2K Sports’ NBA 2K series has unquestionably entered the eSports arena. The company wrapped up their first high-profile event, dubbed "Road To The Finals," with a major championship event this past week. After two million games played by 100,000 teams, the Drewkerbockers HLZDB were crowned the inaugural winners of the Road To The Finals (RTTF) tournament. Along with the prestige of being crowned the winners, the champs received tickets to Game 1 of the NBA Finals, impressive championship rings (in rotating ring boxes) and a $250,000 prize.
This was a star-studded event by eSports standards. Not only were friends and family there to cheer on the teams, but also included in the crowd were a veritable who’s who of the NBA 2K development and community team. In addition, stars from the sports world also made an appearance. Paul George was unveiled as the cover athlete for this year’s game, former NBA great Rick Fox hosted the festivities, and Kobe Bryant was there to represent as the cover athlete for the Legends edition of NBA 2K17 -- and to be, well, legendary.
The game itself featured the aforementioned Drewkerbockers, the Playstation 4 champions, against GFG, the Xbox One champions. The final game was played on Playstation 4 with GFG using Xbox One controllers specially modified to run on the PS4. Commentators Scott O’Gallagher and Chris Manning (aka LD2K) mentioned that GFG’s MyPlayers and Badges were imported over from the Xbox specifically for the championship game.
Much like the actual NBA Finals, the RTTF featured the tournament’s best defensive and 3-point shooting team in GFG, while the Drewkerbockers went to war with two 7-footers guarding the paint. Domination inside proved to be the difference as the Drewkerbockers beat GFG 73-62.
“You can’t guard 7-footers with a 6-7 guard," said de facto Drewkerbocker captain, Almighty Dunk. "We scored 50 points in the paint and that was the key."
While the RTTF championship game received top billing, NBA 2K17 was also in the main event. No details were given about specific additions to either versions, but NBA 2K community manager Ronnie2K did talk about the choice of Paul George as the cover athlete for NBA 2K17.
“PG is the best NBA 2K player in the league," said Ronnie 2K. "Every time we ask NBA players who they want to play...who the best 2K player in the league is, besides themselves, they say Paul George.”
There weren’t many other details being offered, but Ronnie left it by saying, “eSports is a major initiative for us.” If this event was any indication, 2K is definitely looking to put both feet in the eSports arena and got off to a pretty good start with this championship event.