Trae Young, Kevin Durant Headline NBA 2K Players Tournament

Ben Ladner

The NBA will kick off the NBA 2K Players Tournament this Friday, April 3, the league announced on Tuesday. Players will compete in a single-elimination tournament over Xbox One, and the winner will receive $100,000 to donate toward relief efforts for COVID-19. 

Notable players participating in the tournament include Nets All Star Kevin Durant and Hawks All Star Trae Young, who have the highest 2K ratings among participating players and are the top two seeds in the tournament. Seeding is based on players' ratings in the game, then by seniority if two players -- like Donovan Mitchell and Hassan Whiteside -- have the same rating. 

The tournament kicks off on Friday at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN with Durant facing off against Derrick Jones Jr., and will continue through 11:30 p.m. that night. The quarterfinals will take place on April 7, with the Semifinals and Finals on Saturday, April 11. ESPN will present a preview show at 7:00 on Friday night. 

"We're thrilled to partner with the NBA and NBPA to bring basketball back to fans throughout the world and to help those in need during these uncertain times,” said Jason Argent, 2K Senior Vice President, Sports Strategy and Licensing via the NBA's press release. “Entertainment, especially sports, has the ability to bring communities together – including athletes, fans and families – and we hope that everyone will enjoy the tournament."

Young is the only Hawk participating in the tournament and will take on Sacramento's Harrison Barnes in round one. Young boasts a 90 rating in 2K -- six points behind Durant and three points ahead of the third-seeded Whiteside. He has spent much of the NBA hiatus playing video games, which could now come in handy in a competitive tournament. 

"I have been really just trying to play a lot of video games [to improve] so I can play online, play in front of fans," Young told The Undefeated in March. 

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