate from all platforms.

Qualities In A Player

“Besides skill, we also want to draft players that show great leadership ability, strong work ethic, and an ability to compliment teammates. Chemistry will be critical to team success, so we will seek team-oriented players. It also doesn’t hurt to have a positive presence on social accounts. We want players who are positive representations of the team and our larger organization. When you’re drafted by our team, you no longer simply represent yourself, you also represent us!” -Leonsis

Players are employed by the NBA. Therefore you have to be professional and represent yourself accordingly.

Grassroots Marketing

“I think that is where a lot of the grassroots activations for the 2k league come into play. You’ll have teams hosting viewing parties, or side tournaments, where a lot of just fans of the game can come out and interact in really cool ways (and get a ton of awesome swag!)” -Paranjape

Brendan Donohue has mention in previous interviews how they want to incorporate grassroots events to build a fan base. Players interacting with their fans are their own celebrities.

Developing A Following

“In terms of growing a following in general however, I would say its all about creating interesting content. Whether its educational, in-depth breakdowns, scrimmage reviews, finding a way to set your content apart from all of the others is the best way to begin to grow a following on social.” -Paranjape

There’s opportunities to receive endorsements because of their social media presence. Players also work with league sponsors as well.

Personal Dedication

“I would say dedicate as much time as it takes for you to be the very best at the game as you can be. We definitely don’t want to put anyone in a difficult situation (IE they drop out of school/quit work and don’t make the draft), but at the same time there are always sacrifices to pursue your passions. I would say make decisions that put you on the path to where you want to be, while also having a solid backup plan.” -Paranjape

Please understand your situation before taking any risks. Always have a backup plan!

Potential Coaching Staff

“Given how new the 2k esports scene, we would be looking for mostly experience coaching in traditional sports and how you would be able to apply those fundamentals and beliefs to our 2k team!” -Paranjape

Team structure hasn’t finalized. Interested in traditional sports coaching translating to an esports team.

Manager’s Role

“I think managers play a huge role in players’ lives, especially when teams are living in a team house. Managers help settle disputes (you ate all the chips…) , make sure players have what they need, schedule scrims etc. I think the best managers are the ones who are able to empathize with players, but also garner the respect necessary to create a truly competitive environment.” -Paranjape

Managers are important for any esports team house. They cultivate a positive and fun culture that results in winning.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Tito!

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Beats, rhymes and life: NBA 2K18 soundtrack

Music has been apart of the NBA 2K series and basketball video games from the beginning. In fact, the cover of NBA 2K13 marketed the game as ‘Executive Produced By Jay-Z’. Two years later with NBA 2K15 the cover had ‘Music Curated By Pharrell Williams’. Not only in 2K where music is significant but it’s part of the basketball culture. Over the years the NBA 2K series has featured a library of songs and each year has more songs than the last. NBA 2K18 is no different and its music helps shape our experience with the game.

NBA 2K18 soundtrack

There are 50 songs in the NBA 2K18 soundtrack and many songs are from different genres. From Kendrick Lamar to Def Leppard to hip-hop songs in different languages, the playlist is very diverse. The soundtrack should have something for everyone, especially to hip-hop fans. There’s a lot of songs in different eras of hip-hop’s evolution. I grew up to a few of these songs such as ‘Nas Is Like’ and ‘They Reminisce Over You’ from the short but sweet NBA Street Vol. 2 soundtrack.

NBA 2K18 incorporates music into MyCareer when Doc’s Barber Shop gifts you headphones. The headphones alternate between in-game sounds and the soundtrack when you wear them. You could even buy different styles of headphones in-game to give yours more personality. From the arena music to strolling around the neighborhood, music is everywhere. You can also find the official NBA 2K18 soundtrack playlist on Spotify.

Here is the NBA 2K18 Soundtrack:

Basketball And music

Music is an important part of basketball culture on and off the court. In television you often see NBA players walk into the arena listening to music in their headphones. Often rappers want to be NBA stars and NBA stars want to be rappers. The crossover between two different worlds have been seen by Kobe and Shaq to name a few. However the most successful NBA star turned rapper, that can do both, is Damian Lillard. He has two songs with one being exclusive in the NBA 2K18 soundtrack.

Lillard recently released his second album, Confirmed, under the name Dame D.O.L.L.A. The album has popular artists as features including Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz and BJ the Chicago Kid. Music is an important outlet for Lillard because it influenced him at an early age where he began to start writing songs. So much that 2K18 featured Lillard inside the JBL Studio in MyCareer where you can use the beat machine to create instrumentals.

Here is Damian Lillard on the NBA 2K18 experience and his passion for music:

Relationship with music

Basketball and music share a special relationship together. Music takes you to a different place and changes how you feel. In many areas music is an important aspect of everyone’s life where it’s almost ritualistic. Many of us grew up listening to a lot of music and it became apart of our life in some way. Whether it’s from basketball to studying for your exam, music has a place everywhere around us. I want to ask what songs have you been listening to lately? What is your favorite song from the NBA 2K18 soundtrack? Feel free to share your comments.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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The Price To Pay For VC In NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 has been out for a month now. What’s the verdict? Critics gave positive reviews but there’s a lot of hate from players. If you’ve bought NBA 2K18, it’s hard to not notice how much bad feedback the game is getting since release. From Steam to Reddit the complaints don’t just stop there. Every new post from social media has people instantly replying “Fix your game”. People have already named NBA 2K18 the worst 2K in recent years.

The 2K series has been the best basketball simulation video game for almost two decades. We have seen in recent years 2K taking two steps forward but one step back. There hasn’t been any 2K that’s getting the backlash that 2K18 is getting. Every day consists a constant flow of negativity and a lot of complaints from the community. However if there’s an uproar in the community then there has to be some merit in their argument.

NBA 2K18 Steam Reviews

User reviews are important in any game because it allows input from other players as long as they’re objective. It’s an interesting case when there’s a mass wave of unsatisfied customers. There are over 4,000 negative reviews on Steam and counting. Any positive review gets downvoted from being helpful. Let’s take a glimpse at a few of the ‘Most Helpful Reviews’:

“Disguisting p2w model in a full priced AAA game, broken and unfair rubberbanding gameplay and a bunch of technical issues. Frustrating on every level. DON’T BUY IT”

“AAA price tag for a game that has more pay-to-win microtransactions than 99% of mobile games. They’re probably going to charge you VC to be able to skip cutscenes in an upcoming patch too. ♥♥♥♥ you and this trash”

“What happened in My Carreer? This game is so expensive already and my career needs to pay to win! My career getting trash and trash every year!”

“Pay-to-win in a full price game”

“Pay to win. Enough said.”

What is VC?

VC store in MyCareer. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

The core of the hate comes from VC in MyCareer. VC stands for Virtual Currency and you can earn it in almost every game mode in 2K18. In MyCareer, you can buy attributes, animations, clothes and basically everything for your character with VC. There’s a VC store that’s a built-in menu screen for that convenience if and when you need more. You can buy your way from a 60 to a 86 overall right from the very beginning. Upgrading your character comes with the price of time, money, or both. MyCareer is the only game mode where VC directly affects your progress. Their marketing campaign pushes MyCareer more than any other game mode.

Microtransactions

YouTubers such as Boogie2988 has made a video about the microtransactions in 2K18. Boogie2988 said “I will spend money on microtransactions on those games. The reason being is because they charged me nothing to play the game. The barrier of entry was $0 and because I’ve enjoyed the game and continued to play it for years.” Those games being League of Legends and Hearthstone, for example, are free-to-play that have made microtransactions optional and balanced because there isn’t a price on the game to start with. NBA 2K18 is a $60 game that includes microtransactions that are enticing and unbalanced.

Usually games that are free or have a low barrier of entry tend to have microtransactions by default. A problem with NBA 2K18 is that it’s a AAA title that have microtransactions that cost more than the game itself. You’re already paying for a $60 game that should be complete. The VC store has microtransactions purchasable for up to $100 in a menu that you can find similar on any mobile game. For example you can spend $160 total on a game that will become obsolete around September 2018 when 2K19 is released. That’s an expensive yearly subscription if want to look at it that way if you’re an avid 2K fan.

Grinding

Players who spent VC also have an advantage with attributes and their overall rating. You’re essentially paying to be better and rewards those who spend money. It has been noted that you would have to play over 200 season games to earn enough VC to get from 60 to 86. Another important factor is that if you made a new MyCareer character, you would have no VC or items carried over and basically start all over again. It discourages the freedom to create and experiment with different archetypes because you would’ve already invested a lot of hours already on your first character.

You don’t get a lot of VC for playing games. On average you get at least 500 VC per season game and at least 100 VC per MyPark game. Everything that’s purchasble by VC in-game cost well over in the thousands. For example an entire outfit can easily cost over 10,000 VC. You start as a 60 overall with 1,000 VC to begin with. It’s not a lot until you realize how much play time it would take to reach 70, 80, and 90. It will cost you over 200,000 VC to max your stats right away. You either have to log a substantial amount of hours or use your credit card for VC.

How to fix VC?

NBA 2K18 can reward more VC earned. Double or triple the amount can make the grind much easier. We shouldn’t spend more money to put in the time we don’t have. As of now no one from their team has acknowledged the negative attention the game has been receiving from microtransactions but they have been able to fix VC glitches quietly. The only changes made were reduced haircut prices from a few thousand to 100 VC because you can lose your haircut if you’ve edited your player’s appearance. However if 2K Games is making more money using this model then they’ll continue to use it on future games.

