A professional NBA 2K esports player has been banned from the official NBA 2K League after breaking the league's rules on gambling. The NBA 2K League has only existed for two and a half years and this expulsion is one of just a few high profile bans made by the esports league.
On Twitter, the official NBA 2K League account confirmed that Basil Rose, known as 24K Dropoff, has been disqualified for "violating the league's gambling rules." The statement explains that the dismissed NBA 2K esports player was found to be giving information connected to betting on NBA 2K League games. While an investigation by the NBA 2K League found that 24K Dropoff didn't attempt to fix a match or "improperly" take part in an NBA 2K League game, it did find grounds for his dismissal from the league.
24K Dropoff isn't the only professional esports player to have been dropped from a team or a league because of a connection with esports betting. Last month, several Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players were arrested in Australia over suspicions of match fixing. Those players faced a potential 10 years in prison but 24K Dropoff does not appear to have committed a criminal offense.
The following was released today by the NBA 2K League. pic.twitter.com/rB50kRQ8S7— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) September 12, 2019
The NBA 2K League's decision to ban the player and the player's behavior may seem small scale in comparison to these other, criminal offenses, but many are seeing at as a large scandal because of the controversy surrounding the NBA 2K games and gambling.
Many had criticized publisher 2K, which runs the NBA 2K League alongside the NBA, for the casino and gambling mechanics in this NBA 2K20 trailer. Slot machines, loot box style card packs, and more could all be seen in the video. Some also suggested that the trailer was for a gambling sim game and not for a mode in a basketball game.
The NBA 2K series is also facing growing scrutiny about its mechanics now that a UK government committee has called for loot boxes to be banned in games sold to children. NBA 2K, as a series with a PEGI 3 rating in the UK, is played by children and so the decision could have a large effect on the series' earnings. It's unclear what may happen to the series and its card packs and slot machines in future, but those who enjoy the NBA 2K League will be happy to see that esports is one place where it won't tolerate gambling.