The NBA 2K League will have its first-ever player draft on April 4 in New York City, the league announced on Friday.
Taking place at historic Madison Square Garden, the 17 NBA 2K League teams will draft from a pool of 102 players who made it through the forthcoming esports league’s selection process in January and February.
“The NBA 2K League draft is going to be incredible as we watch dreams become reality for our players,” NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue said in a statement. “We cannot wait to introduce the world to the first-ever NBA 2K League professionals and, most importantly, we are eager for our players to meet their teams and teammates for the first time. This will be a milestone moment for our league.”
The draft order will be determined by a lottery that takes place on March 13. The format of the draft will be similar to that of a standard fantasy sports draft where it will snake through the order, meaning the team with the first-overall pick will select 17th in the second round and back at No. 1 for the third.
On March 13, 2K League team Twitter accounts will reveal the draft order. The league says the lottery will be non-weighted so everyone should have the same chance to draft the LeBron James of NBA 2K18.
The NBA 2K League is a joint venture between the publisher 2K Games and the NBA to bring League of Legends-style esports to the traditional sports game landscape. It’s scheduled to begin play in May with 17 teams, including one representing the Toronto Raptors called Raptors Uprising Gaming Club, with six players on each squad. The league will run similar to the actual NBA with a real league schedule and playoffs.
Earlier on Friday, the NHL announced its own esports venture, the 2018 NHL Gaming World Championship. Unlike the NBA 2K League, this will be a singular longer tournament with individual players on individual teams as opposed to a group of five individuals each manning their own position as in the 2K League.