NBL OZ Gaming will be the 25th team in the NBA 2K League.
SAN ANTONIO — The NBA 2K League is getting bigger and reaching new global heights.
The NBA 2K League and the National Basketball League of Australia have announced a landmark agreement whereby the NBL will launch an NBA 2K League expansion team, NBL OZ Gaming, representing Australia.
This is the first time an Australian professional team has joined a global esports league on a permanent basis.
“This is another historic day as we welcome Australia’s premier basketball league to the NBA 2K League family,” NBA 2K League President Brendan Donohue said in a press release. “The NBL has a proven track record of not only transforming its league, but also growing a fan base in new and creative ways.”
Adding NBL OZ Gaming only adds to the worldwide growth the league is experiencing.
The league has partnered with DUX Infinitos from Mexico City and the Gen.G Tigers representing Shanghai.
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Additionally, the 2023 NBA 2K League season will be streamed live in Australia on Twitch and YouTube.
For the first five seasons of the NBA 2K League, the league has held international qualifying events in Hong Kong, Seoul and remotely for top players from the Asia-Pacific region. Jack “Jaacko” Stevenson (New Zealand) was selected 50th overall in the 2019 NBA 2K League Draft and Meason “xMiLo—” Camille (Australia) was selected 62nd in the Draft of the 2021 NBA 2K league.
This only further cements how much the NBA 2K League is growing and the reach esports has.
“The NBL is the ideal partner to help the NBA 2K League do the same in Australia where basketball and 2K are incredibly popular and we are thrilled that NBL Oz Gaming will represent Australia in the NBA 2K League for years to come.” Donohue said. he said.
As stated, there has been an influx of international teams joining the league. However, this does not mean that the remaining NBA teams (Suns, Spurs, Pelicans, Rockets, Bulls, Thunder, Nuggets and Clippers) that do not participate in the league are not under attack.
The pandemic has prevented NBA teams from exploring the opportunity to own a franchise, but Donohue hopes interest will resume.
That’s not to say there isn’t a lack of interest from San Antonio despite the lack of an NBA 2K League team.
San Antonio’s Donovan “SELDUM” Mass, who also serves as an aviator at JBSA Lackland, temporarily played for a couple of league teams (Cavs Legion and Blazer 5) before leading the amateur Rim Runners to an incredible playoff run. before losing to eventual 2022 champion Bucks Gaming.
RELATED: San Antonio NBA 2K League Amateur Player Donovan ‘SELDUM’ Mass Named 2022 Amateur of the Year
For the league, this partnership is simply an avenue to expand the market in new ways alongside outside franchises eager to partner with the NBA 2K League, such as NBL OZ Gaming.
“I think what we’re thinking is that we’re now going into different markets internationally, frankly with great partners,” Donohue said. “Our new franchises are coming on board because, first, they want to be a part of the NBA 2K League, but number two, there’s this symbiotic nature that exists. And this is a perfect example of that. We knew we needed to be in Australia. And, frankly, , we’re much better off doing it with the NBL.”
For NBL OZ Gaming, joining the league is exciting and an opportunity to show that Australian esports can thrive at the highest level of competition, even if esports lags behind other professional sports such as rugby.
“So around esports, everyone knows it’s a massive growth industry here and they’re looking for ways to get more involved. And that goes from consumers and gamers, viewers and broadcasters, all the way up to the top level of government. ,” NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said. “Every state government here, for example, has an esports strategy, or they call it their screen strategy around gaming and esports. Everyone knows it’s going to be the next big thing here in Australia.”
Loeliger sees the opportunity to join the NBA 2K League as an opportunity to get Australians more interested in esports and beyond.
“We know that if Australian fans are going to take it seriously, they need to see that we’re competing with and against the best in the world. So the idea here is an Australian team in a global esports league.” he said. “That’s what hasn’t been done before, and that’s what we think will be the tipping point.”
NBA 2K22 was among the top 3 best-selling console games in Australia (#3) and New Zealand (#2) in 2021. The game continues to be popular in the United States as well.
As for league integration, NBL Oz Gaming will be participating in the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft this coming November and the team is likely to be based in the US.
Both Donohue and Loeliger are delighted with the new partnership and everyone wins on all counts.
“It’s a win-win partnership for us in terms of NBL OZ Gaming helping us to really bring the 2K League in a deeper way to Australia,” Donohue said. “And frankly, as Jeremy pointed out, I think there are a lot of opportunities for us to bring the NBL brand in front of 2K League fans, in front of 2K fans, in front of NBA fans in a deeper way.” I really think this is uniquely symbiotic.”
Said Loeliger: “I think what you’re going to see is the NBL OZ Gaming fans are going to love the idea of going up against Wizards District Gaming, going up against Lakers Gaming, going up against Knicks Gaming. It was a good time.”
For more information, San Antonio Spurs fans and everyone else can follow the NBA 2K League on Facebook (NBA 2K League), Instagram (nba2kleague), TikTok (nba2kleague), Twitch (NBA2KLeague), and Twitter (NBA2KLeague) and visit NBA2KLeague.com.
The NBA 2K League, a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), launched in 2018 and features 25 teams and the best NBA 2K players in the world. NBA 2K League partners include Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, Coinbase, Dash Radio, Google, Loco, Mondelēz International, SAP, The NBA 2K League, a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take- Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO), launched in 2018 and features 25 teams and the best NBA 2K players in the world. NBA 2K League partners include Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, Champion Athleticwear, Coinbase, Dash Radio, Google, Loco, Mondelēz International, SAP, Snickers, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sport1, SPS, Wilson, and YouTube. For more information, visit NBA2KLeague.com.
The NBL was founded in 1979 and is the best basketball league in the world outside of the NBA. Currently made up of 10 teams (9 in Australia and 1 in New Zealand), game attendance, TV viewership, digital traffic and fan engagement have skyrocketed following new ownership in 2015. NBL are located in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Cairns, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wollongong.
Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5