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.
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
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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