Orlando, Fla. has been abuzz with NBA 2k League activity lately. Less than a week after Orlando’s Full Sail University hosted “The Ticket,” Magic Gaming has created a new partnership that could set it apart from the competition.
Magic Gaming has partnered with Esport-Management, an online platform that provides assessment and training for aspiring professional esports players in a variety of high-profile titles.
What the Partnership With Esport-Management Means
Magic Gaming will sponsor a new Pro-Am series together with Esport-Management. The tournaments will offer prizes and will be streamed on Magic Gaming’s Twitch channel.
Not only does this mean aspiring NBA 2k League players will have a new way to prepare for the league’s qualification structure between seasons but gives Magic Gaming a unique connection to those players. Magic Gaming is the first NBA 2k League franchise to sponsor a Pro-Am series.
Pro-Am tournaments are important to the NBA 2k League structure as it is the beginning of how players qualify to be drafted. To be considered for the draft combine in both of the league’s seasons, players had to tally 50 Pro-Am victories.
Why Talent Development is Crucial for NBA 2k League Teams
Getting new talent for future seasons is important for any professional esports team which operates in a league that employs the franchise model. It’s especially important for NBA 2k League teams, however.
Between the first and second seasons, four new teams were added to the NBA 2k League. That meant existing franchises were only allowed to protect a certain number of players on their rosters and the rest went into a pool for an expansion draft.
The NBA 2k League will add at least one more franchise for its third season, a new team sponsored by the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. There may be others announced later and expansion will continue in future years.
A consequence of expansion is that new talent will have to be found to fill the rosters, even for existing franchises. Magic Gaming has developed this strategy to that end.
The Current State of Magic Gaming
Now in the ninth of twelve weeks to the NBA 2k League regular season, Magic Gaming currently sits seventh in the standings going into play on Thursday, June 20. If Magic Gaming can hold onto that position through the final four weeks, it will qualify for the playoffs.
Magic Gaming is currently on a bye week but will take the court again on Thursday, June 27 against Hawks Talon GC. At 6-5, Magic Gaming is currently part of a 12-team log jam in the standings and needs to win as many of its five remaining contests as possible to separate itself from the crowd.
Magic Gaming’s top performers so far this season have been TuckerLocksUp, who is averaging 16.5 points, seven rebounds and nearly two blocked shots per game. KingCamRoyalty, Reizey and UCManny are also averaging scoring in double figures.
Whether Magic Gaming will draft future participants in its own Pro-Am series remains to be seen but the fact is that Magic Gaming is the first NBA 2k League franchise to invest in developing a pool of prospects in this way.