You might not know Juan Gonzalez, but he’s the latest first-round pick by a South Florida sports team.
The NBA 2K League held its inaugural draft Wednesday, and Miami-based Heat Check Gaming selected Gonzalez — also known by the gamer tag Hotshotx305 — with the seventh overall pick.
Now before you jump to any conclusions, this professional competitive gaming league is legit. It’s co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. and has 17 teams of six, all of whom were drafted Wednesday. A prize pool of $1 million will be given out throughout the season.
Games will be played in a 5-on-5 format in NBA 2K, with each player controlling a video game customized version of themselves (compared to, say, a team reminiscent of the Miami Heat’s Big 3 era).
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So without further ado, here’s a closer look at Heat Check Gaming’s first-round pick, according to his bio on the team’s website:
▪ His performance ability: “Juan is a triple threat at the Center position. He is a prolific scorer, a powerful rebounding presence, and a solid playmaker. As a jack of all trades, he performs well across the court. Like many Centers, he hesitated to shoot 3s during the Combine.”
▪ His personality: “Juan is an engaging and selfless personality. He describes himself as dedicated to winning. He values his team, and doesn’t care about stats, even saying, "I have switched positions and played a lesser role for a teammate to gain the spotlight that he deserved at the time." Juan is a selfless player.”
▪ His potential: “Juan consistently watches film to improve his game. He is both dedicated to his craft and willing to forgive defeat. ‘You got to move on from a loss,’ he explains. This attitude should translates to a player with strong potential to improve in the League.”
How all of that plays out for Gonzalez or the rest of the Heat Check Gaming team will be determined in due time. The season runs from May through August.
And for those who said you can’t make a career playing video games, think again. In addition to the $1 million prize pool, each of the 17 first-round picks will be paid a $35,000 base salary, slightly more than the $32,000 their fellow teammates will make. All gamers sign a six-month contract and will be relocated to paid team housing.