This season is set to begin this spring. The popular e-sports league will field 23 teams, including 22 that are affiliated with and owned by current NBA teams, and another named the Gen G. Tigers of Shanghai, the first team to join the league from outside of North America.
Knicks Gaming – owned by the New York franchise – won the league’s inaugural championship in 2017, followed by Wolves Gaming – owned by the Minnesota Timberwolves – winning last year’s title.
The first pick was made by Wizards District of the Washington Wizards organization, which was announced by Ted Leonsis, who owns the Wizards along with the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and NHL’s Washington Capitals.
The selection was John “JBM” Mascone, widely considered one of the top prospects in the draft, who didn’t know he’d be selected until two minutes beforehand.
“The funny thing about this was it was a toss-up between like three people,” said Mascone. “It was back and forth throughout the week. I'm super grateful to be here.”
Knicks Gaming – who had the second overall pick – brought out team legend and current front office representative Allan Houston to announce the selection of Christopher “Duck” Charles, who is from Brooklyn.
“I feel like me coming in as a point guard, I feel I can add leadership,” said Charles. “I feel like sometimes last year the Knicks lacked leadership, and that's what I bring to the table.”
The hometown kid adds he expects the Knicks to return to their championship ways in short order.
“Expectations are obviously a championship,” he said. “I want to bring a championship back to the city. I feel like we have the assets around us to be good, and I feel like bringing me in we'll be able to accomplish it.”
Brooklyn Nets Gaming also made a high first-round draft choice, selecting Josh “Choc DF” Humphries at ninth overall. Humphries says he’s excited to join not only the team, but the community.
“It's a great city,” he offered. “Being able to work at Park Place is just insane, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, all the stories. Brooklyn has really came up in the last couple years, so I'm ready to bring up the 2K version of it.”
For full draft results, visit 2kleague.nba.com.