Two-Time NBA 2K League Champions Select Two Players to Round Out 2024 Roster
Click here for draft night photos of Wizards District Gaming’s newest player, Benzo.
Orlando, FL – Wizards District Gaming (WDG), the Washington Wizards’ NBA 2K League affiliate owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE), selected Benjamin “Benzo” Bernstein with the top overall pick in the NBA 2K League Draft on Thursday night.
Widely regarded as a can’t-miss prospect, the Montclair, NJ native has been one of the best NBA 2K prospects in the Pro-Am scene for several years before finally becoming eligible to qualify for the NBA 2K League this season.
With Wizards District Gaming’s second round pick, #25 overall, the team selected center Xavier “Type” Vescovi. A veteran in the NBA 2K League, Type has played with Warriors Gaming Squad, Hornets Venom GT, Knicks Gaming, and Raptors Uprising GC in previous seasons.
“We’re thrilled to welcome an elite level talent and instant difference maker like Benzo to Wizards District Gaming,” said Patrick Crossan, Wizards District Gaming Head Coach & General Manager. “Coupled with Type and our returning veteran core, we believe we have built a roster that can compete with any in this league. We can’t wait to get the 2024 season started as we look to add more hardware to our trophy case.”
Wizards District Gaming acquired the top selection via a trade with Mavs Gaming in September, which saw players Ryan “Dayfri” Conger and Justin “Kapp” Kaplan head to Mavs Gaming. WDG also swapped their 2025 second round pick for the Mavs first rounder in the 2025 draft to complete the trade.
Benzo is the second No. 1 overall pick in WDG franchise history. With the first pick in the 2020 Draft, WDG selected Jack “JBM” Mascone who went on to play the point guard position for WDG, leading the team to two League Championships in 2020 and 2021, and winning Finals MVP in 2021.
All 25 NBA 2K League teams completed their five-person rosters at the end of the three-round draft, which took place at Full Sail University in Orlando. This year’s draft pool included players who qualified from the NBA 2K League Become a Pro Series, unretained players from last season, players who earned draft eligibility as part of the NBA 2K League Draft Prospect Series and select competitors from the NBA 2K League APAC Invitational Presented by Cignal, the NBA 2K League European Invitational and the NBL Oz Gaming Tournament Series.
Benzo and Type round out Wizards District Gaming’s 2024 roster that already featured longtime veterans Justin “Just Awkward” Howell and Antonio “Newdini” Newman, along with returning WDG shooting guard Brandon “B Rich” Richardson, who returned to the District via an offseason trade with Pistons GT.
Thursday’s draft broadcast featured NBA 2K League CEO Andrew Perlmutter announcing select picks, interviews with draft prospects and other special guests, clips from NBA 2K League original content series “Draft Hopefuls,” and look-ins at select “war rooms” where teams were strategizing and drafting from their respective markets. Wizards District Gaming’s top pick was announced by former Washington Wizard and current Monumental Sports Network broadcaster Drew Gooden.
WDG hosted their 2024 draft night operations at District E Powered by Ticketmaster, MSE’s nearly 14,000 square-feet live-event theater offering a 365-day-a-year series of immersive experiences in esports, music, event programming, and community events. The venue also provides a best-in-class competition and training venue for the esports franchises Monumental owns, operates, and invests in, including Wizards District Gaming, Caps Gaming, District Elite and Team Liquid.
Wizards District Gaming’s 2024 season will begin in late February with the official schedule being released later this month. The NBA 2K League will announce additional information soon, including season structure, schedule and location(s), prize pool, and open qualifier details.
About Wizards District Gaming
Wizards District Gaming, owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is part of the NBA 2K League, a professional esports league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO). Launched in 2018, the league features the best NBA 2K players in the world. Wizards District Gaming drafts and/or retains gamers as part of a team that competes as unique characters in matchups against 24 other teams in a mix of regular-season games, tournaments and playoffs. For more information about Wizards District Gaming, visit www.wizardsdg.com.
About District E Powered by Ticketmaster
District E Powered by Ticketmaster is Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s nearly 14,000 square-feet live-event theater offering a 365-day-a-year series of immersive experiences in esports, music, event programming, and community events – along with pre-and post-event activations for fans attending NHL’s Washington Capitals and NBA’s Washington Wizards games, also owned by Monumental Sports. The venue creates a best-in-class competition and training venue for the esports franchises Monumental additionally owns, operates, and invests in, including Wizards District Gaming, Caps Gaming, District Elite and Team Liquid. To learn more, visit www.districtedc.com.