One of the many events sidelined this year due to the ongoing global pandemic is the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics. The International Olympic Committee delayed this year’s Olympic games to July of 2021 (quite frankly, this date seems optimistic at this point). Luckily, it looks like we can still have some international sports competition in 2020. Reportedly, USA Basketball has reached out to 30 of the NBA 2K League’s top players to participate in a remote international event.
USA Basketball E-National Team Trials
NBA 2K coverage site ESGN first reported on the offer letters earlier this afternoon. They posted a copy of the invitation on Twitter. The email was later confirmed by several invited players.
Honored to Receive an invite to trials to represent my country and compete for Team USA 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/g02BZiMMHV
— Malik Hobson† (@OriginalMalik_) October 20, 2020
The letter invites players to participate in the inaugural USA Basketball E-National Team Trials. During the trials, players will be evaluated, and seven players will be selected to represent the United States. For what event, you ask? The FIBA Esports Open, which the email says is currently scheduled for the weekend of December 5-6, 2020. As reported by ESGN, 30 players have been selected for the trial.
The ESBN team is keeping track of which players have responded on their website. USA Basketball has reached out to a mix of male and female NBA 2K players. Notable confirmations include WizardsDG Center Ryan “Dayfri” Conger, women’s development camp champion IcyGirl, and perennial candidate for Best Tag In Gaming Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser.
Neither USA Basketball nor the FIBA have officially confirmed or announced these events. As a result, it’s unclear how many more countries will be participating in the event. Twenty players have submitted some form of the letter to ESBN, which lends legitimacy to the event’s existence.
Details on the USA Basketball NBA 2K Team Trials
We know some basic details on the trials based on screenshots submitted to ESGN by players. The initial email that included the formal invitation was sent by Sam Shultz. Shultz is currently managing development of the USA Basketball 3×3 program, so it would make sense that he would also be put in charge of developing the Esports national team program. According to the follow-up email, invited gamers will compete in seven to ten games in a round robin format. The formal invitation states that a USA Basketball selection panel will evaluate all participants. Therefore, it’s hard to tell how much weight players’ round robin records will hold.
USA Basketball has scheduled the trials for November 7 and 8. It’s likely that either USA Basketball or the FIBA will make a formal announcement about the event soon, since the trial is potentially only a few weeks away. Hopefully we will have more information about this exciting international event soon.
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