Without live basketball on air for quite some time now, the inaugural 2K Players Tournament has somehow given fans its daily dose of NBA action.
After garnering positive reviews so far, organizers of the virtual tourney said they are looking to conduct more of these types of competitions moving forward.
Per the LA Times, NBA’s senior vice president of global partnerships Matt Holt bared that fans can expect more 2K Players Tournament even after the ongoing one comes to an end this Saturday.
“We’re proud of what we’ve pulled off here. And I think we will try to do more of these in the future, regardless if we’re in the current situation or if we have live sports back,” the NBA exec said.
Despite initially putting it together on short notice, the tournament has somehow managed to give fans a semblance of normalcy in terms of a basketball viewing experience during the hard times brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic.
Esports, as it turns out, is the perfect form of entertainment one can provide while abiding by the rules of the quarantine period.
Although still far from the real thing, the NBA took full advantage of its partnership with 2K and made the most of its growing gaming fan base.
“We scrambled to try to put this together quickly and given all the circumstances we’re in, the logistics of doing this were not easy,” Holt furthered. “We’re not sending production crews to players’ homes. We’re sending out XBoxes and audio equipment and cameras. All that happened in a two-and-a half-week span.”
The player’s only tournament began with 16 participants, but it has now been trimmed to the final four. The Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix Suns are well represented, as they each have two players still in contention. Montrezl Harrell will take on Devin Booker, while Patrick Beverley will duke it out with DeAndre Ayton.
Sure, fans would prefer real basketball every single time, but watching athletes play virtual versions of themselves will have to cut it for now.
“While we all wish we were playing NBA games this is definitely a good, next-best thing that we’re proud of,” Holt added.