NBA Denies Accusations that eSports Tryouts Were Rigged

eSports forums are reporting that many players who tried out for the NBA’s new eSports league feel the competition was rigged. The tryouts were for the NBA 2K league, which whittled down 12,000 applicants to 250 players. But when those 250 were named, many felt the league was showing favoritism to certain players. The NBA denied the charges and said that NBA franchises were not involved in deciding on the 250.

It could be sour grapes or it could be that the NBA’s open tryouts for its new eSports league weren’t really that open after all, but either way the NBA’s 2K eSports league is off to a controversial start.

According to DOT eSports, many players who tried out for the 2K league feel that the tryouts were rigged and the league new exactly which players it wanted to take in the 250 players it selected.

The league offered an open tryout system that saw about 72,000 applications by players hoping to make the professional league. The NBA even hosted a draft combine for the new league where players could show off their skill.

When the league announced its 250 finalists—which will eventually be reduced to 102 players—controversy erupted.

Players pointed to screenshots from another player’s direct messages on Twitter with Cavs Legion (the eSports team for the Cleveland Cavaliers) General Manager Anthony Muraco where he appears to assure a player he will make the cut, which he did.

The NBA, however, said that none of the operators for the league’s teams had input into which players made the 250 players selected.

“Teams have absolutely no input on which players made the top 250,” an NBA spokesperson told Dot Esports. “The comprehensive process was led strictly by officials from 2K, the NBA 2K League, and included Genji Esports, a third-party analytics firm.”

Muraco has also issued a formal apology for misleading players with his language in direct messages, but that has not assuaged player anger, DOT ESports reported.

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