The NBA 2K League will host its second-ever Asia-Pacific (APAC) Invitational tournament Jan. 20 to Jan. 21 in Seoul, the league announced Wednesday. Gen.G will also unveil its NBA 2K League team branding at the event.
Seoul will host a tournament and evaluation period for 20 of the region’s top gamers, including players from Australia, New Zealand and China. NBA 2K League personnel will be in attendance to evaluate the competition and nominate certain players for a spot in the 2020 NBA 2K League entry draft. Building on last year’s APAC Invitational, this year’s tournament will feature a special matchup between select APAC attendees and a team comprising all Chinese players, on Jan. 21.
The tournament will be livestreamed on the league’s Twitch and YouTube channels and in China on Tencent’s Penguin Esports, Douyu and Huya, beginning at 3:30 p.m. local time.
The APAC Invitational debuted last season with 20 select gamers from the Asia-Pacific region, predominantly from Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, playing a tournament in Hong Kong. The league selected six players for the 2019 entry draft pool, of whom one, Jack “Jaacko” Stevenson, was selected in the draft.
Several players are returning to APAC this season after last year. Milo “LockUpMilo” Camille, one of the top centers in Australia/New Zealand Pro-Am, will be at APAC for the second consecutive season.
Jaacko, unretained by Pistons GT after the 2019 season, will feature at this year’s APAC as a scout, in a similar capacity to Harry “Hazzaa” Hurst at the EU Invitational held by the league in December. Pistons GT personnel Adam Rubin and Duane “KingDuOne” Burton will make appearances, while Bucks Gaming scout Sam Pham will also help evaluate players.
“We’re excited to be holding our second Asia-Pacific invitational in Seoul and that Gen.G will be working with us on the event as part of our strategic relationship to develop elite NBA 2K talent across the Asia-Pacific region,” said NBA 2K League Managing Director Brendan Donohue in a press release. “Last season’s APAC Invitational identified several players who became eligible for the NBA 2K League Draft, and given the talent in the region we fully expect the level of competition to be even greater this year.”
The league announced it also launched an official account on Weibo, China’s most popular social media platform.
The APAC Invitational has a further layer to it this year. Gen.G Esports, primarily based in Shanghai, joined the league as an expansion team, becoming the first non-NBA organization to enter the league. A second international tournament, with Gen.G scouts potentially watching more closely than anyone with an eye to adding an international player, offers the league a chance to reassert and build toward its burgeoning, long-held aspirations of truly going global.
To add to the tournament, Gen.G CEO Chris Park will unveil Gen.G’s NBA 2K League team name, logo and social media channels.
There will also be an exhibition series on Jan. 21, the NBA 2K League Global Invitation Match, featuring APAC Invitational players and 2019 NBA 2K League Finals MVP BearDaBeast of T-Wolves Gaming playing against top representatives from NBA2K Online 2 (a free-to-play online game published in China), including National League Champion “Shy.” The NBA 2K League Global Invitation Match will also be livestreamed in China on Tencent’s Penguin Esports, Douyu and Huya beginning at 11:30 a.m. local time.
Per DIMER’s international correspondent Thomas Lynch, the following players are known to be attending the event: