Update (December 13th 2020): The GB team reached the semi-finals of the tournament, losing to Germany.
— GB Basketball (@gbbasketball) December 13, 2020
Update (December 4th 2020): The team has been confirmed for the NBA 2K side representing Great Britain in the FIBA Esports Open II.
— British Esports Association (@British_Esports) December 4, 2020
Original article (published November 9th 2020):
Two national bodies are teaming up to represent the very best that Great Britain has to offer in a new basketball esports tournament.
The British Esports Association will be working closely with the British Basketball Federation to select and manage a team of NBA 2K21 esports players.
This team will represent Great Britain on the global stage in the upcoming FIBA Esports Open II, taking place throughout November and December.
GB team will be led by 23-year-old British professional NBA 2K esports player, Harry ‘HazzaUK’ Hurst, who plays for Knicks Gaming. HazzaUK will captain the British side and will help select the players, with the full line-up to be announced over the coming weeks.
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has announced an expanded field of 38 national teams taking part in the second edition of the FIBA Esports Open, set to take place over three weekends with seven regional conferences. This is up from the 17 national teams that took part in the first three-day FIBA Esports Open 2020 held in June, in which Great Britain wasn’t represented.
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. Teams are once again allowed to have full customization of player avatars, uniforms and arena designs.
Teams will be divided into one of the following conferences: Africa, North and Central America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
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. You can see specific match times in this schedule document.
Andy Payne OBE, British Esports Association chair, commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the British Basketball Federation to select a GB Team for the latest FIBA Esports Open. It’s a great example of sports and esports working together to promote British talent and we look forward to seeing how the team gets on, led by Harry.”
Maurice Watkins CBE, British Basketball Federation chair, said: “This is an exciting development of a new basketball genre led by FIBA. We are delighted to establish a partnership with the British Esports Association, with their recognised knowledge and experience in esports. This gives the British Basketball Federation a solid foundation and support to enter a GB team in the next round of the next FIBA Esports Open scheduled in December.
“It is a positive example of esports and sport working together. We look forward to supporting the GB Team, as they take to the virtual basketball court in a FIBA competition.”
Team captain Harry ‘HazzaUK’ Hurst added: “Ever since I was a child, my goal has always been to represent my country on any stage or platform. I am very grateful to have been given such an amazing opportunity, and I am looking forward to the challenges ahead!
“I know what I can bring to the table, and I’m looking forward to working with my future teammates and bringing success to Team Great Britain.”
“The first-ever FIBA Esports Open was an important milestone. The growing interest received from our National Federations is additional motivation for FIBA to further develop esports, and we are very enthusiastic for this second edition,” said FIBA Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.
You can visit the FIBA Esports Open website for more info, and use the #FIBAesportsOpen hashtag to get involved on social media.
Harry ‘HazzaUK’ Hurst is a professional British NBA 2K esports player who currently plays for Knicks Gaming in the NBA 2K League. He is 23 years old and has been playing the game for four years now, three of which have been professionally.
He has been an avid gamer all his life, and first found his love for basketball during college, where he was invited to practice with some friends from the college team Reading Rockets. Harry also plays football in D1 of Berkshire, and has always loved sports.
Harry is the only player outside of North and South America to have played in every professional season. During his first professional year, he played under the Dallas Mavericks esports team, Mavs Gaming, where he lived in New York for six months competing in tournaments. During the remaining seasons, he was picked up by the New York Knicks esports team, Knicks Gaming, and for the last two years has competed in more tournaments across America, whilst challenging for another Championship to add to the Knicks collection.
He predominantly plays the 5, but is also able to play the 3 and 4 at a high level and sees himself as one of the best PnR defenders in the world, once holding the record for the most steals in a professional 2K game.
About the British Esports Association
The British Esports Association is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2016 to support and promote esports in the UK.
As a national body, its aims are to foster future British talent, increase the awareness of esports and provide expertise and advice. It’s focused on the grassroots level of esports and is not a governing body.
The Association helps educate the masses – including parents, teachers, media and government – around what esports is and what its benefits are. Its three goals are to Promote, Improve and Inspire.
About the British Basketball Federation
The British Basketball Federation (British Basketball) is the national governing body responsible for basketball in Britain. It took on the International Federation (FIBA) membership role from the Home Country Associations in October 2016.
The BBF runs GB Basketball in a federated model, under a board of management comprising an independent chair, independent directors and representatives of the three member Home Country Associations (HCAs) of Basketball England, Basketball Scotland and Basketball Wales.
About the International Basketball Federation and the Esports Open
FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has announced that after a hugely successful launch in June, the FIBA Esports Open 2020 is back for its second edition ready to make an even bigger splash.
With an expanded field of 38 national teams, more than double the inaugural event, FIBA esports Open 2020 II will see some of the world’s best NBA 2K21 Pro-AM players compete for top honors in six regional conferences.