To support the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak relief efforts, the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) launched the "NBA 2K players Tournament," a battle for "2K supremacy" between 16 current NBA players who will face a single-elimination, player-only tournament on Xbox One starting April 3 on ESPN and ESPN2. Winners will have the chance to be crowned as the ultimate NBA 2K20 champion and select a charity beneficiary to receive a 2K's $100,000 donation.
Top seeds Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets and Atanta Hawks' Trae Young will play head to head against 14 other current NBA players for a chance to be the first Ultimate NBA 2K20 Champion.
Thrilled to partner with the NBA and the players' association to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to share during these uncertain times, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing, Jason Argent emphasized that entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together, including athletes, fans and families . Argent is hoping that everyone will enjoy the tournament.
NBA Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships, Matt Holt shared that they 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.
Read also: Kevin Durant Becomes 7th NBA Player to Contract COVID-19
Executive Vice President of Licensing for THINK450, the commercial arm of the NBPA, Josh Goodstadt mentioned that they are excited to work with 2K and the NBA to bring this experience to life for the entire NBA community as this tournament offers a unique opportunity for the players to compete against one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans.
The Game Format
Before going head-to-head online in NBA 2K20, there is a seeding format for the match up tree.
The players' seeding is determined in two parts. First, the NBA 2K rating and second by tenure. Prior to the tournament, each player will choose eight of current NBA teams, each of which can only be used once and if a mirror match is set, the away team is awarded the first choice of the team. The rounds one and two of the tournament will be a single-elimination, the semifinals and finals will be best of three.
The following are the players who are participating in the said tournament and their seed standing:
1. Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
2. Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
3. Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
4. Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
5. Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
6. Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
7. Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
8. Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
9. Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
10. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
11. DeMarcus Cousins (81)
12. Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
13. Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
14. Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
15. Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
16. Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)
Match up between Kevin Durant and Jones Jr. will be tipping off the tournament on April 3 as the coverage starts at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN. Each of them will play one of their pre-selected teams with Durant choosing from the Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz while Jones Jr. will be choosing from Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers.