The NBA 2K League announced a partnership with DUX Gaming on Wednesday to launch its inaugural expansion into Latin America.
On the heels of the NBA G League officially welcoming a Mexican team in 2021, the NBA 2K League is following suit to expand its global footprint. DUX Gaming, a sports organization based in Madrid, will announce the team's home city at a later date. The team will join the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai as the league's second franchise outside of the United States and Canada.
The newly announced Mexican team will begin play in the spring of 2022, when the next NBA 2K League season is set to kick off. Former NBA 2K League Draft prospect Rafael "RafaelTGR" Tobias Garcera Rodrigo was named the general manager for DUX Gaming's expansion team. According to sources, the purchase price for DUX Gaming's franchise is $25 million.
"This is a historic day as we welcome another premier international organization to the NBA 2K League family," said NBA 2K League president Brendan Donohue. "DUX Gaming has a demonstrated track record of growing its fan base in new and creative ways which makes it an ideal partner to help the NBA 2K League successfully expand to Latin America, where basketball and 2K are already incredibly popular. We're thrilled that DUX Gaming will represent Mexico in the NBA 2K League for years to come."
Founded in 2018, DUX Gaming has quickly evolved into a multi-pronged venture that has expanded beyond video games. In 2020, it became the first eSports organization to buy a semi-pro soccer club, purchasing DUX Internacional de Madrid, a third-tier Spanish team. DUX Gaming also owns DUX Logroño, a women's soccer club. Real Madrid star Thibaut Courtois is a key investor in DUX Gaming, along with Real Betis striker Borja Iglesias.
"As an organization established in Europe, it is a true honor to now become the first NBA 2K League team in Latin America," said DUX Gaming Chief Executive Officer Mario Fernández. "We can't wait to work with Brendan and the entire NBA 2K League team to build our fanbase in Mexico and expand their audience to Latin America with the hope that everyone, especially Spanish speakers, will join the infinite club."
Sports content creator DjMaRiiO is expected to collaborate with DUX Gaming by way of localized content and grassroots events aimed at Mexican and Latin American communities. Across social media platforms, DjMaRiiO boasts a total of over 10 million subscribers and followers, which allows for a built-in audience. DUX Gaming's Mexican expansion team will participate in the upcoming Nov. 17 NBA 2K League expansion draft, where it will be able to take up to three players to add to the six-player roster every team is allotted.
The NBA 2K League tipped off its inaugural season in May 2018 with 17 teams, each affiliated with an NBA franchise. Before DUX Gaming's arrival, the league had expanded to 23 teams, 22 of which are affiliated with NBA teams. Wizards District Gaming are the current back-to-back champions, having swept Jazz Gaming over three games earlier this month.