While NBA basketball may remain on pause because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that doesn’t mean hoops is on hold entirely.
Sportsnet is set to air the NBA 2K League, the NBA’s official NBA 2K video game esports league, starting on Tuesday, May 5. This marks the first-ever broadcast of NBA 2K League games on TV in Canada.
Airing every Tuesday from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET on Sportnset ONE and Sportsnet NOW, the live weekly broadcast of the league will feature the most exciting moments, with each matchup played in a best-of-three format.
The NBA 2K League was first established in 2018 and, similarly to the NBA G League, features teams that are affiliated to their real-life NBA counterparts. There are currently 23 teams in the 2K League — 22 of which represent NBA franchises, including Toronto Raptors affiliate Raptors Uprising GC.
Matches consist of five-on-five gameplay, with players each controlling their own unique characters (non-NBA players), and playing their own positions.
Entering its third season, the 2K League also faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The originally-scheduled March 24 start date was pushed back mostly because matches are normally played in an arena in New York City. Because of the outbreak, however, the 2K League had to shift gears to an online model.