NBA 2K League Shifts to Manhattan Studio for Season 3, Will Host Selected Games in Local Markets

Rivalry match, round-robins, ‘Game of the Week’ are on the league’s schedule

The NBA 2K League will have a new home in 2020, moving to a new 13,600-sq.-ft studio space in Manhattan for its third season. The new space replaces the esports league’s previous home in Long Island City, Queens for the past two seasons. In addition, selected NBA 2K League teams will host rivalry matches and round-robin events in their markets.

“Every season, we seek to elevate the NBA 2K League experience for players, fans, and viewers, and we are taking a major step in that direction with our new Manhattan studio,” says NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “This unique space will further establish the NBA 2K League as a world-class esports product and make the league more engaging and accessible to casual and hardcore fans alike.”

Manhattan-Bound: A Sneak Peek at the New Facility
The NBA 2K League Studio, located at 508 W. 37th Street, will have revamped audience seating for up to 200 people, reflecting the circular-competition format unique to the NBA 2K League. Other features include larger screens, a miked stage to highlight the players’ personalities, the Bud Light VIP Lounge, a streaming pod for guest streamers, and an additional studio for content capture.

Starting out in this studio in Queens, NY, the NBA 2K League has evolved an increased emphasis on fan engagement and storytelling.

In its second season in Long Island City, NBA 2K League productions took on a largely different look from that of its inaugural year, with many of the changes related to creating a more engaging product with a greater focus on storytelling. The production team increased the camera complement and added a second EVS replay server, continued to experiment with in-game camera angles, enhanced the in-venue experience with additional LED displays, and repositioned casters and hosts. This evolution is likely to continue in the league’s new digs in Manhattan.

The league’s third season tips off Tuesday, March 24 with The TIPOFF powered by AT&T at the NBA 2K League Studio. Weekly regular-season matchups at the studio will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Each team will play a total of 16 regular-season games.

The Homestand Era Begins for NBA 2K League
New this season, selected teams will host rivalry matches and round-robin events in their respective markets. The matches and games will count toward a team’s regular-season record, with the exception of the round-robin championship games.

Each of the six round-robin events will have a total prize pool of $20,000, with the winner of the championship game receiving $15,000. The round-robin tournaments will be held in Orlando (May 23), Minneapolis (June 13), Toronto (June 20), Dallas (June 26), San Francisco (July 11), and Washington, DC (July 18).

In addition, rivalry matches will be held in Washington, Boston, Minneapolis, Charlotte, Memphis, and Orlando. CLICK HERE for the full Season 3 schedule.

The introduction of local-market competitions follows a growing trend in esports. Activision-Blizzard Esports launched the Call of Duty League in January with a home-and-away model and did the same for the third season of Overwatch League earlier this month. Riot Games’ League of Legends Pro League in China also began a home-and-away model in 2018, and Riot hints that other LoL regions are likely to adopt a similar model in the future.

A Deeper Look at the Season 3 Schedule
Additionally, every Friday, the NBA 2K League Studio will host a “Game of the Week,” featuring one of the top matchups of the week and a unique studio experience for fans in attendance and watching the broadcast.

The 2020 season will once again feature three in-season tournaments — THE TIPOFF (NBA 2K League Studio), THE TURN (location TBD), and THE TICKET (NBA 2K League Studio) — in which teams compete for banners that link to form THE BANNER CHAIN powered by AT&T. All 23 teams will compete in THE TIPOFF and THE TURN. The 14 teams that are not among the nine playoff seeds will compete in THE TICKET, in which the winning team will earn the 10th and final spot in the 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs, which will tip off Wednesday, July 29 and take place over four days of gameplay. All 23 teams will have five bye weeks during the season, including a league-wide bye week July 1-4.

During the 2020 season, the NBA 2K League will award $1.4 million in prize money across THE TIPOFF and THE TURN, the six round-robin local events, and the NBA 2K League Playoffs.

Single-night, Bud Light VIP Lounge, and season tickets for regular-season and selected tournament matchups at the NBA 2K League Studio are on sale now for $15, $30, and $115, respectively, at NBA2KLeague.com.