The NBA League will hold a development camp specifically for women next week, specifically to increase the number of women players in an esports series chided for the lack of them.
The four-day camp begins on Tuesday, Aug. 20 at the NBA 2K League Studio in Queens. It brings 15 of the top women competing in NBA 2K to play against and learn from players and coaches in the current NBA 2K League season.
The NBA 2K League currently has only one woman on its 21 teams: Chiquita “Chiquitae126” Evans of Warriors Gaming Squad, the esports affiliate of the Golden State Warriors.
In the inaugural NBA 2K League draft of 2018, just one woman was on a shortlist of 250 potential draftees, and she didn’t make the cut for the final pool of 102 prospects. The shortcoming was enough to get the league’s organizers and the NBA’s head of diversity inclusion to form a task force with the job of diversifying the player pool. The 2019 NBA 2K League draft had two women in its draft pool, with Evans being the first and only one selected.
A news release from the NBA 2K League said Evans will be participating in the development camp, along with her Warriors Gaming Squad teammate Charles “CB13” Bostwick. Nate Kahl of Nets GC, the MVP of the 2018 NBA 2K League Finals, will also be in attendance along with his team’s general manager and head coach, Ivan “OGKingCurt” Curtiss. Pacer Gaming head coach Cody Parent will also be there.
“I feel like it’s important to increase the number of female gamers in the 2K League because there’s no gender when it comes to playing video games,” Derric “YouFamousEnough” Franklin, the G.M. and head coach of Heat Check Gaming, told ESPN’s The Undefeated. “A lot of female gamers get discouraged by the process early, and I want to be one of the ones to tell them that they can indeed see the process through to the end.”
Evans and Bostwick’s Warrior Gaming Squad made the league semifinals, where they lost to eventual champion T-Wolves Gaming. Her selection in the NBA 2K League draft this year earned her a nomination for “Best Esports Moment” in this year’s ESPY awards.