The next two weeks could potentially be pivotal in the burgeoning history of Canada’s NBA side The Toronto Raptors. The Raptors have set new records already this season with Golden State Warriors now standing between them and a first NBA Finals win.
The Raptors advanced to the finals courtesy of a 4-2 victory over the favourites Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals. But Bobby Webster and co aren’t the only ones flying the flag for Canadian basketball this summer.
Canada’s emerging eSports scene is being felt in the NBA 2K League, the official eSports tournament of the NBA. Here’s everything you need to know about Raptors Uprising GC, the officially licensed eSports team of the Toronto Raptors.
The NBA 2K League – an overview
Established in February, 2019 the NBA 2K league is an eSports joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive. The league follows the exact same format as the NBA with 21 officially licensed teams competing for glory.
A rigorous qualifying campaign whittled down the 72,000 eSports hopefuls to just 102 players who were drafted at the beginning of the season. The tournament pits teams against each other in 5 on 5 matches and the inaugural winners of the competition were Knicks Gaming – the licensed team of the New York Knicks.
Who are the competitors?
Just 9 NBA teams have failed to enter a team into this season’s NBA 2K League with that number expected to fall next year. The 9 NBA teams yet to put their name to the 2K League are;
Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets, Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets, New Orleans Pelicans, San Antonio Spurs.
Other than those 9 teams it’s a pretty full roster of the best NBA teams and the New York Knicks are red hot favourites to retain their crown this season. Although they are expected to face tough competition from Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and our very own Toronto Raptors.
The Raptors Squad
Point Guard – Frederick Mendoza
Shooting Guard – Joshua McKenna
Small Forward – Kenneth Hailey
Power Forward – Seanquai Harris
Center – Gerald Knapp
Sixth Man – GeorgioBonte
One to watch – Kenny Got Work AKA Kenneth Hailey
Hailey has been retained by Raptors Uprising after an impressive first season where he top scored for the team from Point Guard. This season he has been switched to Small Forward and has been the team’s stand out performer, contributing the most overall points to the team at an average of 18.6 per game.
If the eSports team are to have any hope of emulating the success of the official team then Hailey’s performances will be key to their success.
Where can I watch the NBA 2K League?
Twitch have the exclusive rights to the NBA 2K League with all games being streamed over the service. The regular season is in full-swing at the moment with the finals scheduled for the beginning of August.
You can check out the latest fixtures and team news for Raptors Uprising on the official NBA 2K League page by clicking HERE.