Growing up, Nate Patrick had the same interests as everyone other boy his age: a love of sports and a love of games. Wanting to get involved in the sporting world somehow, Nate worked at Fox Sports in an analytics role for years. Though he wanted to progress his career, so he quit this job to pursue content creation and commentary. Being invited as a host/commentator for the first season of the E-League (Australia’s competitive FIFA competition), Nate developed a love for commentary. Eventually being asked to be the stadium announcer for Macarthur FC in the A-League, Nate was living his dream of working in the sporting industry.
Although he has an undying love of football, his true love was basketball. When offered a role, Nate jumped at the opportunity to host and commentate the NBA 2K League.
The 2K league comprised of 24 teams from the USA, China and Mexico. This year however, there was the introduction to the Australian based team NBL Oz Gaming. With a love for his country, the NBA, basketball, as well as the game of 2K, Nate was ready and willing to share his knowledge and passion with the world.
Q: For those unaware, what exactly is the 2K League?
A: The e-sports equivalent of the NBA is a pretty easy way to put it. 22 teams linked with NBA franchises as well as three international teams from China, Mexico and now Australia compete in both 3v3 and 5v5 competitions. With millions in prize pool money up for grabs as well as each team having exclusive facilities for their players, it is one of the most amazing and legitimate e-sports competitions out there.
Q: Basketball is a huge passion of yours, what went through your mind when you were invited to work with the 2K League?
A: I had no idea that the opportunity was coming, it was 3am and I had just finished work and was ready for bed. I checked my email and the head producer of the 2K league had emailed and asked if I wanted to be involved. Usually with work similar to this I would make a to do list or make a note to get back to them but with this I genuinely couldn’t sleep. I got back to them straight away and was so excited to be involved with something like this.
Q: How important do you see the introduction of NBL Oz Gaming for both the 2K League and Australian E-Sports?
A: For the 2K league, NBL Oz Gaming have been in the top 5 of viewership engagement from the start. I was expecting some level of buzz as a new team but this wasn’t anything I was expecting. I also think having an international commentator with a new international team went hand in hand, it created a different type of buzz around the team and league. With NBL Oz Gaming being labelled as the ‘Down Under Dogs’ before the tournament even started, it gave people a team to root for. It was a team of players that haven’t been given a proper go before which is another reason, I think the introduction of a new team was good. More teams means more spots which means more opportunities for players. In this case meant direct opportunities for Australians for the first time.
With NBL Oz Gaming being the first ever Australian e-sports team to compete in a global league, they are genuine pioneers. Although there are teams in other e-sports that might qualify for the odd event, these guys are based overseas so it’s huge. I also think having the ‘NBL’ in it’s name is huge as well. It attracts people overseas to the NBL which I think is great, but it also gets people that watch the NBL here in Australia invested into 2K. Having more eyes on things like this means more opportunities locally for those wanting to show off their talents. I think the introduction of this team will do wonders in the future.
Q: What advice would you have for anyone wanting to get involved in the 2K League?
A: Know your role, there are spots for everyone in a league like this. I was given feedback about the role I wanted and took it on board. Mine was commentary but for some it might be production for others it might be as a player, just understand what is required from yourself. I was a fan of the league before I was involved. So, I say if you want to get involved; watch the league, it helps a lot. I don’t think I would have gotten that email if I hadn’t spent so much time building my knowledge or perfecting my commentary.