The best team of the regular season was the best team at THE TURN.
Top-seeded Blazer5 Gaming steamrolled the competition, winning four straight games during the league’s first mid-season tournament to capture the title over 11th-seeded Celtics Crossover Gaming.
The win helped Blazer5 atone for their runner-up finish at the season-opening tournament.
Here’s how they did it, as well as other key takeaways from THE TURN:
1. Blazer5 has an embarrassment of riches. They possess the best frontcourt tandem in the league in OneWildWalnut and Dat Boy Shotz. They just so happen to have one of the top point guards as well in Mama Im Dat Man, who was the best player on the court throughout the weekend. The trio proved to be impossible to contain during their championship run.
2. Mama Im Dat Man was named tournament MVP, a selection that was a no-brainer. He averaged 28.8 points, 13.8 assists and 1.5 steals over the four games, including dropping 35 points and 13 assists in the dismantling of Celtics Crossover in the finals. The 29th-overall draft pick outplayed everyone put in front of him to carry his squad to the $75,600 grand prize.
3. The final game was a no contest, with Blazer5 coasting to their eighth-straight win overall. They had Celtics Crossover against the ropes early and didn’t let up. This after Blazer5 broke the league’s scoring record with 95 points in a seminal win over Knicks Gaming. Blazer5 did benefit from as easy path through their side of the bracket, with the highest seed they faced being No. 9 Magic Gaming in the quarterfinals.
4. Just how dominate was Blazer5? Their average margin of victory was 15.5 points. They actually got stronger as the tournament went on, winning their semifinals and finals matchups by a combined 36 points.
5. Momentum is a funny thing. Celtics Crossover entered the tournament an afterthought while dropping three-straight regular season games. All they proceeded to do was come out of the toughest side of the bracket, winning three in a row before running into the buzzsaw that is the crew from Portland. They’ll try to keep those positive vibes going when regular season play resumes this week.
6. So who else was feeling it during THE TURN? Here’s our picks for the all-tournament team:
- Mama Im Dat Man, Blazer 5 Gaming — Simply was an offensive force.
- oFAB, Celtics Crossover Gaming — Recorded 77 assists in four games.
- Dat Boy Shotz, Blazer 5 Gaming — Averaged 31.5 points in final two games.
- OneWildWalnut, Blazer 5 Gaming — Put up 24 points and 20 rebounds in title game.
- ARSONAL x, Celtics Crossover Gaming — Averaged 19.8 points and 10.8 rebounds in four games.
7. We were this close to getting a finals rematch between Blazer5 and 76ers GC. The two teams battled it out at THE TIPOFF, with Philly coming out on top to capture the championship while handing Blazer5 what stands as their lone loss of the season. 76ers GC came up a game short at THE TURN, losing to Celtics Crossover in the semifinals to end their bid at a second tournament title.
8. Though it wasn’t for a lack of effort on the part of Radiant. The MVP of THE TIPOFF continued his stellar play over the weekend, cementing himself as one of the top performers in the league. The 76ers GC point guard averaged 24.0 points and 12.0 assists over his team’s three games.
9. The surprise team of the tournament just so happens to be the hometown team. Knicks Gaming advanced into the semifinals as the No. 12 seed. They had been plagued by streaky play entering the tournament, so stringing together a pair of victories was a promising sign.
10. On the flipside, it was an abrupt exit for Pistons GT. The No. 4 seed was upset in the opening round by Warriors Gaming Squad. For a team that advanced to the semifinals of the season’s first tournament, this was a disappointing result.
11. The best matchup of the weekend came in the quarterfinals between 76ers GC and Wizards District Gaming, who were looking to secure a statement win after falling just short in the two teams’ initial matchup in Week 3. The latest game was nip-and-tuck until the end, with 76ers GC putting on the clamps defensively down the stretch to preserve a three-point victory.
12. History was made by Idrisdagoat6, who recorded the league’s first triple-double on Friday. A few players have flirted with the feat in the early portion of the season but the Knicks Gaming big man achieved it with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a dominant win over Cavs Legion GC. He definitely lived up to his moniker in this one.
13. Those anticipating another classic showdown between Dimez and oFAB in the third head-to-head matchup between the top two overall draft picks were let down. Celtics Crossover Gaming beat Mavs Gaming for the first time this season as oFAB (23 points and 21 assists) outplayed his point guard counterpart in what turned into a rout during the quarterfinal affair.
14. The question on many people’s minds: what’s ailing Cavs Legion? They welcomed leading-scorer Hood back to the lineup after a four-game absence and had aspirations of a deep tourney run. However, things couldn’t have gone worse. They were blown out by Knicks Gaming in the first round, looking like an out-of-sync squad in the process.
15. Now that the dust has settled, which teams are leaving the tournament on a high note and which are doing the opposite?
- Trending up: Celtics Crossover, Knicks Gaming, Magic Gaming, Wizards District
- Trending down: Cavs Legion, Jazz Gaming, Kings Guard Gaming, Pistons GT