The 2022 NBA 2K League Draft was held virtually on February 27th. The competition gets underway on March 23rd with 24 teams involved in the league’s fifth anniversary season.
While the 2K league won’t appeal to everyone who follows the NBA schedules at Sidelines, eSports has grown considerably in the last few years. This was exaggerated in the early stages of the pandemic when sport ground to a halt and gaming took center stage for many fans.
The competition starts off with the Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN amateur qualifying event. All eyes will be on first overall pick Jaiden “galloOTTR” Frank, who was selected by Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai. Michael “Cooks” Campbell went to Bucks Gaming second overall before Mavs Gaming opted for Kenneth Grant “KennyZeus” Strombeck from Wake Forest.
Indianapolis is the hub of the 2K League in 2022. Plenty of teams will be located in the area, making use of the NBA 2K League Studio and creating behind the scenes content as they practice for the competitive action. Those choosing to be based elsewhere will play remote games from their own bases and travel to Naptown for in-person contests.
On the decision to relocate from New York to Indianapolis, NBA 2K League president Brendan Donohue said, “We are thrilled to get back to our live studio experience in the heart of downtown Indianapolis — a city overflowing with passionate basketball fans and known for putting on some of the biggest events in American sports. The NBA 2K League is proud to call Indianapolis our home for the 2022 season.”
Just like being taken in the NBA Draft, hearing your name called for the NBA 2K League Draft is a life-changing moment. It isn’t a career which lasts long for most, but it can be a gateway to future careers in the industry.
For instance, Brian “Nacho” Traynor and Anmool “ChaChingSingh” Singh stayed in eSports in non-gaming roles after being drafted for previous 2K League seasons.
Jack “JBM” Mascone won the league with the Wizards in 2021 after honing his 2K skills with his roommate at Arizona State.
The mental and physical impact of training and competing in eSports is often overlooked. Many have called it a day after two seasons in the NBA 2K League.
Mascone explained his journey into and out of the league to NerdStreet.
“After I got a slot in the draft, I talked to my parents, and my dad sat down with Brendan Donohue, who’s the commissioner of the 2K League and convinced my parents essentially that the league was worth doing…
“There’s definitely a growing period. There’s definitely times when I want to go play, but, you know, I think a couple years from now, I’m going to appreciate the decision I made a couple weeks ago.”
Mascone has taken his earnings from being a star of eSports and used it as a platform for a fresh career as an entrepreneur and creator. Even in the process of making his own video game, he’s an example of what comes next in the years after being drafted to the 2K League.