NBA 2K Tournament Rules and Format: How Does the Players-Only Event Work?

The NBA 2K Players-Only Tournament is underway and has already been popular with fans. Sports fans are able to watch some of the league’s top stars compete in NBA 2K20 games. It’s been an entertaining event so far, with major upsets already taking place, and a super-close first-round game going down between two players. With the tourney being so popular, we thought we’d check out how the NBA 2K Tournament rules and format work.

NBA 2K Tournament rules and format explained

In terms of the NBA 2K Tournament rules and format, it’s pretty easy to follow. It’s a single-elimination tournament consisting of 16 players competing on NBA 2K20. So far, it appears the games are played on the Xbox One. Players compete against each other live online remotely from their apartments or homes or wherever they are staying at the moment.

The NBA players are seeded in the brackets based on their overall rating in the NBA 2K20 video game. So Kevin Durant is No. 1 followed by Trae Young, Hassan Whiteside, and Donovan Mitchell.

So 16 players start in the first round. Eight winning players move on to the quarterfinals, and then four players will compete in the two semifinals matchups. That will produce two players for the championship game. Here’s the bracket from the first round showing all of the original matchups.

Each of the 16 players chose eight teams to use during the tournament. However, they can only use those teams once and then they’re unable to use them again. So, for example, some players may have won in the first round using the Los Angeles Lakers or Milwaukee Bucks. They won’t be able to use that team again.

The games themselves are regular NBA 2K20 games with four six-minute quarters. Players get a certain number of pauses per matchup so that they can adjust their lineups or defensive assignments.

The NBA 2K Tournament rules and format also bring a $100,000 prize at the end for whoever wins it all. That money is donated to a charity of the winning player’s choice to benefit COVID-19 relief efforts. So it’s all for a great cause and gives a form of entertainment while people are at home.

How to watch the NBA 2K event on TV or online

With an understanding of the NBA 2K Tournament rules, it’s good to know when and where to watch the games take place. They’ll all be televised through either ESPN or ESPN 2.

The first matchup started on Friday, April 3 on ESPN featuring Derrick Jones Jr. vs Kevin Durant. Three more matchups took place on that same night, with the other four first-round matchups on Sunday, April 5. All of these were shown on ESPN2. Check out the NBA 2K tourney results here.

Matchups will continue on ESPN2 with the finals most likely on ESPN. Of course, viewers can also watch the action live streaming on the WatchESPN website or mobile apps. More details are available at the WatchESPN site.

In addition, there are popular channel streaming services that may offer special free trial offers for new subscribers. These might include SlingTV, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, and Philo services.

Visit our NBA 2K news page for more of the latest game updates.