TORONTO — Raptors Uprising GC will open the NBA 2K League’s third season on May 5 against 2019 runner-up 76ers GC followed by a matchup with Wizards District Gaming the next night.
That means early looks at 76ers star point guard Ethan (Radiant) White and Wizards rookie John (JBM) Mascone, the first overall pick in the February NBA 2K League draft.
Players are competing for a prize pool of US$1.4 million this season, with $420,000 going to the champions.
The 23-team esports league, whose original March 24 tipoff was delayed by the global pandemic, will open with at least six weeks of remote game play. Games will be simulcast live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.
The league, a joint venture between the NBA and video game publisher Take-Two Interactive, previously staged games at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York. The hope is games will return there when safe to do so.
The league announced the first six weeks of the schedule on Friday, with the rest to come at a later date. Each remote matchup will be played in a best-of-three format with one series victory representing one win in the standings.
Raptors Uprising will play nine matches over the first six weeks.
Teams played a 16-game schedule last season with the Toronto team finishing 12th at 8-8.
Raptors Uprising holdovers Kenneth (Kenny Got Work) Hailey and Gerald (Sick One) Knapp are joined on the 2020 roster by Eric Trent (Timelycook) Donald, Anthony (Wuan) Rivas, Maurice (ReeceMode) Flowers and Jake (Legit 973) Knapp, Gerald’s younger brother.
The 2020 season will include three in-season tournaments: The Tipoff, The Turn and The Ticket. All 23 teams will compete in the first two events.
The 14 teams that are not one of the top nine playoff seeds will compete in The Ticket with the tournament winner earning the 10th and final spot in the NBA 2K League playoffs.
Knicks Gaming won the inaugural title in 2018. T-Wolves Gaming won last year.
Raptors Uprising Schedule (rest of season TBA)
Tuesday, May 5: Raptors Uprising GC vs. 76ers GC, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 6: Raptors Uprising GC vs. Wizards District Gaming, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, May 12: Grizz Gaming vs. Raptors Uprising GC, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 14: Hornets Venom GT vs. Raptors Uprising GC, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 19: Raptors Uprising GC vs. Knicks Gaming, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 21: Hawks Talon GC vs. Raptors Uprising GC, 7 p.m.
Tuesday–Friday, May 26–29: Bye week
Tuesday, June 2: Nets GC vs. Raptors Uprising GC, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, June 10: Blazer5 Gaming vs. Raptors Uprising GC, 9 p.m.
Friday, June 12: Raptors Uprising GC vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming, 7 p.m.
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Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press