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NBA 2K is a highly competitive sports game and its premise is to simulate conditions such as those in the NBA. They use the same rules as real-life NBA games and the developers of the game have recreated actual NBA players with similar gameplay as their real-life counterparts. NBA 2K can be played on PlayStation (2, 3 and 4), Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, Wii, and many more devices.
NBA 2K has only recently become a part of the esports lineup in 2018 and has since thrived as one of the most popular sports-related esports to date. Each season lasts about 15 to 17 weeks and includes a proper format that is followed with regards to matches and tournaments. This set format means that tournaments are also categorized and include the Tip-Off Tournament, the Turn Tournament, and the Ticket Tournament.
NBA 2K esports competitive seasons generally last around 15 to 17 weeks (the inaugural season lasted 17 weeks) and each season is divided into different rounds. In a regular season, each week has teams competing against each other. One season starts in May and continues until August or September and another season takes place in the winter (starting in December and ending in March).
Teams are required to play a minimum of 19 matches (with 14 of those being regular-season games and the rest being tournament games). In a season, 12 weeks are usually used for the above-mentioned matches and 3 weeks include the major tournaments. Tournament games are not counted in the seasonal records.
The top seven teams with the best seasonal records make it to the post-season playoffs. Then, teams compete for the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the finals (which is played in the best of three formats).
No major changes have been announced in this format, but due to the fact that NBA 2K is only a recent initiative in esports, there will likely be changes if any faults are found in the setup.
NBA 2K tournaments take place every competitive season as each season has a proper format that is followed. Tournaments are categorized into three categories, including the Tip-off Tournament, the Turn Tournament, and the Ticket Tournament. Aside from these esports tournaments, invitationals also take place with the recent APAC Invitational 2019 taking place in February. These tournaments have been formatted in a way that participating in them does not have any effect on your team’s seasonal score. Participation in the Turn and Ticket Tournaments is determined through each team’s seasonal records. Participation in the Turn Tournament is formatted to include four groups playing in a five day time period.
Tournaments are single elimination and winners take home the prize pool. These tournaments are still gaining popularity as NBA 2K has only recently become a part of esports. However, they generate a high prize pool, the highest being $600,000 and the lowest prize pool being $100,000.
NBA 2K esports simulates a typical basketball game played in NBA format. This esports game is played using the MyTeam game mode, which involves building a team and competing against other teams online. Card packs are used to select different players and upon purchase, card packs provide players with random items they can use in the game (including unlocking different players).
The main objectives of the game include building a team, carrying out different strategies on the court to better your team’s record and ultimately, playing to win.
Differentiating between a pro player and an average player is quite easy in NBA 2K because pro players generally understand the rules of the game and what they need to do in order to win; while average players usually start off confused and take some time to get a hang of the team sport. However, it is not necessary that pro players will be those people who are fans or players of basketball in real life; it purely depends on how skilled you are with the gaming console when it comes to playing NBA 2k esports.
In NBA 2K esports, virtual currency or VC is used to purchase card packs, which gives you access to random items and players within the game. VC is earned when your team plays with a smooth offensive approach and gets into a proper flow when doing so. You can use the card packs you buy and unlock elite players, jerseys and other items in the MyTeam Market.
Virtual currency can also be bought using real-world currency and you can buy up to 450,000 VC for $99.99 (the lowest VC you can buy is 5,000 for $1.99).
The most effective tactics that can be used in NBA 2K esports are quite simple. Develop a proper flowing offense while maintaining the team’s defensive strategies and the smooth flow will help the team prosper.
This tactic can be utilized easily through the game however; it requires a lot of teamwork to achieve. Being synchronized with your teammates is the best way to apply this tactic during the game. Also, discussing the game plan is another way to ensure that your team can develop proper offensive and defensive strategies.
However, if there are players within the team who do not coordinate well with the other players or do not effectively apply the strategies discussed, then the most effective tactics that your team plans on using will be compromised.
In NBA 2K esports, teams consist of four players and they are required to select their NBA players and can also select their desired jerseys. There are currently 21 teams in the United States who are active participants of NBA 2K esports. Teams can choose what role each player will have in the game. Players can choose from the following archetypes:
- Point Guard: Shot-Creating Slasher, Shot-Creating Sharpshooter, Slashing Playmaker, Sharpshooting Playmaker or Playmaking Shot Creator
- Shooting Guard: Playmaking Slasher, Sharpshooting Defender, Slashing Shot Creator, Sharpshooting Shot Creator or Pure Sharpshooter
- Small Forward: Shot-Creating Slasher, Sharpshooting Shot Creator, Pure Sharpshooter, Slashing Defender or Sharpshooting Slasher
- Power Forward: Slashing Rim Protector, Rebounding Athletic Finisher, Slashing Post Scorer, Two-Way Rebounder or Sharpshooting Rim Protector
- Center: Post-Scoring Athletic Finisher, Slashing Rebounder, Pure Rim Protector, Slashing Stretch Five or Rebounding Post Scorer
Also, while selecting characters, it is important to look at their stats to get an understanding of whether or not they are what you want in your character.
NBA 2K includes many different game modes, including Career mode, MyLeague, MyCourt, MyTeam, MyPark, etc. Each mode has its own significant features and some modes even allow you to manage your own franchise.
In NBA 2K, the main game mode that is used is MyTeam, in which the objective is to build a team and effectively apply your team’s strategy on the court with teamwork. This game mode is popular because it can be easily played online (all you need is to own the specified installment of NBA 2K and a device to play it on) and is primarily team focused. This game mode remains permanent due to its accessibility and how perfect it is for the esports setup. Its permanence has also allowed NBA 2K to establish a structured format for their competitive seasons and tournaments.
No new game modes have been announced in the esports setup of NBA 2K; however, NBA 2K is a recent esports initiative and esports prides itself on making smooth improvements in the games on their roster. Thus, improvements will be made to NBA 2K esports in the future.