The NBA 2K League has relocated their Gen.G Tigers team from Shanghai to the University of Kentucky, giving Lexington its first major esports franchise. With the new 2021 season coming soon, the league and Gen.G have decided to move to more local grounds. The team will practice and compete in the Federal Credit Union Esports Lounge at The Cornerstone within the University of Kentucky.
From Shanghai to Kentucky
Gen.G have always been an interesting team within the NBA 2K League community, mainly due to their lack of affiliation to an actual NBA team. Teams like the Raptors Uprising GC are connected to their NBA teams. However, Gen.G is an organization, popular throughout the world in many esports. With their inaugural season, they decided to link themselves to Shanghai, finishing with a 6-10 record. Not great, but not horrible for a first season in the league. Now, the chance to move into a well-established campus and work with a popular sporting university facilitated this move.
The CEO of Gen.G, Chris Park, stated, “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.” Furthermore, he said “The University of Kentucky 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 university and Gen.G hope to host live games on campus if the health situation can work around it. Besides, Heath Price, Associate CIO at UK, said that internet will be no issue anyway. Specifically, he stated, “The team will play at the Cornerstone which has the best internet connectivity east of the Mississippi. They will have our full support.”
The roster revealed
The new Tigers roster consists of some returning players from the previous season as well as some new ones. This includes Chris “Turnupdefense” Anderson, Mihad “FEAST” Feratovic, Jordan “JMoney” Martinez and Alex “Bsmoove” Reese. The new players are Donald “BumpyDon” Newsome and Kennedy “Sawc” Tauala, Jr., two recent draft picks of theirs. With their record last year, these 44th and 47th overall picks need to make a mark. The new Gen.G Tigers will be interesting to watch, now having the Kentucky name to uphold.
Make sure to tune into the tipoff of the 2021 season on May 19.