Bayern Ballers Gaming

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"Bayern Ballers Gaming" Team Selected

The new FC Bayern Basketball eSports team is in place. Eight players impressed the jury with their performances at the premiere of the Audi Dome eCup, securing a place in the Bayern Ballers Gaming team. More than 150 players from Germany, Austria and Switzerland applied for the first NBA 2K event of its kind worldwide. The best 40 then took part in the Audi Dome eCup in Munich, where they were greeted by a professional setup, complete with podium and hosts.

After what was a tense and dramatic finale, the crew selected by the jury – which featured former pro Jan Jagla – was officially announced by Adrian Sarmiento, Head of Corporate Partnerships & Internationalization at FCBB.

Marcel ‘MGoCrzy’ Stohl, Eric ‘zaeppooo’ Cepuran, Felix ‘xlBeCreative’ Ellspermann, Jacob ‘Kuba09’ Krafczyk, Dominik ‘TrashByCoachD’ Tischler, Julian ‘julesay2k’ Hegescheidt, Patrick ‘LIZanity’ Lizius and Christoph ‘guardate_dj’ Hübler will make up the Bayern Ballers Gaming squad. Marcel Stohl was chosen as MVP by online viewers.

Over the next days and weeks, the team will train hard under the leadership of Coach Swen „TheManfromEaten“ Müller and play some practice matches, before they then take on a top-level opponent in a showcase match at a large-scale exhibition.

FC Bayern Basketball began this eSports project back in April, with the goal to gather some initial experience in the rapidly growing world of eSports, as well as bring FCBB and basketball in general to a new target audience. A prestigious sponsor is already backing the venture in the form of Audi. The Audi Dome eCup games were shown live on both popular streaming platform Twitch and Facebook, and were met with huge interest.

Jannis Neumann (JLB_2K) – Mavs Gaming

The Virtual Nowitzki

Jannis Neumann is a professional gamer and the only German of 102 eSports players selected for the NBA’s eSports Basketball League. The 21-year-old from the Duisburg area trained every night for over a year and was ultimately selected by Mavs Gaming, the Dallas Mavericks’ eSports team, in the third round of the NBA 2K League draft. He is set to move to the USA to train with his new teammates and officially represent the franchise. His avatar, a 2.16-metre-tall Center with a knack for three-point throws, bears a strong resemblance to the NBA’s leading German icon, Dirk Nowitzki, who also plays for the Mavs. The pair will no doubt meet in the near future, but before Jannis jets off to Dallas, we caught up with him for a chat.


Interview with Jannis Neumann (JLB_2K) - Mavs Gaming

Bayern Ballers Gaming:
Hi Jannis, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. When are you off to Dallas? Have you been in contact with your team yet? How are you finding your new home?

Hi, sometime next week I’ll be off. I speak to the team on a daily basis. I haven’t seen my new home yet, I just know that there’s a basketball court and two pools!

eSports media is going through the roof. Your teammate and 2K League #1 draft pick Dimez has just been in the studio with Conan O’Brien. Have you noticed an increase in the significance of eSport players in the general media?

Absolutely! Dimez has been talking to the media for a year now. The German press has shown a lot of interest in recent weeks as well: several newspapers, podcasts and TV channels have got in touch with me. I was filming with Galileo on Monday – it’s definitely growing.

If you were to make a prediction, where do you think 2K Basketball will be in two to three years?

That’s difficult to predict. I’ll just let myself be surprised. It definitely has great potential.

FC Bayern Basketball has become the first basketball club in Germany to start an eSports team. What does this mean for NBA2K eSports in Germany?

It’s huge. When I was told at the start of last week I was definitely surprised. Frankfurt has started one as well now, but Bayern is at a different level in terms of reach. In my opinion, this will make other top European clubs aware of the whole thing.

What needs to happen in your opinion for 2K Basketball to become even more popular and grow in Germany?

I think Bayern getting onboard is a good start. In the end though, basketball in general needs to become a bit more popular. I do think, however, that if more BBL clubs follow suit, the whole sport will grow here.

What will you do after the season finishes in Dallas? Might we see you at Bayern Ballers Gaming?

Since there is no information regarding season 2 in the 2K League yet, I can’t say what I’ll be doing yet. Who knows what will happen in the future? My aim is obviously to remain in the league, but I’ll take everything as it comes. Maybe I’ll show my face at Bayern again as well...