The NBA 2K League has announced that six players and a coach have been indefinitely disqualified after a gambling controversy. The esports league made the announcement yesterday.
The suspended players include Christopher Lafanette, Dorian Earl Miller and Robert Nastasi of the Portland Trail Blazers branch; Zekirri Dennis of Mavs Gaming; and Kimanni Ingram of Jazz Gaming, who, according to the league, “has wagered or attempted to bet on NBA 2K League games, himself or through other individuals, and also violated the rules by failing to report violations or fully cooperating with the investigation .” Blazers coach Andrew Maxie and player Marquis Gill will also be punished for “failing to report violations or not fully cooperate with the investigation.”
“We take our obligation to the competition and our fans incredibly seriously”
There are no further details about the gambling or the penalty, but this kind of scandal is always damaging to the competitive integrity of a league, be it esports or traditional sports. And while the NBA 2K League doesn’t have the same level of attention as other professional esports circuits like League of Legends, Valorant, or overwatchit is still a remarkable undertaking, a collaboration between the NBA and NBA 2K publisher Take-Two Interactive. The league currently has affiliates with most NBA clubs and teams in Australia, Spain and China.
In a statement, league president Brendan Donohue said: “The integrity of our game has been and will always be the most important factor. NBA 2K League’s top priority. We take our obligation to the competition and our fans incredibly seriously, and we will always act vigorously against violations of game integrity rules and associated reporting and collaboration requirements.”