We are several ticks of the clock arm away from the first NBA 2K20 Player Tournament that will feature 16 NBA would-be gamers. While the NBA isn’t sure when professional basketball will return, the NBA 2K League, and this new player-focused tourney, has proven a good alternative with virtual basketball kicking off today, Friday, April 3.
The event will reunite some of the NBA’s top players, including Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, and Devin Booker all of whom will have to establish a name for themselves in an unfamiliar stomping ground – the NBA 2K20 video game.
Meanwhile, the entire $100,000 prize purse will be donated to help with relief efforts amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament comes on top of the regular NBA 2K League games between the Orlando Magic vs Boston Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets vs Miami Heat today.
There are 16 NBA players joining the event today, and most of them are well-known faces. Clearly, Kevin Durant, who is given the best odds to win, is also the biggest star here. Yet, without actual past experience in the NBA 2K, nobody really knows what the outcome of the event would be.
Meanwhile, here’s the full list of the participants:
- 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
- DeMarcus Cousins
- Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
- Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards
- Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers
- Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings
- Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat
Where to Watch?
You can tune in and watch the first NBA 2K20 Player Tournament at 7 PM ET on ESPN today. The tournament will run until 8:30 PM and then shift to ESPN2 until 11:30 PM.
- On Sunday, April 5, the event will return from 12-4 PM ET on ESPN 2.
- Then, the quarterfinals will air on Tuesday, April 7, from 7-11 PM ET on ESPN 2.
- The semifinals will air on Saturday, April 11, on ESPN with the time to be released later
All replays will be available as video on demand (VOD) on ESPN 3 after the live competitions are over.
Who’s Playing Who?
The tournament isn’t taking skill behind a controller seriously in determining the seeds.
Instead, the players are ranked based on their current seed in the NBA, which puts Kevin Durant ahead. However, Michael Porter Jr. Booker is in fact a gamer as well as an NBA player and his experience in Call of Duty might just prove what he needs to dominate the NBA 2K pecking order for once.
DeMarcus Cousins has already engaged in some good-natured ribbing with Ronnie Singh, one Ronnie 2K in the 2K community. Yet, Cousins is actually quite hyped about the event and looking to dominate in the virtual court.
The tournament is a 10-day action down the line, which will help fill up the vacuum left by the global shutdown of all events.