Creating a fix for VC can encourage players to try out different archetypes and playstyles without having to put in a lot of time on other characters. You don’t have to buy VC but it’s certainly unfair how much of a disadvantage it is on how much time it actually takes. After several hours of grinding you’ll reach an ultimatum where buying VC can cut the grinding immensely. NBA 2K18 caters to a casual fanbase that shouldn’t make a game consume hundreds of hours. Right around the corner is NBA 2K19 and when it releases everyone has to start new and the cycle continues.

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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The good, the bad and the ugly: MyCareer as a PC player in NBA 2K18

PC players are definitely the minority of players within the 2K community. The PC port is undeniably less popular than the other versions of the game. According to Steam Charts, there are an average of 11,566 PC players since the game’s release in September. Most of the 2K community unanimously resides on the Playstation 4 console. Our reasons as PC players are that we don’t own a console or we prefer the single player experience or we just don’t care.

The most coveted game mode in NBA 2K18 by far is MyCareer. You begin in an area called ‘The Neighborhood’ where your first thought is Grand Theft Auto’s open world but with basketball. This is where you begin your NBA career. MyCareer encompasses both MyPark and Pro-Am inside its world. Both are the main competitive modes of the game. Playing with CPU and other players as teammates/opponents was both fun and frustrating. The game certainly wasn’t easy the entire way. I can say my journey in the NBA was rough around the edges.

The good

Snapshot of my MyCareer player. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 is a lot of fun. I’ve played this game a lot, with around 200 hours worth on record. Most hours were spent playing MyCareer. I’ve played an entire season and participated in MyPark frequently. Playing with friends is enjoyable which makes for good laughs and jokes. I get a kick out of other players and how ridiculous most look. You can make friends in-game and run a few games together too. If you really enjoy the NBA and the game of basketball it’s hard not to have fun.

Playing season games is fun because of how your player’s strength benefits playing as a team. The actual gameplay of basketball feels reminiscent of years past. There is a lot of depth into the gameplay that shows the balance between every player’s archetypes. I may be in the minority but I do miss a few of the cut-scenes before and after the game. The cut-scenes gave me a sense of immersion that I really am in the NBA, but plays off on its humor entirely.

The bad

Empty Pro-Am arena. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 has a lot of bugs. Times where my character will spawn into a ghost town after using the subway to go to MyPark. Other times where my game will crash if I didn’t mute my teammates in my squad. The game will also randomly crash after MyPark games and the list goes on if you can already tell. The gameplay isn’t perfect. Sometimes you can’t make wide open layups. The shot meter isn’t accurate either because a slightly early release is better than a good release. These bugs aren’t being addressed and causes players including from console versions to lash out at 2K on social media as well.

There’s a small community of people that play MyPark or Pro-Am in general. I still haven’t played a Pro-Am game via walk-on because there isn’t a Pro-Am scene that I know of. I’ve been told it’s still bugged. You’ll eventually play with the same people that are the regulars at MyPark. It’s disappointing to pay the same price as console versions for an abandoned PC port. I can’t imagine how many people will still play several months from now. There isn’t an incentive to play on PC if you plan on playing multiplayer.

The ugly

Hackers already managed to get 99 overall. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 has a lot of cheaters and exploiters. They have been around in previous years of 2K and remain prevalent now. There’s already 99 overall players around yet it’s barely October. The chances there’s a legitimate 99 is slim to none. Another exploit I’ve seen is farming experience in the Gatorade Training Facility where I’ve seen a player do dumbbell flyes for weeks. People are finding different ways to get to 99 because of the grueling grind. This ruins the experience of others, including myself.

A few players from the Steam Discussion forums have recently reported that there are players using speed hacks. Meaning they have a 99 rating in more than a few attributes. However, the 2K PC community isn’t surprised because they’re all used to this behavior. Players who play 2K on PC every year comment that the developers never had an anti-cheat system in place. Many warn others about the PC port’s problems regarding cheaters, and to get the console version instead if possible.

In conclusion

I enjoy NBA 2K18’s MyCareer. This game has its strengths and fair share of weaknesses. I don’t regret my purchase at all because I knew what I was getting myself into. If you’re looking for a single player experience then PC is for you. MyLeague and MyTeam are really fun and you should try it if you haven’t. Otherwise if you’re looking for a more competitive scene or a complete experience, like me, then console is for you. I will admit this is going to be my last year as a PC player. Soon I will join everyone else on Playstation 4!

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

You can “Like” The Game Haus on Facebook and “Follow” us on Twitter for more sports and esports articles from other great TGH writers along with Tito!

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