THIS IS A LONG READ*
I understand it is a business. 2K or better yet Video Concepts is a Video Game Company first and foremost. They create these video games to make money. Period.
As much as they have “basketball” fans, creating the game, there is still a sales/marketing/business strategy to everything in everything that they do.
But what pains me, a person who like many of you, eat, sleep and drink basketball, but more specifically the statistical side of things, MyTeam has become an absolute travesty to me, and I knew MyTeam was going to be a joke a few days into the first week of launch. I understand that this a fantasy card trading game, but there are so many outliers in this mode even before you get this game, that just breaks it.
PART 1: LACK OF BENCHMARK
MyTeam started in the first week of Launch with its first promo, the Hornets and Grizzlies throwback promo.
A new batch of cards right from the jump!
Good Start, 90 Overall Baron Davis is an accurate representation of his best year with the New Orleans Hornets in 2004.
Now mind you 2K does not put a year to which season the card represents and the ones on 2kMT CENTRAL are mostly if not all wrong.
But nonetheless the card looked accurate from an eye test perspective.
It looked like 2k was following some sort of benchmark.
But then, I noticed that some of the cards had been what the community would call “JUICED” or “OVERPOWERED” or Flat Out Wrong.
In that same set, you have “Big Daddy” Bryant Reeves. Love the guy
His best year was 1998. 16.3 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 2.1 APG, 1.1 BPG, 4.3 Offensive Win Shares (OWS), 0.6 Defensive Win Shares (DWS)
2k gave this man 91 Overall Rebounding - 1st Mistake
2k gave him 88 Low Post Defense - 2nd Mistake
2k gave him 85 Defensive Consistency - 3rd Mistake
Comes out to an 89 Overall. Current players with an 89 overall in 2k are John Wall, Rudy Gobert, and Ben Simmons.
Now you are probably like what is the problem? Doesn’t he deserve it?
The problem if you give a man, where in his best statistical season he averages 7.9 RPG, then what do you give Wilt Chamberlain or Dennis Rodman?
Kevin Durant in 2016 for OKC averaged 8.2 rebounds, and i know full well 2K wont give him 91 rebounding.
if you are giving a guy who had 0.6 DWS for a Season. In other words, Less than one win of the Grizzlies mere 19 wins in 1998, garners him an 85 in Defensive Consistency, then what do you give Bill Russell… who in 1964 had a total of 16.0 DWS? 16 Wins credited to a mans defense alone.
The problem is that from the jump there is no statistical benchmark for the stats we see on these players. So stats are just freely given without remorse.
PART 2: LACK OF BENCHMARK PRODUCES DEMIGODS FOR META
Same set 2k introduces more “THROWBACK ELITES”. Here is where 2K has a field day.
91 Rated Dell Curry - Love him and thank him for birthing the GOAT Shooter! - But the man has never been an all-star. Heck the man played over 1000 games for his career and started less than 100.
I am not throwing shade at him, as he was an amazing role player for an up and coming Hornets team!
But this card along with the next couple cards which I believe triggered the Cheese we see today fed into the 3 & D meta.
Next pair of Throwback Elites:
92 Shane Battier and 92 Rudy Gay (The Second Thanos)
I want you to read the sentence above again. Now process the next lines.
Shane Battier was never an all-star
Shane Battier’s highest PPG in a season is 14.4.
Rudy Gay at his VERY VERY Best is a fringe All-Star, and that’s with me squinting.
Everyone and there mother decided that Rudy Gay at 6"9 his best position is Point Guard.
And like that Rudy snapped his fingers, and half of all Point Guards and Shooting Guards under 6-5 were were abolished.
The diversity of game play drastically decreased. Lillard, CP3, Wall, Irving, McCollum, and to a certain extent Curry. Gone. The meta had shifted, and small guys were becoming meaningless.
Durant, Preorder Giannis, Preorder Lebron, Paul George, Jimmy, now had to be your Point Guards in order to compete, because these cards were starting to trickle into system.
The moment people got Rewards Finley, he became their PG, and the process continued, into what you see today.
PART 3: THE META IS ESTABLISHED
Now too long after… Amethyst (yes AMETHYST) J.R SMITH was released as a Throwback Elite for the PELICANS or New Orleans Hornets Franchise. In which he played two seasons and shot 29 percent and 37 percent from deep respectively. Both years he shot 39% from the FIELD
Him alongside of Kiki became a nightmare that would give the Devil shivers. But 2K kept planting the seeds into the meta, that only 6"6 players with passable defensive stats, above average athleticism, and a quick trigger should be pursued.
