PREPARATIONS CONTINUE FOR CANADA AHEAD OF FIBA ESPORTS OPEN II
TORONTO, Ont. (November 10, 2020) – With just over a month to go until tip-off, Canada Basketball continues to prepare for the upcoming FIBA Esports Open II.
Canada is one of seven federations that will compete in the FIBA Esports Open II North and Central American conference from Dec. 19-20.
“Esports and gaming have experienced tremendous growth in recent years and Canada Basketball is looking forward to competing in the upcoming FIBA Esports Open,” said Glen Grunwald, Canada Basketball President & CEO. “From fans to players and now gamers, Canadians have shown their passion and excitement for all aspects of our game and I’m looking forward to cheering on Canada’s NBA 2K eNational Team next month.”
This will be the first Esports competition for Canada Basketball and the second edition of the FIBA Esports Open. The first FIBA Esports Open was the inaugural international esports event for national teams and was held over three days in June and featured 114 gamers from 17 national federations across Oceania, Southeast Asia, the Middle-East, Europe and South America.
Shane Talbot has been named Team Manager for Canada’s NBA 2K eNational Team ahead of the FIBA Esports Open and will oversee roster selection, operations and team performance.
"I am thrilled and honoured to have the opportunity to manage Team Canada in this ground-breaking event,” said Talbot. “It's exciting for everyone involved in the professional NBA 2K community that FIBA and our national programs are embracing gaming and I believe that this is just the beginning."
Talbot is currently the Esports Manager at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment as well as the General Manager for Raptors Uprising in the NBA 2K League.
"The NBA 2K League is the highest level of competition and we'll be looking favourably at players who have proven their talents on that stage, but we also know there is tremendous up-and-coming talent in Canada, which is why Raptors Uprising's Scout The North draft eligibility tournament this month is also being scouted for our national program," said Talbot.
In addition, Canada has named Sam Pham has coach for the upcoming FIBA Esports Open II. Pham is a draft and gameplay analyst for Milwaukee Bucks Gaming of the NBA 2K League, and a seasoned NBA 2K tutorial content creator on YouTube with over 130,000 subscribers.
Last week, an expanded field of 38 national teams from across all FIBA regions was announced for the second edition of the FIBA Esports Open.
Each team will consist of seven players: five on the court and two reserves. The PS4 Game will be played remotely on NBA 2K21, using the Pro-AM mode.
In order to be eligible, players must be a minimum of sixteen (16) years old by the first day of the competition and must provide proof of Canadian nationality (e.g., a passport, national ID card, or birth certificate.)
Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia conferences will be played on November 14-15, while the Europe conference is set for December 12-13. The North and Central America, and South America conferences will take place on December 19-20. Finals will take place in the FIBA Esports Open II in all conferences, with a best of three format.
As was the case for the inaugural FIBA Esports Open, this entire series will be produced from the FIBA Esports Studio in Riga, Latvia, with 54 hours of live content being streamed on FIBA's Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels. Each game will be available online with live commentary in English, as well as a daily show featuring up to 12 games.
To find out more visit the FIBA Esports Open website here.