The NBA 2K League announced the suspension and DQ of six people for violating league gambling rules.
The NBA and the sports world as a whole have warmed to gambling in recent years, following the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Still, leagues, including eSports leagues, have been careful to maintain the integrity of their games and contests.
According to ESPN:
“An investigation found that Christopher Lafanette, Dorian Earl Miller and Robert Nastasi of Blazer5 Gaming, Kimanni Ingram of Jazz Gaming, and Zekirri Dennis of Mavs Gaming all wagered or attempted to wager on NBA 2K League games, either on their own or through other individuals, the league said in a statement. The five players also broke league rules by failing to report any violations or cooperate with the investigation. Blazer5 Gaming coach Andrew Maxie and player Marquis Gill were also disqualified indefinitely from all league activity for failing to report violations or cooperating with the league’s investigation.”
“The integrity of our game is, and always will be, the NBA 2K League’s top priority,” league president Brendan Donohue said in a statement. “We take our obligation to the competition and to our fans incredibly seriously, and we will always act forcefully regarding violations of the rules governing game integrity and the related reporting and cooperation requirements.”
The NBA 2K League is an eSports league that’s a joint venture between the National Basketball Association and Take-Two Interactive. The league was announced in February 2017.
According to Reuters: “The NBA 2K League completed its fifth season in August, with Bucks Gaming winning their first 5v5 title and Pistons GT capturing the inaugural 3v3 championship […] The league will consist of 25 teams in 2023 with the addition of Australia-based NBL Oz Gaming. All but two of the other 24 teams are affiliated with NBA franchises, the exceptions being the China-based Gen.G Tigers and Mexico-based DUX Infinitos.”
More than 30 states have legal sports betting, with some allowing wagers on eSports.