There’s a cycle that every gamer goes through when playing their favorite game. First you’re elated as you install your pre-ordered game, all the while chattering on with your friends about it in a party like a bunch of giddy schoolgirls before prom. Finally the install finishes and you dive in, taking in all the new features is like drinking from a fire hose. Eventually you settle on one or two game modes that you will spend hours upon hours playing. 4-6 months later those modes can start to lose their luster. 2K has done some innovating things to try and spice up their game modes like changing things up in park with House Rules or their $250,000 Pro Am tournament. In the end they can only do so much to keep things fresh, all the while they’re working tirelessly behind to scenes to develop 2K17.
This is where the fans come in. Last year when MyNBA2K15 started to get a little stale we hosted events here on our fan site with special rewards. The events helped keep things fresh and piqued players’ interest in the game. NBA2K16 has been out just over 5 months now and you may be suffering from mid-year burnout, if you are then I have a recommendation for you: Pro Am Leagues.
There’s several Pro Am leagues out there but the best one I know of is called the Willis Reed Pro Am League (WR for short). WR was started by Ev Mathurin and Royal Ceez. The two of them were looking to enhance their 2K experience so they joined a Jordan Rec Center League. Ev told me the league was run poorly, to say the least, so he and Ceez decided to take things into their own hands and start their own league; thus began what was then called the Willis Reed JRC League. They recruited teams and players by joining various 2K communities and groups, posting about the league to get the word out. For their first season they had 2 admins, 6 teams and less than 50 total members; now they have 7 admins, 28 teams and over 500 members. Ev said the growth is what motivates them to keep putting work into the league. That motivation has fueled him and his staff to work tirelessly to make the league great; as a result they have stats, an all-star game, playoffs and they’re even working on a weekly live YouTube telecast, and all their games are broadcasted live on Twitch.
Ev’s only request for 2K is the option to host private Pro Am games. One of the real hang ups in the process of playing the league is matching up against the correct team. Without a private games option teams have to start at the same time hoping 2K matches them up against each other, if they aren’t matched together all 10 guys have to quit out and try again. I don’t see why that shouldn’t be a feature, as long as the Wins/Losses aren’t counted toward each team’s official record (otherwise there would be plenty of tanking going on).
As far as suggestions I would like to take it a step further and suggest 2K actually creates an option to start your own in-game Pro Am league in 2K17. It would be similar to MyLeague only with Pro Am teams. One individual could create their league, give it a name and the amount of teams required. Leagues could be private or open. One of the main keys to an in-game Pro Am League would be balancing the 2K features with the user control. The user should be able to control everything, from banning members/teams to selecting All-Stars, etc. All the while 2K could help with other things like compiling and sorting stats (that would save Ev and his crew a lot of time) and recruiting additional teams and players for the league and sorting free agents by listing their positions and overall. There could be a free agent database that helps players get ahold of each other.
With the dedicated management of people like Ev and his crew and some in-game help from 2K, I believe Pro Am Leagues would be a huge feature/game mode in 2K17. In the meantime I encourage you to check out the resources below and possibly join a Pro Am league if that’s something you think you’d be interested in. If you’re contributing something unique and new to 2K I’d love to hear about it, send me a message or tweet me; who knows, maybe you’ll be featured in the next article!
Willis Reed Pro Am League Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/967230456645060/Willis Reed
Pro Am League Website: http://wr-league.com/