J.R Smith’s best year is 100% his 6MOY winning year in 2013 for NEW YORK. And even in that year he only shot 35.6%.
But this is what happens when you have no benchmarks, and you want to sell packs. You end up creating a database of straight up lunacy.
A couple weeks later in October you have Ruby Morris Peterson show up inside our collections.
Now I was born in Toronto, currently from the Greater Toronto Area, Grew up watching the Raptors, and love me some Mo Pete.
So I was a little confused when I saw a 89 rated or 90-91 with boost and shoe overall Morris Peterson.
Things that were astoundingly wrong.
- Morris Peterson for the love of God is 6"7 not 6’9, an error in which 2k to this day has not fixed.
- Morris Peterson was not known for his Defense, so why is he a 3 and D God?
- He was an Above Average 3pt Shooter, but not prolific.
- 2k didn’t give him 3pt plays for a reason that is unexplainable. Yet his emerald has 3pt plays. Guard Post Up? GUARD POST UP? You have to be kidding me.
Again laziness and slapping together of cards that we believe will sell and give us money is the company’s mission statement at this point.
The Meta had been established.
2k no longer cared.
And it showed.
Conclusion: What do we do now?
AK47, Giannis, Magic, Granger, Turkoglu(I didn’t even want to touch on how absurd those last two cards are from a stats perspective. I’d have to write a novel to talk about it) has become the standard. I played 10 MTU games, yesterday.
Heck thats a starting 5
All of them had at LEAST 3 of the combo above.
I have 4 of the 6 MTU Rewards, so I don’t consider myself a bad player, but at this point in the game, I really can’t tell who’s good and who’s bad.
I am seeing more and more posts on this platform of people talking about how toxic the game is, and I’m thinking to myself, the game is dead and we haven’t even reached the end of its cycle!
Or maybe we did…
Think about it…
MTU, the most competitive online game mode within MyTeam ends in Charlotte in about a week’s time. We all knew it was ending in February, they foretold us that there were only 6 Player of the Month Rewards.
What do we do when thats over?
Grind for Anniversary Sets or the Galaxy Opals? For what purpose exactly?
Grind Triple Threat with each other till Next August with the majority of the rewards being mediocre?
Grind MTU for a mere 3,000 coins and a pack that is essentially useless? (I’'ll do a seperate post on the Rewards system later because it’s ludicrous)
Today 2K released a 97 Bob McAdoo that no one will bat an eye towards. If this what is expected for the Throwback Elites, then they are pretty much down the drain.
But you want to know who will be looked at.,…
a 92 Kyle Korver with HOF badges!!!
Don’t get me twisted his HOF badges are deserved as he once shot 53% from deep in a season for UTAH.
But you could gave him an emerald or gold and kept the HOF badges?
It’s not forbidden in anyway. But 2K has to sell packs some how.
It’'s frustrating that this is what our sports simulations are coming too.
(I am an avid FIFA Gamer as well and its suffering from this, if not worse on an even grander scale)
That it feels like we have to buy MT, or VC or use Veronica ( RIP Aug 2018 - Feb 2019) to be level. But then add on to the fact that we have to cheese our way to get there is absurd.
I am a simulation gamer and a roster maker when I have time. As I write this I am perfecting a spreadsheet that has the stats of every single basketball player since 1951 and crunching their stats and metrics into an overall rating formula.
Maybe because of this I am asking for too much…
Maybe I am asking for
A MyTeam mode where the best card or most sought after cards are Jordan, because he is the GOAT, and his card/tendencies/badges/ accurately showcases that.
A MyTeam mode where I am able to use smaller point guards and dominate.
A MyTeam mode where I don’t have to lean into meta tendencies, (PNR, Base 11, Off-Ball)
To me, this stuff seems like It should be embedded in a game that claims to be a basketball simulation.
I understand that this is a fantasy mode, but it doesn’t mean 2k has to abandon all logic, that comes with it, such as giving Yao Ming a 70 open three.
So to answer the question of what do we do now?
Pray that NBA Live gets back to what it once was or Pray 2K starts listening to community and the issues that plague a mode that has incredible potential.
Thank you for reading!