Four expansion teams are joining the NBA 2K League for its second season, the esports organization announced on Wednesday. The Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Minnesota Timberwolves bring the total number of teams from 17 to 21.
“Welcoming these four world-class organizations and their passionate fan bases to the NBA 2K League is an exciting moment not only for the league, but for the entire 2K community,” said NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue. “From their innovative spirit to their global reach, we know each of these teams will be a tremendous addition, and we are thrilled that this growth offers the opportunity for new players, coaches and support staff to join the league.”
The original 17 NBA 2K League teams are: 76ers GC, Blazer5 Gaming, Bucks Gaming, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Grizz Gaming, Heat Check Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Magic Gaming, Mavs Gaming, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, Warriors Gaming Squad, and Wizards District Gaming. Each one is owned by an existing NBA franchise.
The NBA 2K League’s inaugural season launched in May. About 102 players on 17 teams competed in a 17-week season that culminates in playoffs and finals matches this weekend. The NBA 2K League Playoffs begin Friday, Aug. 17 at 6 p.m. ET with the 76ers GC taking on the Wizards District Gaming. The NBA 2K League Finals is a best-of-three tournament. It takes place Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. ET. The winning team will receive $300,000, with the remaining $600,000 prize pool split between the remaining seven playoff teams.
Both the playoffs and finals will stream live on Twitch from the NBA 2K League Studio Powered by Intel in New York City. The league has a multi-year deal with Twitch that includes exclusive live broadcast rights to all games during the 2018 season.