We’ve covered a number of sports leagues and organizations who have turned to video games to simulate seasons that have been postponed or canceled amid the coronavirus outbreak. And now, ESPN has announced plans to broadcast a players-only tournament featuring NBA players competing in 2K Sports’ NBA 2K20.
The NBA 2K20 Player Tournament will start airing this Friday, April 3rd, with games running through April 11th. In all, 16 players have signed on, including marquee names like Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets and Trae Young from the Atlanta Hawks.
“We’re thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” Jason Argent, 2K senior vice president of sports strategy and licensing, said in a news release from ESPN.
The overall winner will receive $100,000 to give to a charity providing coronavirus relief efforts.
The games will be broadcast on ESPN and ESPN2, and they’ll be available on-demand via ESPN3 afterward. Here’s the full schedule:
- April 3, ESPN, 7-8:30 pm ET
- April 3, ESPN2, 8:30-11:30 pm ET
- April 5, ESPN2, 12-4 pm ET
- Quarterfinals: April 7, ESPN2, 7-11 pm ET
- Semifinals/Finals: April 11, ESPN, Time TBD
Each broadcast will include a half-hour preshow, with this Friday’s coverage, as shown above, starting on ESPN before shifting to ESPN2 in the later hours.
The series marks just the latest move by sports organizations to try and keep fans and players engaged through the use of video games. We’ve also reported on Fox airing live simulated NASCAR races and more virtual alternatives may still pop up in the near future.
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