Our Thoughts on the NBA 2k League Finals!

B&M’s partners headed down to New York to learn more about the E-Sports industry after a great conversation with Glen Grunwald, former Raptors General Manager and New York Knicks President. This space has potential to grow and it has grabbed our attention!

So after packing our bags and heading down to the Big Apple, we experienced the first ever NBA 2K League Finals. What we have now decided to do is share our thoughts on the event from each of our partner’s perspective!

All had a different view so continue reading to see what each one had to say!

Mohamed Hassan, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer:

“The 2k event, this past weekend was NBA 2k finals in New York. From the moment we arrived at the corner of the street where the studio was, there was an amazing BBQ on the outside, media table, and the entrance for people who were coming to watch the event. Everyone was super friendly and great discussions were had with some 2K Lovers before even entering. Great first impression.

On this inside they were very organized like a well oiled machine. There were staff guiding people to where they need to go. For instance, there were two entrances to the studio, one for the Miami Heat Gaming supporters and another for NY Knicks Gaming. They quickly got you in your seats before the event started.

We ended up sitting on the Miami Heat side because we had a fellow Canadian on that team – so it only made sense for us to go on that side.

Beautiful studio on the inside, several screens across the studio for the viewers, at the center of the studio was where the players sat. They sat 5 on one side and 5 on the other. With big screens, comfortable chairs and headsets.

First game NYC wins by 1, nail bitter, crowd on edge of seats the whole time. Miami was very upset, but was not done. They came into game 2 with great energy and below you can see clip showing how the energy was!

Although this game came down to the wire and NYC pulled off another one, to win the NBA 2k League finals.

NYC Had a great story this year, they got a spot into the playoffs through an unconventional manner. There was a tournament mid season and the winner of that gets an automatic spot in the playoffs. They won and got the 8th seed automatically. They then knockout the #1 seed in round 1 and go through the playoffs to win the entire thing. A very dream like moment for them.

There was a huge online visibility of the finals and it was great for the validity of the league, more eyeballs would see it and know it was legit.

In the future the more eyes that watch it the bigger it will get, and this is only the start. Overall, I’m excited for the league and very honored to have witnessed it from it’s start.

Thanks to Brendan Donohue, Managing Director of the NBA2K League for having us there.”

Mathieu Mantha, Partner & Chief Operating Officer:

“Participating in the NBA 2K Finals as a fan was a new experience. In terms of fan experience, I think there is lots of room to grow. During the break between the first and the second game, fans switched sides to stay behind their favorite team creating confusion and almost chaos.

In order to scale the number of fans, the NBA 2K League has to change that practice. Is it necessary to switch the teams between the games?

By keeping the teams on the same side, it creates a branding opportunity for the teams’ sides. Overall, the experience of discovering a new sport was great, and the setup was visually appealing!”

Bawe Nsame, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer:

“As a kid, I have always wanted a Nintendo 64 and PlayStation, but my mom was never keen on video games. According to her, it was a distraction from school and the millions of other curriculum activities I was signed up. She believed that videos will get no where in life that I should focus on things that matter. 

I am sorry mama, but e-sports “video games” is now a thing. Today, you have the opportunity to become a professional gaming athlete to highlight your skills to an online audience. To my surprise, there is a large audience and when I say large, I mean millions of people.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the first ever NBA 2K League, an esports league between the NBA and 2K and 17 of the 30 NBA teams have their own NBA 2K league team.  The excitement level at the studio was unreal. I felt like I was real NBA game. As a soon as you walked in the chairs were all covered with t-shirts from each team, each player from each team had was introduce to the stage and as soon as the games started you, it felt like a real life playoff games. 

There was a lot of trash talking from the players and audience and the game was so intense the crowd began to chant the famous chant you hear at every basketball ‘DEEEFENCEE…DEFEEEEENNCE” and when the team will steal the ball I would cheer and high fiving the person sitting next to me. It was an unreal experience. “

Overall, NBA did an amazing job with their first year for the 2K League and we can see it only going up from here!