With the majority of the world on lockdown, and the vast majority of sporting events cancelled for the foreseeable future, it has been left to the video gaming world to provide the sporting hits we require. With F1 going virtual, dragging together real-world racers and celebrities together in one-off races, NBA have followed the trend, with the first ever NBA 2K Players Tournament. 

Played out on Xbox One, and shown on both ESPN and ESPN2, the NBA 2K Players Tournament brings together no less than 16 current NBA stars as they compete in a single-elimination tournament; a tournament in which only one player can be crowned champion, seeing their chosen charity gifted a super $100,000 donation from 2K in support of the ongoing coronavirus relief efforts. 

The likes of Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks are just a couple of the biggest names taking part in the NBA 2K Players Tournament, but alongside them are also Hassan Whiteside of the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell and more. Trae Young looks to be the main favourite to become the champion based on odds from esportsbettingtop, having an average implied probability of winning the tournament of 30%. With seedings based on the official NBA 2K rating of each player, the guys will go heads-up across multiple single elimination rounds, before seeing the semi and final stages played out as a best of three.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” said Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament.”

“We are excited to tip off the first ‘NBA 2K Players Tournament’ in partnership with the NBPA and 2K, continuing an ongoing effort to stay connected with NBA fans around the world, while also giving back in this time of need,” said Matt Holt, NBA SVP of Global Partnerships. 

“This tournament offers a unique opportunity for our players to compete with one another while also supporting their philanthropic efforts and engaging with their fans,” said Josh Goodstadt, EVP of Licensing for THINK450, the commercial arm of the NBPA. “We are excited to work with 2K and the NBA to bring this experience to life for the entire NBA community.”

The full player seedings run as follows:

  • Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (96)
  • Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (90)
  • Hassan Whiteside, Portland Trail Blazers (87)
  • Donovan Mitchell, Utah Jazz (87)
  • Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns (86)
  • Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers (85)
  • Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls (85)
  • Montrezl Harrell, LA Clippers (85)
  • Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers (85)
  • Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (85)
  • DeMarcus Cousins (81)
  • Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (81)
  • Rui Hachimura, Washington Wizards (79)
  • Patrick Beverley, LA Clippers (78)
  • Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings (78)
  • Derrick Jones Jr., Miami Heat (78)

Every tournament game takes place on either ESPN or ESPN2, while those who prefer the App-based streaming line will do well to fire up the official ESPN App or the NBA App. After having already taken in Round 1, we’re now at the Quarter final stages, with the full schedule running as… 

  • Quarterfinals – Tuesday, April 7: ESPN2, 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. ET
  • Semifinals & Finals – Saturday, April 11: ESPN, Timing to be announced.

Will you be checking out the NBA 2K Players Tournament on Xbox One? If so, who’s your money on? And if you want to take in the latest NBA experience for yourself, check out our full review of NBA 2K 2020 on Xbox One