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NBA 2K League announces longer season, expanded playoffs

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The NBA 2K League 2021 season features a longer regular season and expanded playoffs.

The 16-week season begins with The Tipoff event on May 19 and runs through Sept. 4. Each of the league’s 23 teams will play 28 regular-season games, with the expanded 12-team playoffs beginning Aug. 26, the league said in a Tuesday announcement.

NBA 2K League is split into Eastern and Western conferences for the first time, with teams playing matches against both conferences.

Eastern Conference: 76ers GC, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, Grizz Gaming, Hawks Talon GC, Heat Check Gaming, Hornets Venom GT, Knicks Gaming, Magic Gaming, Nets GC, Raptors Uprising GC and Wizards District Gaming

Western Conference: Bucks Gaming, Blazer5 Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Mavs Gaming, Pacers Gaming, Pistons GT, T-Wolves Gaming and Warriors Gaming Squad

The schedule features three in-season tournaments: The Tipoff, The Turn and The Ticket. All 23 teams will compete in the first two, with the top five teams in each conference at the end of the regular season automatically qualifying for the playoffs.

The 13 remaining teams will compete in The Ticket, with the winning teams from each conference earning the final two playoff spots.

The three tournaments will feature a $1.5 million prize pool.

“After a transformational 2020 season, we are thrilled to bring NBA 2K League action back to fans worldwide in Season 4,” NBA 2K League president Brendan Donohue said in a press release. “We’re working toward returning to our live studio experience once we safely can be together, and all fans rooting for their teams around the globe will surely enjoy the rivalries that will develop with the introduction of conferences.”

The regular season begins with three consecutive nights featuring four matches each. Regular-season broadcasts will also feature nightly themes.

–“NBA 2KL Block Party Wednesdays” will highlight voices around the NBA 2K League community, including influencer personalities.

–“NBA 2KL Bounce Pass Thursdays” will feature all four matchups in a three-hour window, with as many as three games taking place simultaneously.

–“NBA 2KL Friday Night Fire” will spotlight the week’s marquee matchup along with stories on the league’s 138 players.

–“NBA 2KL Saturday Night Showdown” will explore new broadcast elements and voices while showcasing the game and players through the lens of the league’s most compelling storylines, including rivalries between individual players and teams.

–Field Level Media

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