NBA 2K League players face off in a mid-season tournament in 2018. The league announced Thursday that it will expand to include a non-NBA affiliated team in Shanghai in 2020. The team will be run by esports organization Gen.G.
The NBA 2K League said on Thursday it will have a Shanghai team that will begin play in the 2020 season, making it the first squad from outside of North America to join the National Basketball Association’s esports arm.
The team, to be launched by esports organization Gen.G, will be the NBA 2K League’s 23rd team and the first not affiliated with an NBA franchise. Its players will train in Los Angeles during the 2020 season.
“This is a historic moment in the NBA 2K League’s journey to becoming a truly global league with fans, franchises and players from all over the world,” NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue said in a statement.
The NBA in 2018 became the first U.S. professional sports league to run an esports league, which pits the world’s best players in the popular NBA 2K video game against each other.
Each team features six players who compete as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against the other teams in a mix of regular-season games, in-season tournaments and playoffs.