Pacers Gaming is winning the NBA 2K League offseason in more ways than one.
The offseason, less active than the traditional NBA offseason, has been slow going for most NBA 2K League teams. The league itself has struggled, with its flagship Twitch show NBA 2K League: The Post Up struggling at only four episodes in. Teams across the league have shown minimal growth over social media since the end of the first trade window, and are eagerly awaiting the draft to bolster content. The offseason has primarily been devoted to incoming player scouting, not current player content.
The dead period has forced teams to innovate. Wizards District Gaming hosts its two players in-market throughout the offseason. Heat Check Gaming’s FamousEnough streams occasionally. Magic Gaming has brought in a group of streamers to produce offseason content to complement occasional streams by head coach Jonah Edwards. But Pacers Gaming has taken a more structured, comprehensive approach to offseason content.
The team debuted Pacers Gaming Primetime on Twitch just over one month ago, on Dec. 2. The team evenly splits the six days of streaming between its three rostered players: Wolf, Swizurk and LetsGetItRamo. The trio has made Pacers Gaming the most successful NBA 2K League Twitch channel over the last month—including the league’s own.
A look at the numbers is most instructive. Since Dec. 2, Pacers Gaming has gained 582 followers, second in the league (all statistics per TwitchTracker). It has streamed consistently, with a break over Christmas, totaling around 100 hours. Viewers have responded favorably, watching just above 4,500 hours. Most importantly, the team has pulled in an unparalleled 5,500 unique viewers.
The Pacers now rank second among NBA 2K League teams with over 22,000 Twitch followers, over 10,000 ahead third-place Wizards District Gaming and ranked second behind Mavs Gaming, which has just under 27,000 followers. There’s a stark contrast between the Pacers’ and Mavs’ methods, however. The Mavs have primarily relied on star Dimez’s previous follower base and larger fanbase to accrue followers and views over infrequent streams. The Pacers have slowly and steadily built up its following over many, many hours.
That’s the Pacers’ graph over its channel streaming history. Viewership was relatively strong during the regular season but fell considerably during the slower days of the offseason. Since instituting Pacers Gaming Primetime, channel viewership (see views and hours watched, rather than average viewers) has risen to an all-time high as the team has streamed with remarkable constancy.
The team is benefiting beyond brand growth and exposure. The constant streams offer the team a chance to give its corporate partners more exposure. Partner brands are presented in a slideshow in the stream window. The Indiana National Guard and HyperX are also featured in information boxes below the stream. While it’s difficult to determine whether that exposure produces any revenue, it’s certainly more of a consistent partnership reminder to fans that goes beyond sponsorship tweets.
The full weekly schedule also offers the team an opportunity to pay its players during the offseason, a benefit which can hardly be understated. Teams have a cap on how much they can pay players during the offseason. Most spend the money on bringing in their players for in-market events. The Pacers can instead consistently pay its players per hour streamed on Pacers Gaming Primetime, similar to the Wizards’ hourly compensation for its in-market duo (the Wizards pay their players per hour streamed on even their own channels). It’s a real benefit for the three players, who gain a profitable way to hone their professional skills for compensation rather than focusing on alternative sources of income.
“Pacers Primetime gives me the time to give back to the community,” Wolf, who led the team in points and assists in season one, told DIMER. “I’m always playing with viewers and subscribers and answering a plethora of questions. Pacer Primetime is great offseason work for my teammates and I. I see it as a ‘win win’ for both the community and for Pacers Gaming.”
Pacers Gaming has been a noteworthy success for the team during a long NBA 2K League offseason. The style and constancy is something other teams might well consider replicating, considering its partnership, player and public exposure benefits. Pacers Gaming is turning the dead of the offseason into follower-gaining primetime.