Just 7,000 players qualified for this year’s NBA 2K League combine, a sharp decrease from the 72,000 who made the season one combine, according to Take-Two Interactive.
In his opening remarks at the Take-Two Interactive Q3 earnings conference call on Feb. 6, company President Karl Slatoff said, “[NBA 2K League] qualifying rounds began with more than 7,000 players across North America and Europe,” according to The Motley Fool.
Several league sources confirmed the number of qualifiers to DIMER.
The downturn represents a more difficult qualifying process for the second season of the NBA 2K League. Players had to win 100 Pro-Am or Jordan Rec Center games in NBA 2K while maintaining a winning percentage of over 50 percent within the span of 25 days (Nov. 2-26). Hopefuls were also required to submit an online application. Last season, players qualified for the combine simply by winning 50 Pro-Am games in January.
The league has shown steady development over the course of season one and over the offseason. Average Twitch viewership grew throughout the first season. The league added four expansion teams for the 2019 season: Lakers Gaming (Los Angeles Lakers), T-Wolves Gaming (Minnesota Timberwolves), Nets GC (Brooklyn Nets), and Hawks Talon GC (Atlanta Hawks).
Take-Two Interactive Chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick offered positive feedback.
“The first season was a work in progress and we got great results,” Zelnick said in the earnings call. “We’re going to continue to develop. Karl mentioned the fact that we have four more teams. We’re heading into a draft. We’re heading into all kinds of exciting opportunities around the second season and stay tuned for more news on promotional opportunities as well.”
The league selected 150 players through the combine process to comprise the bulk of the season two entry draft pool. Teams can also select players from the 49 season-one players who went unretained, as well as six players who were selected by league officials from the Asia-Pacific Invitational tournament in Hong Kong.