The 2021 NBA 2K League European Invitational, one of two international tournaments this month carrying draft eligibility stakes, has come to a close. The competition was fierce, the teamwork strong, and for 95 European NBA 2K League draft hopefuls, it was yet another step closer to making the ultimate dream come true.
Here are a few notes and observations based on what we observed on stream during the weekend event.
DAY 1: Swiss Tournament
19 teams entered play on Friday, January 8th looking to advance to the Day 2 combine. Friday’s action was a Swiss format tournament: 5 rounds of play, with each team playing 1 game per round. The top 4 teams (based on overall record, point differential for tie-breakers) advanced.
A few familiar members of the European 2K community balled out during Day 1, including vGooner playing PG (SZN 1) and JLB playing C (SZN 1) for Team S2V. The team ultimately went 2-2 and didn’t advance to Day 2, but Gooner finished the tournament in the top 20 of total PTS scored.
Also making appearances on Friday were MGoCrzy, the 2019 European Invitational MVP and EU standouts AveMario32 (Team DUX Gaming) and WelshJordy- (Team S2V). All three of them, including eduardopv, are automatically eligible for the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft, but got the change to showcase their talents on the big tournament stage once more. MGoCrzy’s Team Heat Check went 3-2 but failed to advance as well, but we were treated to AveMario’s stellar play during Day 2 and 3.
4 teams–and their rosters–earned a spot in the Day 2 combine and Day 3 closing tournament.
TheDoctorDz – PG
LI-ALACER-LL – LOCK
vJunx – SG/SF
Dovalinhoo – PF
NICXGV – C
Team DUX Gaming
xoMastour – PG
rafaeltgr – LOCK
aitorvk11 – SG/SF
AitorBigBoy – PF
avemario32 – C
1907 Fenerbahce Esports:
IE9RENI – PG
TR-Tansu28 – LOCK
IIFATIHII- – SG/SF
LOVEBattleDeaD – PF
KadoTheProblem_ – C
BreakerTheBeast – PG
Pedrobinho__ – SG
iBraxo___ – LOCK
GT3spo – PF
MiiLsO_ – C
TAKEOVER’s TheDoctorDz was an immediate standout on the sticks, and ended the day with 169 total points, which topped the category (give it up for MGoCrzy, who finished a close second in total PTS with 163). 1907 Fenerbahce’s KadoTheProblem_ was a rebounding machine down low, grabbing a day-high 43 boards. He and teammate IE9RENI would prove to be a dynamic pick-and-roll duo all day long, and he finished the day as the 6th leading scoring center (69 PTS). LDLC’s BreakerTheBeast was no quiet PG on Friday, placing third in total points with 146, while Team DUX Gaming PG xoMastour dished more assists (44) than any of his advancing peers.
The final team standings for Day 1:
Ggs to everyone, we move onto the day 2 @NBA2KLeague EU invitational 🤝 (4-1)
— Rafael TGR (@rafaelTGR2K) January 8, 2021
DAY 2: Combine
Only 20 players remained for the combine competition Saturday afternoon. Each advanced team suddenly found themselves dispersed, and team PGs were charged with “drafting” a new team, pickup style, for both of the day’s two sessions sessions. Players intermixed all day long as the 5v5 games continued and draft hopefuls honed their craft.
The PG-C dynamic was on true display this day, with 8 of the top 10 total PTS scorers being either point guards or centers. Watch the best plays from the action:
DAY 3: Double Elimination Tournament
All good things must come to an end, and this year’s European tournament ended with a winners and losers bracket, double-elimination tournament. Teams were remade once again, but this time, coach Famous, Jonah Edwards, Justin Butler and Pat Crossan from the NBA 2K League stepped in to coach them through the finale!
When it was all said and done, Coach Famous led his team to Day 3 victory, and IE9RENI especially established himself as a force and finished 3rd in PPG, 2nd in APG and 4th in 3PM on the day. IE9RENI was so good that he turned in a clutch performance in the final game of the tournament and was named MVP:
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) January 10, 2021
Who Finished at the Top of the Stat Sheets?
Without overcomplicating things, the best scorers from the event made the EFF Top 10. Players like AveMario, IE9RENI, BreakerTheBeast, xoMastour and TheDoctorDZ shot well and made the most of their opportunities when the ball was in their hands.
As for PPG leaders, it’s not surprising to see MVP IE9RENI crack the Top 10, as well as two of the other three PGs who advanced through the entire event. Shoutout again to MGoCrzy for leading the PPG charge despite playing only during the opening day!
Here are your RPG and APG leaders as well!
After a few days off, we’re right back at it for the 2021 NBA 2K League APAC Invitational later this week, which will be held on Friday, January 15 through Sunday, January 17!