NBA 2K community

2K Corner Series: Interview with Pacers’ Cody Parrent

A critical component to any athlete’s success is their love for competition. In 2017, that competition is no longer exclusive to the hardwood or grass fields. Instead, the virtual world is home to some of the fiercest competitors in the world.

This is the belief that fuels Cody Parrent, the director of esports for the Indiana Pacers. He now channels his passion to compete into being a leader in the NBA 2K League community.

Driven By Competition and Friendship

Don’t mistake Parrent for being just a gamer. At his core, he’s a competitor.

It started as a teenager. He loved that AAU basketball and club soccer provided him with a time and place to hang out with his friends. However, Parrent never wanted the fun to stop.

“I had to be home at a certain time, and I wanted to keep hanging out with my friends. So we started playing video games online together,” he said.

NBA 2K community

Image Courtesy of Cody Parrent’s LinkedIn

That soon developed into a passion for Parrent. He would go on to compete in national tournaments in Halo 2 through his high school career. Sadly, he had to temper his competitive spirit in college.

“I wanted to buckle down on my studies,” Parrent said. “I didn’t compete much, but I kept up with the scene.”

It’s a good thing he did. Parrent earned his undergrad and MBA from University of Southern Indiana. After graduation, he and his friends started NBA 2k Lab. With this kind of experience and business acumen, he was no doubt among a short list of candidates for the director of esports position with the Pacers.

Focusing On The Community

One thing that was apparent in our conversation was his genuine understanding and love of the NBA 2K community. This kind of knowledge is critical to the success of the NBA 2K League. Parrent talked about a community event the Pacers hosted at the Game On Esports Center in Westfield, Indiana. He was hoping for an audience of 15 to 20 people to attend so he could educate them about the NBA 2K League. He had no idea what was going to transpire.

“We had over 100 people…people from Colorado, New York City, Orlando…some drove 15 hours to attend our event.”

– Cody Parrent

This kind of attendance does not only foreshadow the league’s success, but it also indicates how great the NBA 2K community is.

What does Parrent attribute to the success of this event? He knows where the community lives.

“The NBA 2K community lives on Twitter,” he said. “People are always talking and messaging with open spots in upcoming games.”

If you’re looking to get involved, search #2kfreeagent and you’ll understand how open and understanding the players in the community are.

Message for Aspiring Pros

We were able to speak at length about the draft process on the 2K Corner 3 Podcast, which you can listen to here. Parrent explained what an aspiring player needs to be doing in order to qualify for the NBA 2K League draft pool in 2018.

“If you’re listening take notes, if you are aspiring to be an NBA 2K League player, the tryout mode in February is what will allow you to get into the draft pool,” Parrent said.

Parrent went on to mention specific items and skills they will be evaluating during that tryout mode. While this isn’t an official announcement by the league, the NBA 2K community should take notice of any advice Parrent has to offer.

Silencing The Doubters

For those who continue to doubt this league’s credibility and success, Parrent has a message for you.

“2K17 sold 9 million copies and has 1.6 million active daily users and a growing Pro Am Scene,” he said.

The numbers clearly illustrate a demand for the game and an engaged consumer. The key will be converting those who don’t qualify for the draft pool and the casual player to tune in once the games start up.

With people like Cody Parrent at the helm, I have no doubt the NBA 2K League will find a way attract and sustain viewers.

 

You can hear the full interview including details about the national tryout and the qualification process to become a professional 2K player in the 2K Corner 3 Podcast by clicking here.

To stay updated be sure to follow Cody Parrent on Twitter @codyparrent and Kelly Krauskopf, President of the Indiana Fever and Senior Vice President of Pacers Sports & Entertainment @FeverPrez.

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

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.

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!

To continue enjoying great content from your favorite writers, please contribute to our Patreon account! Every little bit counts. We greatly appreciate all of your amazing support! #TGHPatreon