NBA 2K League returns with online format to start

NBA 2K League will host an online tournament amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images

The NBA 2K League has announced it will begin its next season online starting May 5. At least the first six weeks, and possibly more, will be played remotely, the league said.

Season 3 will kick off with 16 matches livestreamed on Twitch and YouTube each week, with the schedule to be released soon. All 23 NBA 2K League teams will compete in their respective local markets.

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Games will start at 7 p.m. ET from Tuesday-Friday, with four matchups per night. Each team will play eight matches in the first six weeks of remote gameplay. Week 6 will conclude on June 12.

Each match will be played in a best-of-three format, differing from previous NBA 2K regular seasons. A best-of-three series win will count as one win in the regular-season standings, and a best-of-three series loss will count as one loss in the regular season standings.

The three tournaments that occur during the season -- The Tipoff, The Turn and The Ticket -- will also be returning. It was not made clear if the plan is to play these tournaments online.

"Our players have been quarantining with their teammates as they prepare for the season and will now have the opportunity to compete against one another and show they are the best players in the world," NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue said.

The league also announced the #ThisIsNotAGame initiative, with the message that NBA 2K League is a way of life. Fans can sign up for updates at NBA2KLeague.com.

T-Wolves Gaming are the reigning NBA 2K League champions. Season 3 will feature two new teams entering the league. First, Hornets Venom GT, operated by the Charlotte Hornets, who are owned by Michael Jordan, will join. Also, for the first time in league history, a team not owned by an NBA franchise will debut, as esports organization Gen.G will bring the Tigers of Shanghai. The team will also represent the first city outside of North America in the league. Gen.G have a well-established presence in esports, with teams in League of Legends LCK in South Korea, the Seoul Dynasty in Overwatch League, as well as CS:GO, Fortnite and PUBG.