NBA 2k20 not only marks a big year for the video game series, but it may also be a new beginning for WNBA players within esports.
On Monday, 2k revealed the cover athletes, release dates and the first trailer for the latest entry into the series.
The Next Legend. The Next Chapter. The Next Generation. Watch the First Look at #NBA2K20 gameplay 🔥
— NBA 2K (@NBA2K) July 1, 2019
It won’t be the first time that WNBA players were introduced in a video game series. EA Sports’ NBA Live 18 earned that recognition when it included all 12 WNBA teams, and then followed with a female create-a-player option for its 2019 edition.
NBA 2k is the more popular brand and has the ability to incorporate players into its newly established esports league along with the NBA/WNBA.
An opportunity that no matter how you view it, it’s one the players are excited about, according to House Of Highlights’ Ari Chambers.
“2k went to events where they know a lot of players are and captured all of the (WNBA players) unique features.”
Chambers saw the early stages of the scanning process.
“They’ve been scanning WNBA players since last year and wanted to make it accurate, the WNBA players, they are excited about it. I’m so happy they got scanned,” Chambers said.
Who thinks we are going to have the ability to make female MyPlayers? 👱♀️👀 pic.twitter.com/1GiNQotpeW
— Mavs Gaming (@MavsGG) July 1, 2019
To be featured in a video game as popular as NBA2k is exciting, but to potentially be involved in a growing esports space is even more exciting. Right now, WNBA players are still fighting for better pay and to close the gap, in a league that struggles with both branding and marketing. Hopefully, this reveal will push the league to consider the gaming space as an opportunity to highlight these women.
At its foundation, NBA 2k has an avid women gamer fanbase, we’ve seen it with moments like Chastity May’s Female Park Takeover. Chiquita Evans becoming the first woman drafted into the NBA 2K League highlighted a community that isn’t as respected as some of the previously established esports leagues. And with that spotlight, comes an open door for WNBA players to walk into. Because despite what people think of the real game, virtual competition is open to everyone, no matter who you are.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the NBA 2k League implement an off-season competition strictly for women similar to how DreamHack hosted an all-female tournament for CS:GO. Gaming has always been a space where women are but may not feel comfortable in. So ladies, let’s continue to fight the good fight but, over here is there’s space for you to thrive and own. We welcome you.