Photo: T-Wolves Gaming
They haven’t played a game yet—but T-Wolves Gaming is already taking shots, at champions Knicks Gaming at that.
Them: How many times has @KnicksGaming tweeted about how great they are? Us: https://t.co/7CdCoyehgP
One of four NBA 2K League expansion teams for the 2019 season, the Timberwolves’ affiliate is preparing for the March 5 draft and for the five-month season that follows. To develop its content production, one of the most important of each team’s NBA 2K League operation, T-Wolves Gaming hired former Magic Gaming coordinator Raenah Hawkins as its Content Coordinator. Since she joined the Magic in the middle of the season, Hawkins is looking forward to producing content for her first NBA 2K League draft as a member of a league organization.
“I’m excited to put out content that I wasn’t able to do with the Magic and add my own touch to it,” Hawkins told DIMER. Her level of expertise and familiarity with the league is something the Timberwolves expect to be a major benefit to their content operation, especially as the team tries to distinguish itself in its first season.
“From a hiring perspective, having someone in the pool with experience is remarkable” said Max Minsker, the T-Wolves Gaming business manager, who’s a relatively new hire in his own right. Someone with previous NBA 2K League experience is indeed rare: Hawkins is, as far as DIMER has learned, only the second NBA 2K League front office staffer (not including coaches) to switch NBA 2K League teams, after now-Raptors Uprising employee George Fadel.
Hawkins joined the T-Wolves Gaming front office a little over two weeks before the team’s inaugural entry draft, to be held at Barclays Center. While the team will have a war room in Minnesota, Minsker and a content team will be on sight in Brooklyn to greet as many new players and grab as much new content as possible.
“The draft is a spectacle,” Minsker said. “As an expansion team, it’s particularly important from a content perspective.” The T-Wolves made the most dramatic move of the Sept. 26 expansion draft, trading the third overall pick to Cavs Legion GC in exchange for scoring star Hood. The team also added two-way forward iFeast with the sixth pick. Minsker helped draft for the T-Wolves as part of the 2K Analytics team and was instrumental in establishing the roster with which T-Wolves Gaming approaches the entry draft. The team also hired former Cincinnati Christian University coach Shawn Vilvens as head coach and GM.
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the T-Wolves Gaming facility is well underway.
The walls for @CoachVilvens office, our work space, and the war room are up! #Progress
Progress on the facility is underway, and the team indicated that it expects the facility to be finished in time for the regular season. In December, Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx Chief Strategy Officer Ted Johnson told DIMER that T-Wolves Gaming was “looking to raise the bar and really become a gold standard for the league,” and the team hasn’t deviated from those aspirations.
renderings of the new digs are looking real nice 👀 https://t.co/MS9y2O85xP
The facility will be located in one of the skyways linked to the Timberwolves and Lynx facility in Mayo Clinic Square. Unique to NBA 2K League facilities, the T-Wolves practice pad will be open to the view of the general public
“More than 10,000 people will pass by the T-Wolves Gaming Training Center daily,” said Bri Bauer, the Director of Corporate Communications for the Timberwolves and Lynx. “We are thrilled with this consumer-facing exposure and the awareness it will bring to the NBA 2K League, T-Wolves Gaming and the growth of [esports].”