Global esports organization Gen.G is launching a Shanghai team for the NBA 2K League next year, which will be the first team operating outside of North America.

“This is a historic moment in the NBA 2K League’s journey to becoming a truly global league with fans, franchises and players from all over the world,” NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue said in a statement. “Gen.G is the ideal organization to launch our first team from outside of North America, and we look forward to working with Gen.G to reach new fans in Shanghai and identify elite talent across Asia.”

Founded in 2017, Gen.G currently operates the Overwatch League’s Seoul Dynasty team and the China Clash Royale League and has offices in Los Angeles, Seoul and Shanghai. The still unnamed Shanghai NBA 2K team will train in Los Angeles during the 2020 season. While Gen.G’s investors include the LA Clippers, this will be the first member of the league not affiliated with a National Basketball Association team.

“We are honored to help lead the NBA 2K League’s expansion into Asia and proud to represent Shanghai on behalf of the hundreds of millions of Chinese fans who love basketball and video games,” Gen.G CEO Chris Park said in the statement. “Gen.G’s unique core mission — to connect esports fans and athletes across the U.S. and Asia — is meant for ambitious ventures like this. We have big plans to help grow the NBA 2K League in communities around the world that are passionate about basketball and video games.”

Gen.G will be working with the NBA 2K League on brand development and talent identification in Asia meant to grow the game’s global audience and recruit the next generation of players. The effort follows a partnership between the League and Chinese tech and entertainment conglomerate Tencent (OTCMKTS: TCEHY) launched in July to begin airing their events in China.

Samantha Nelson
Managing Editor at Escapist Magazine. Contributor at Gaming Street, A.V. Club, The Verge, Collider and the Chicago Tribune.

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