Brian Mazique interviews Brendan Donohue - CEO 2K League
By Aaron Callaghan
Brian Mazique also known as ‘FranchisePlaySports’ on Youtube sat down with the NBA 2K League (read: R.I.P NBA e-League) commissioner Brendan Donohue to talk all things 2K League. Brian set up the interview very well and asked great direct questions and Mr Donohue was very forthcoming with answers, so fair in the few interviews we’ve seen with Brendan he is very charismatic, well spoken and seems to have a great understanding of his craft, in the case overseeing the NBA’s two feet jump into the e-sports world.
First off all shouts to Brian Mazique for this excellent glimpse in to the 2K League, Brian is a regular contributor over at Forbes.com. You can find Brian and his works here.
- Twitter - @uniquemazique
- Youtube - https://www.youtube.com/user/FranchisePlaySports
Go ahead and watch the video, Brian conducts a great interview with Brendan, however I thought I’d break down some thoughts on Brendan’s answers, editorial style. The NBA 2K eLeague as I and many others had been referring to it, since February this year is incorrect, drop the e says Brendan Donohue … Thanks @NBA now I have to go through and change all my branding, change all my on page search engine optimisation and search engine tags. Painful to say the least! Brendan proclaimed that the NBA 2K League will revise their branding and logos in the coming months if not weeks.
The official Unofficial Timeline
Brendan Donohue roughly laid out the NBA 2K League schedule, hence I’m calling it the official unofficial timeline. League play from May until late August, with finals slated for the 3rd week of August. The Draft combine or selection process is penciled in for February with the draft process to follow in mid-March, player training camps early April and in to League play mid May. The timeframe from player training camp to actual league play is quite short and it should be of note that some of the best Pro-Am teams have been together for years now, building that chemistry and understanding teammate play styles and traits in that 6 week period is going to be imperative to getting off to a fast start in league play. The combine / selection process seems to be at the front of everyone’s minds, especially Brendan Donohue who has referenced this combine a few times now, it is hard not to wonder if all the talk surrounding the combine isn’t an empty gesture, Episode 1 of the Green Release Podcast, we pontificated about the validity of finding a player or players through the draft combine, the drills and activities featured in a combine style player test is atypical of winning Pro-Am basketball, go and listen to episode 1 now to hear more thoughts on the 2K League. Surely the League scouts should look at one’s body of work on the Pro-Am scene.
The League Structure
We were already aware of some the League structure details gleaned from Brendan Donohue’s first interview at Gamescom convention, however the idea of having players fly out to a central location for game nights is hugely exciting, especially for those lucky enough to be drafted with the added pressure and exhilaration of playing in front of a crowd, possibly up to a few hundred people in studio. Those players who are drafted as we know will feature on their own custom avatars and a standard rating system for all players, a level playing field, which is currently under construction by the 2K development team, the interesting dynamic here is where the player variance is going to be having a level playing field, other than the obvious point which is individual player skill, what makes Pro-Am so interesting and dynamic at the moment is the different archetypes and skill positions, for example the different looks at power forward could be stretch big or glass cleaner which gives each team a different play style. Brian’s video cut out during the mention of player salaries, however we did hear him say that players will be paid a very competitive salary, so in comparison the North American Overwatch League will pay salaries of 50KUSD plus benefits, it would be a wise summation to see a similar salary to this, of course the onus will be the teams and players to build their individual brands and profiles to seek sponsorship and endorsement opportunities coupled with the online staples associated with esports stars such as YouTube content and Twitch streaming.
It should come as no surprise to any sports fan that the NBA takes their branding very seriously, they are a transnational corporation with far reaching popularity, therefor the NBA will scrutinize all players ahead of the draft. It’s been stated before but now would be the team to clean up your personal brand both in content and presentation, end all the Twitter beef and clean up your YouTube content.
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