The NBA 2K League’s “THE TIPOFF” tournament came to an end on May 5th with the 76ers Gaming Club having secured the $35,000 grand prize and championship banner by beating the previously undefeated Blazer5 Gaming squad 75-65 in the final. THE TIPOFF tournament consisted of pool play from May 1 to May 4 with the top eight teams advancing to the May 5 playoff rounds.
The tournament gave Esports lovers a week of exciting matchups that ended with both the 76ers and Blazer5 Gaming proving that they are the best teams in the league – well, at least for the initial stage of the season. There is still more action ahead as the season progresses.
It became apparent that the 76ers would triumph when they began shining at the knockout round. Majority of the matchups were close save those that featured teams from Philadelphia – the 76ers beat Mavs Gaming by 26 in the quarterfinals, Pistons Gaming Team by 18 in the semifinals and overcame Balzer5 by 10 in the final.
As far as technique goes, the 76ers utilized a balanced scoring approach and perimeter shooting. Both techniques are unique in the current 2K Meta – most of the teams in the league usually bank on the one star that can finish the paint. A typical example is Brandon “Hood” Caicedo, Cavs Gaming point forward that made scoring 40 points look easy.
Leading the 76ers was star guard Ethan “ITZ_Radiant” White who came through with 14 assists in the final. Still, all the members of the gaming club hit threes as the teak shot a collective nine for 17 from deep. As it turns out, Blazer5 was overwhelmed by the strong play and on-court leadership that Radiant brought to the game. This is despite the fact that he was only the 14th out of the 17 total first-round picks in the draft.
Here is a summary of all the playoff match results:
Cavs Legion GC 71, Jazz Gaming 70
Blazer5 Gaming 66, Pacers Gaming 46
Pistons GT 61, Warriors Gaming Squad 47
76ers Gaming Club 83, Mavs Gaming 56
Blazer5 Gaming 69, Pistons GT 48
76ers Gaming Club 66, Cavs Legion GC 64
76ers Gaming Club 75, Blazer5 Gaming 65
To sum it up it all up, the tournament was an outstanding kick-off of the NBA 2K League’s first season. Nonetheless, the NBA 2K League has a long to go before it is considered a major Esports league. The tournament’s Twitch channel had a little under 10,000 viewers during the group stages. This number, however, plunged to less than 6,000 viewers for most of Saturday’s playoffs. The implication here is that the league will have to grow further before it can be able to draw as many viewers as the leading Esports titles such as CS:GO and League of Legends do.
The regular season for NBA 2K begins on May 11, so do keep an eye out for that.