NBA 2K League announces expansion plans as playoffs begin

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The NBA 2K League said yesterday it will add four expansion teams for its second season tipping off in 2019.

The new clubs will be affiliated with the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Timberwolves. Their 2K League nicknames were not given. The expansion brings the league’s membership to 21.

At the NBA 2K League Draft in April, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he expected all 30 NBA franchises to have affiliated NBA 2K League teams by the third year of the 2K League.

The NBA 2K League tipped off May 1 and just wrapped up its regular season. The eight-team NBA 2K League Playoffs begin Friday, Aug. 17 (6 p.m. ET on Twitch), with second-seed 76ers GC taking on seventh-seed Wizards District Gaming.

Other playoff teams are: third-seed Pistons GT vs. sixth-seed Heat Check Gaming; fourth-seed Raptors Uprising GC against fifth-seed Cavs Legion GC; and top-seed Blazer5 Gaming against eighth-seed Knicks Gaming. This single-elimination quarterfinal will be followed by two best-of-three semifinal rounds on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and then a best-of-three finals on Saturday, Aug. 25, at 4 p.m.

The NBA 2K League is the first esports league operated by a professional sports league in the United States. In it, players compete in five-on-five multiplayer with unique players (not existing NBA players or teams).

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