If you’re hoping to be eligible for the upcoming NBA 2K League season, you’ll likely have more opportunities than you’ve ever had before.
I received an early look at the process, and also spoke with Community Ambassador Graham “BFW” Borden about the new structure, and the word that kept coming up was inclusion.
In this year’s process, the NBA 2K League will look to bring in the best players from around the world, both male and female, through a variety of team-orchestrated tournaments, and league-sanctioned events.
Those events will serve as a preliminary look at the top prospects, and they will also provide an opportunity for the community to watch the best players and hopefuls in action in leading up to the Combine.
Here is a detailed look at the structure, per the press release that was provided to me by the NBA 2K League.
Beginning this month and through early December, every NBA 2K League team can host up to two NBA 2K21 Pro-Am tournaments, one on Sony PlayStation 4 and one on Microsoft Xbox One, and will culminate with an event in December featuring tournament winners. In January, following the release of Sony and Microsoft’s next-generation consoles, up to eight NBA 2K League teams will host NBA 2K21 Pro-Am tournaments on Sony PlayStation 5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X. All players on the winning team from each tournament will be made eligible for the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft. NBA 2K League teams will also be able to select one player not on the winning team of each tournament they host to receive a “Prospect Badge” and become Draft-eligible. Players who earn eligibility for the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft through team-hosted Pro-Am tournaments are not eligible to compete in subsequent Draft-eligible tournaments.
In an effort to continue developing and showcasing female 2K players, the NBA 2K League has helped facilitate several elite, all-female teams’ participation in existing Pro-Am tournaments taking place this fall. The top-performing players from these teams and the 2K community will be invited to compete in the NBA 2K League’s second Women in Gaming Development Camp in February, where they will compete alongside and against current NBA 2K League players so they can showcase their skills against the best players in the world.
The NBA 2K League will award additional Draft eligibility to a select number of players, including international players, participants in the Women in Gaming Development Camp, and high-performing players in the 2K community as determined by league and team officials. All players (including players identified through team-hosted tournaments) must be 18 years or older by Oct. 1, 2020 in order to participate in the Season 4 tryout process.
Borden breaks down the draft process in the video below:
This structure is a vast improvement over previous tryout processes because it eliminates many of the pain points prospects have complained about in the past. We’ve heard hopefuls complain about playing games with others who weren’t as vested in the process, or simply not as skilled.
That element should be all but eliminated, especially as you look later into the process. Also, the top female players will get an opportunity to compete head-to-head with the best talent and they will have a chance to show the world they belong in the 2K League.
The same can be said for the international talent that might not normally get an opportunity to compete against the best players in the United States. In totality, this process appears to be a more ideal amalgamation of talent, and it should render the most noteworthy and prepared draft pool in NBA 2K League history.
“As we continue to grow and evolve the NBA 2K League, we’re excited to implement a new tryout process for our fourth season that will give Draft-hopefuls more ways than ever to make the league,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “By awarding Draft eligibility on a rolling basis to members of the 2K community who excel in team-hosted tournaments, we will create additional engagement and excitement throughout the offseason. And for the first time, a winners’ event in December and virtual Combine in February will give our teams the opportunity to evaluate Draft-eligible players competing against only each other and make even more precise determinations about the best NBA 2K players in the world ahead of Draft day.”
The NBA 2K League Draft for Season 4 will have some extra layers this spring, and perhaps this process will broaden the overall appeal and interest.