Gen.G, the global esports organization, announced recently that it is relocating its NBA 2K League franchise, the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, to the University of Kentucky to compete virtually in its second season in the league and join the new 12-team Eastern Conference, according to a press release.
Kicking off its 2021 NBA 2K League season with THE TIPOFF powered by AT&T on May 19-22 with a prize pool of $160,000, the team will practice and compete in the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge at The Cornerstone. The team will also have access to UK campus services including dining and the recreational center facilities across campus.
“We’ve forged an incredible global relationship with the University of Kentucky, so it’s only natural for our 2K League team to train and compete on the campus of the nation’s winningest college basketball program,” said Chris Park, Gen.G’s CEO. “UK is a vibrant community with state-of-the-art facilities, and our players are honored to be the first pro esports team in-residence at a major university.”
The team will have opportunities to interact with UK esports players and students as the esports community continues to grow on campus. Gen.G hopes to be able to make tickets available to watch live games in the Theater if live attendance is allowed during the season.
“We are proud of our basketball heritage, so we couldn’t be more excited to welcome Gen.G.’s NBA 2K League team to our campus,” said Heath Price, Associate CIO at UK. “The team will play at the Cornerstone which has the best internet connectivity east of the Mississippi. They will have our full support.”
Led by Coach Lennon Ross, the Tigers have reloaded after its inaugural 6-10 season with a mix of returning and new players following the NBA 2K League Draft on March 13. The 2021 roster includes:
Chris “Turnupdefense” Anderson is in his 2nd season with the Tigers as a lockdown defender. He won an NBA 2K League championship with T-Wolves Gaming in 2019. Turnup is the only returning player from Gen.G’s 2020 roster.
Mihad “FEAST” Feratovic joins the Tigers after spending last season with the 76ers GC and plays power forward. He was also one of the first two players in T-Wolves Gaming history. FEAST won a championship in 2019 with T-Wolves Gaming. FEAST is a two-time NBA 2K League Sportsmanship Award winner.
Alex “Bsmoove” Reese joins the team after the Tigers traded its #3 overall pick in the first round of the NBA 2K League Draft with his former team, the Warriors Gaming Squad. The shooting point guard brings a wealth of competitive experience. Bsmoove is also a two-time tournament champion, winning both THE TURN and THE TICKET in 2019 with Warriors Gaming Squad. He was also named THE TICKET MVP in 2019.
Jordan “JMoney” Martinez makes his debut with the Tigers this season after he was acquired from T-Wolves Gaming. The small forward averaged 18.2 points per game last season. JMoney won a championship in 2019 with T-Wolves Gaming. A big difference this year will be he finally gets to play point guard, his natural position.
Donald “BumpyDon” Newsome is the 44th overall pick in the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft. BumpyDon was widely considered one of the more promising PF prospects in this year’s draft and was the first rookie selected for the Gen.G Tigers this year.
Kennedy “Sawc” Tauala, Jr. is the 47th overall pick in the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft. Sawc is widely considered one of the better characters from this year’s draft pool. He is a hybrid player that can fill numerous roles on a team, which fits perfectly with the current setup of this year’s roster.
In September 2019, the team became the 23rd franchise in the league and the first team not affiliated with an NBA team as part of a long-term strategic relationship to tap into Gen.G’s multinational brand across Asia and the U.S.
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