NEW YORK — It’s a big day for Brendan Donohue. Well, it’s a big day for everyone involved in the NBA 2K League, because for the first time since it launched earlier this year, the league is going to crown a champion.
Things couldn’t have worked out much better for Donohue, the league’s managing director. The final pits Knicks Gaming against Heat Check Gaming, a matchup that features the most unlikely of Cinderella stories in the Knicks (more on this later), one of the league’s best players in Heat Check Gaming’s Hotshot (who came into the finals averaging more than 50 points per game), and a pair of organizations with a ton of history on the real hardwood that is extending to the virtual world.
For Donohue, this is the culmination in a season that has managed to go above and beyond what everyone in the league’s offices had hoped.
“We couldn’t be much happier,” Donohue told the assembled media before the championship game tipped off. “Everything is exceeding our expectations.”
It’s gotten to the point where the league is already making plans to expand heading into its second season. The league is adding four teams, as Atlanta, Brooklyn, Minnesota, and the Los Angeles Lakers will make the jump into adding 2K League affiliates. As Donohue said, the 2K League doesn’t just hope to expand to all 30 NBA teams — the hopes are that the league can go “beyond” North America and add teams in worldwide markets.