Season 3 for the NBA 2K22 MyTeam mode looked like it was going to bring some festive fun to the game mode. A new gameplay mode called Clutch Time was added. A promotion called “Hoopsmas” was announced. The new season included brand new digital player cards with special abilities.

But the NBA 2K22 MyTeam community is not happy about what’s happening right now with Season 3 of the game.

The MyTeam mode allows gamers to collect digital cards of their favorite players, who they can later use in full-court basketball games. The game has multiple seasons, which include different themes, rewards and prizes to keep the mode refreshed. The seasons concept began with NBA 2K21 and made its return for NBA 2K22.

NBA 2K22 MyTeam mode: What’s new for Season 3?

The third season for this year’s game — which began at the end of November — was highly anticipated among the fan base, mostly because the mode would have a holiday theme. Based on last year’s game, the third season was believed to be filled with free cards, a lot of in-game grindable content and plenty of exciting features to coincide with the most wonderful time of the year.

But much of the community feel that NBA 2K has not lived up to the hype with the new season. In fact, some have said it doesn’t match the quality of Season 3 from NBA 2K21. Others have expressed that this season is the worst NBA 2K22 season to date.

“This is a time of year people generally have more time to grind and game, and the lack of good grindable rewards is really glaring,” said Tyler Woolley, who streams his NBA 2K games.

Season of Giving vs. Iced Out

Last year, NBA 2K21 had a third season titled “Season of Giving.” And it was quite a season. Almost every day, the game would release new digital cards for players, many of which had a festive holiday design. And, throughout the season, gamers could play a specific amount of games to earn other digital cards — all of which could be redeemed for a free Baron Davis card. Though the card wasn’t overly good in-game, it was still something free that gamers could compete for by playing the game.

Moreover, Season 3 in NBA 2K21 had a number of other cards you could try to win. For example, there was a Richard Jefferson card available from playing one of the online modes. It became so rare that Jefferson tweeted about the card, asking for NBA 2K to release the card for free. Indeed, 2K did just that.

There were even new cards released on the weekends. And 2K even released less powerful versions of some of the NBA’s most popular players, like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Giannis Antetokoumpo.

It was a highly engaging season. NBA 2K fans always had games to play, content to grind more and goals to reach for. The game was active and fun.

That’s why so many people have been struck hard by the limited content for NBA 2K22 Season 3. The third season kicked off at the end of November with some average to below-average card releases, which is expected with a big Christmastime drop expected around Dec. 24. The game also released the new Clutch Time mode. And NBA 2K released a set of challenges to celebrate Steph Curry (which can take about an hour of playtime). Add in the daily reward of the Hoopsmas pack — which can give you candy canes or presents, which can be exchanged for more rewards — and you have a pretty decent collection of content.

But ... there’s little reason to play the game.

“The content is just so lackluster,” said Twitter user @Claxton. “(I) had my expectations fairly low for this whole Hoopsmas thing but there’s been absolutely nothing worth loading up the game for.”

Namely, there is no big collection reward like Baron Davis from NBA 2K21. The holiday season event hasn’t provided anything like last year’s game, according to more than a dozen fans who spoke to the Deseret News.

“It’s clear. Last year’s Christmas season was 1000 times better than this year’s,” said Twitter user @B_Eds517. “They didn’t try at all this year.”

Why Season 3 has been troubling for fans

One of the biggest NBA 2K YouTube creators DBG made the point in a recent video that there’s nothing to grind for in the game, other than luck-based cards that aren’t even that great to use in-game. TyDeBo, who won the NBA 2K21 MyTeam Unlimited tournament, said something similar in a recent video. The game exists. There’s sometimes fresh content. But there aren’t major reasons to pick up your controller and game.

That’s not entirely true, though, for casual gamers. NBA 2K added a new Domination mode, which includes 33 games for rewards. For YouTubers, that’s an easy mode to beat. For casuals like myself, the Domination mode might take days, if not weeks, to complete. There’s also the entire season reward system, where you can log in and compete for small changes to gain XP points that will help you unlock the Allen Iverson reward card. Though Iverson’s reward card isn’t stacked with high stats, it is a long-term goal that causal gamers can chip away at during the holiday season.

But for fans, who rush to complete the Domination mode and snag up all the in-game rewards, there isn’t much left to do. Twitter user @ClaxtonsGoat said there are “not enough reasons to come back to the game daily, little to no grindable ‘worth it’ content.”

He also said, “the Hoopsmas system is great but is a major step back from the Baron Davis lock-in from 21.”

The Christmas Hoopsmas packs have drawn ire because there’s based on “RNG” — meaning “random number generator.” In the video game world, this is essentially saying the reward is based on “luck.” Opening a random pack for the hope of a prize is a luck-based move.

All of the troubles have made fans move onto other games, too, like FIFA or Madden, which have more new content, according to Sammy Clavell.

“It’s making us loyal basketball/2k fans look other places for our ‘Christmas break’ gaming,” he told me.

So what does success look like for 2K fans? What will keep them in the game? Is it more content to play for? Is it earning more player cards? Is it some massive grind like the one for Baron Davis, or a series of challenges to unlock a brand new player?

According to user @B_Eds517, adding in more moments cards — which are based off real-life NBA moments — could bring more fun into the game.

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“They clearly don’t know how big the Moments cards could be if they dropped moments every Monday. A grind-able moments card every week too,” he said.

For the MyTeam community, it’s something in the middle. It’s a new grind for cards. It’s a new reward system that isn’t based on luck. It’s digital cards based on real-life moments of the NBA. Fans are calling for more during this holiday season.

Season 3 will end shortly after Christmas. But the message is clear — the MyTeam community is giving NBA 2K the cold shoulder right now, and it’s unclear how long the freeze-out will last.

The Deseret News has reached out to 2K for comment.

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