NBA 2K league adding Shanghai team in 2020
NEW YORK, USA – The NBA 2K League will add a team in Shanghai for the 2020 season, the esports league's first franchise outside of North America.
The NBA-affiliated league announced the addition on Thursday, September 26 (Friday, September 27, Philippine time).
The Shanghai club will be operated by esports organization Gen.G and will join 22 existing teams, all of which are operated by NBA franchises.
The 2K League, run by the NBA, partnered with internet giant Tencent to stream games in China for the first time in July.
The Shanghai team will train at Gen.G's Los Angeles headquarters during the 2020 season.
The majority of the 2K League's matches take place at its studio in New York City, although the league also held tournaments in Las Vegas and Orlando, Florida, in 2019.
Gen.G's investors include Los Angeles Clippers alternate governor Dennis Wong. The group's Seoul Dynasty competes in the Overwatch League.
"This is a historic moment in the NBA 2K League's journey to becoming a truly global league with fans, franchises and players from all over the world," said NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue.
"Gen.G is the ideal organization to launch our first team from outside of North America, and we look forward to working with Gen.G to reach new fans in Shanghai and identify elite talent across Asia."
Connecting esports fans
Gen.G, whose teams compete in seven other major titles, is also the first NBA 2K League team not affiliated with an NBA team.
Gen.G’s NBA 2K League team will also be its second esports franchise, joining Seoul Dynasty of the Overwatch League and second entry in Chinese esports (China Clash Royale League).
“We are honored to help lead the NBA 2K League’s expansion into Asia and proud to represent Shanghai on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Chinese fans who love basketball and video games,” said Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G.
“Gen.G’s unique core mission – to connect esports fans and athletes across the US and Asia – is meant for ambitious ventures like this. We have big plans to help grow the NBA 2K League in communities around the world that are passionate about basketball and video games.”
In addition to launching the Shanghai franchise, Gen.G and the NBA 2K League announced a long-term relationship to grow the NBA 2K League’s global player pool and fanbase.
As part of the terms, Gen.G will collaborate with the NBA 2K League on player development and talent identification in Asia, brand development in Asia, and worldwide esports and gaming programming. Together, the NBA 2K League and Gen.G will build a world-class pipeline for the next generation of great Asian players, develop NBA 2K League content for the more than 12 million followers of Gen.G’s global esports portfolio and the NBA 2K League’s global audience, and promote the NBA 2K League to fans around the world.
Today’s announcements are also important milestones for inclusion and professionalism in esports, values that the NBA 2K League and Gen.G have championed individually and will champion together through this strategic relationship.
In August, the NBA 2K League held its first-ever development camp for elite female NBA 2K players at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York City, and Gen.G announced its all-women Fortnite team – Gen.G Empowered by Bumble (Team Bumble) – as part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to driving women’s empowerment in gaming and esports.
Gen.G and Hornets Venom GT, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets, will participate in the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft Lottery on Friday, Oct. 4. Additional details about Gen.G’s NBA 2K League team will be announced at a later date.
For more information, fans can follow the NBA 2K League on Twitter (NBA2KLeague), Instagram (nba2kleague), Facebook (NBA 2K League), Twitch (NBA2KLeague) and YouTube (NBA 2K League) and visit NBA2KLeague.com. Fans can follow Gen.G on Twitter (GenG), Instagram (gengesports), Facebook (GenGesports), Twitch (geng) and YouTube (Gen.G esports) and visit www.geng.gg. – With a report from Agence France-Presse