NBA launches $100,000 esports all-pro charity tournament

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced its own all-pro esport competition, the NBA 2K Players Tournament, which will see the likes of Kevin Durant and Trae Young play on the virtual court for $100,000.

The money provided by 2K, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), will be donated to the players’ charity of choice in support of the coronavirus relief efforts.

Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships stated: “We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need.”

The tournament will feature 16 current NBA players competing online in a single-elimination bracket with all the games being shown on ESPN and ESPN 2

Prior to the start of the competition, the athletes will choose eight NBA teams which they can use, with every side only useable once. If players pick the same team then the away side gets to choose if they wish to stick with the side, forcing the home team to change teams. 

Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing added: “We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times.

“Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”

Rounds one and two of the NBA 2K Players Tournament will be single elimination, with the semifinals and finals running best of three. The first round is scheduled to begin on Friday April 3 with Miami Heat’s Derrick Jones Jr. facing Brooklyn Nets’ Durant.

“This tournament offers a unique opportunity for our players to compete with one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans,” concluded Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, NBPA’s commercial branch. 

“We are excited to work with 2K and the NBA to bring this experience to life for the entire NBA community.” 

All of the athletes participating in the competition include:

Kevin Durant (Brooklyn Nets)
Trae Young (Atlanta Hawks)
Hassan Whiteside (Portland Trail Blazers)
Donovan Mitchell (Utah Jazz)
Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns)
Andre Drummond (Cleveland Cavaliers)
Zach LaVine (Chicago Bulls)
Montrezl Harrell (LA Clippers)
Domantas Sabonis (Indiana Pacers)
Deandre Ayton (Phoenix Suns)
Michael Porter Jr. (Denver Nuggets)
Rui Hachimura (Washington Wizards)
Patrick Beverley (LA Clippers)
Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings)
Derrick Jones Jr. (Miami Heat)
DeMarcus Cousins