The NBA 2K League announced that Gen.G, the global esports organization connecting the best gamers in the U.S. and Asia, will launch an NBA 2K League team from Shanghai that will join the other 22 NBA 2K League teams for the 2020 season. The Shanghai franchise will be the centerpiece of a long-term strategic relationship between the NBA 2K League and Gen.G that will mobilize Gen.G’s multicultural brand and multi-title esports presence to expand the global footprint of the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league.
Gen.G’s team, which will train at Gen.G’s Los Angeles HQ during the 2020 season, will be the first NBA 2K League team outside of North America.
Gen.G, whose investors include LA Clippers alternate governor Dennis Wong and whose teams compete in seven other major titles, is also the first NBA 2K League team not affiliated with an NBA team. Gen.G’s NBA 2K League team will be Gen.G’s second esports franchise (joining Seoul Dynasty of the Overwatch League) and second entry in Chinese esports (China Clash Royale League).
“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,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue. “Gen.G is the ideal organization to launch our first team from outside of North America, and we look forward to working with Gen.G to reach new fans in Shanghai and identify elite talent across Asia.”
“We are honored to help lead the NBA 2K League’s expansion into Asia and proud to represent Shanghai on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Chinese fans who love basketball and video games,” said Chris Park, CEO of Gen.G. “Gen.G’s unique core mission — to connect esports fans and athletes across the U.S. and Asia — is meant for ambitious ventures like this. We have big plans to help grow the NBA 2K League in communities around the world that are passionate about basketball and video games.”
In addition to launching the Shanghai franchise, Gen.G and the NBA 2K League today announced a long-term relationship to grow the NBA 2K League’s global player pool and fanbase. As part of the terms, Gen.G will collaborate with the NBA 2K League on player development and talent identification in Asia, brand development in Asia, and worldwide esports and gaming programming. Together, the NBA 2K League and Gen.G will build a world-class pipeline for the next generation of great Asian players, develop NBA 2K League content for the more than 12 million followers of Gen.G’s global esports portfolio and the NBA 2K League’s global audience, and promote the NBA 2K League to fans around the world.
Today’s announcements are also important milestones for inclusion and professionalism in esports, values that the NBA 2K League and Gen.G have championed individually and will champion together through this strategic relationship. In August, the NBA 2K League held its first-ever development camp for elite female NBA 2K players at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York City, and Gen.G announced its all-women Fortnite team – Gen.G Empowered by Bumble (Team Bumble) – as part of the organization’s ongoing commitment to driving women’s empowerment in gaming and esports.
Gen.G and Hornets Venom GT, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Charlotte Hornets, will participate in the NBA 2K League Expansion Draft Lottery on Friday, Oct. 4. Additional details about Gen.G’s NBA 2K League team will be announced at a later date.