The inaugural NBA 2K League season begins on Tuesday, May 1 with a tournament named “The Tipoff.
At the NBA 2K League Studio in New York City on Tuesday, history will be made. The first-ever esports league sponsored by a North American sports league will begin formal competition. All 17 franchises will take part in a five-day tournament. The winning team will take home not only a cash prize but a piece of a trophy as well.
For the tournament, all 17 teams have been placed into one of four pools. The winner of each pool will secure $5,000 but the top two teams from each pool will advance to a single-elimination round. Teams which reach the semifinals will finish in the money. Third and fourth places will take home $10,000. The tournament runner-up will split $25,000 between its six members and the tournament champion will celebrate with $35,000.
In addition the tournament champion will get a steel banner that links to two more steel banners which will be awarded at the league’s midseason and end-of-season tournaments. The goal is to collect all three banners, thus completing the banner chain.
Dates and times for the group stage are as follows:
Tuesday, May 1, 5-11 p.m. ET
- Bucks Gaming at Pistons GT
- Cavs Legion GC at Kings Guard Gaming
- Bucks Gaming at Cavs Legion GC
- Pistons GT at Kings Guard Gaming
- Kings Guard Gaming at Bucks Gaming
- Pistons GT at Cavs Legion GC
Wednesday, May 2, 5-11 p.m. ET
- Jazz Gaming at Wizards District Gaming
- Warriors Gaming Squad at Knicks Gaming
- Jazz Gaming at Warriors Gaming Squad
- Wizards District Gaming at Knicks Gaming
- Knicks Gaming at Jazz Gaming
- Warriors Gaming Squad at Wizards District Gaming
Thursday, May 3, 3-11 p.m. ET
- Raptors Uprising GC at Magic Gaming
- 76ers GC at Blazer5 Gaming
- Raptors Uprising GC at 76ers GC
- Magic Gaming at Blazer5 Gaming
- Blazer5 Gaming at Raptors Uprising GC
- 76ers GC at Magic Gaming
- Mavs Gaming at Heat Check Gaming
- Grizz Gaming at Celtics Crossover Gaming
Friday, May 4, 3-11 p.m. ET
- Celtics Crossover Gaming at Pacers Gaming
- Grizz Gaming at Heat Check Gaming
- Pacers Gaming at Mavs Gaming
- Heat Check Gaming at Pacers Gaming
- Celtics Crossover Gaming at Mavs Gaming
- Pacers Gaming at Grizz Gaming
- Heat Check Gaming at Celtics Crossover Gaming
- Mavs Gaming at Grizz Gaming
The schedule for the single elimination phase of the tournament is as follows:
Saturday, May 5, 1-8 p.m. ET
- Quarterinals 1: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up
- Quarterinals 2: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up
- Quarterinals 3: Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up
- Quarterinals 4: Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up
- Semifinals 1: Quarterfinals 1 winner vs. Quarterfinals 2 winner
- Semifinals 2: Quarterfinals 3 winner vs. Quarterfinals 4 winner
- Winner of Semifinals 1 vs. Winner of Semifinals 2
For those who can’t make it to the studio on those days, a free live stream of all the action will be available on the NBA 2K League’s official Twitch channel. That is the only place where an official broadcast of the events may be viewed live. Twitch, or a third party app that enables viewing Twitch feeds, is available for most devices capable of streaming video.
With “The Tipoff” being the first competition NBA 2K League fans have ever seen, this represents a great opportunity for some team to establish itself as the early favorite to win the league’s first title. The banner and cash aren’t too bad either.