Competition brings out the best in players, particularly the elite. That was evident to those who tuned in for THE TURN last weekend.
A majority of the players who’ve been among the best in the league over the early portion of the season stepped up their game at the first mid-season tournament. It’s no coincidence that five players from last week’s Race to the MVP rankings are a member of one of the two teams that advanced to the finals.
Blazer5 Gaming took home the championship over Celtics Crossover Gaming, with Mama Im Dat Man earning MVP honors. He climbed two spots in this week’s rankings, but it was a teammate who made a more notable rise.
For the first time this season, we have a new No. 1, as OneWildWalnut unseated Radiant on the latest list of 10 contenders in the Race to the MVP.
- OneWildWalnut, Blazer5 Gaming
Stats: 20.4 points, 12.9 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 2.1 steals
Last week: 2
If it wasn’t for an unreal performance from Mama Im Dat Man, the honors of tournament MVP could have easily been bestowed upon OneWildWalnut. He’s been a man on a mission since the season started, out to validate his selection as the first center drafted. Walnut was again impressive during THE TURN, averaging 20.0 points, 13.7 rebounds and 3.2 blocks to help his team capture the title. He’s the anchor that keeps Blazer5 grounded.
- Radiant, 76ers GC
Stats: 21.8 points, 13.0 assists, 2.5 steals
Last week: 1
Radiant has held down the top spot for two weeks thanks to his consistency to this point. He was the MVP of the season-opening tournament and currently ranks third in scoring, fourth in assists and is tied for second in steals among point guards. He got off to a hot start at THE TURN with 29 points in the opening game, but his team’s attempt at a second title fell short with a loss in the semifinals.
- oFAB, Celtics Crossover Gaming
Stats: 18.9 points, 18.9 assists, 2.9 steals
Last week: 5
As far as pure passers goes, there is no one better than oFAB. He carved up opponents during the tournament, averaging 19.2 assists in guiding Celtics Crossover to a runner-up finish. He leads all point guards in assists and simply has no equal — averaging a full 5 assists per game more than the next closest player. oFAB leads the league in steals and is fourth in scoring at his position.
- Mama Im Dat Man, Blazer5 Gaming
Stats: 21.9 points, 13.5 assists, 1.8 steals
Last week: 6
He was the forgotten man on a stacked Blazer5 team just weeks ago, but his breakout play at THE TURN solidified his spot near the top of the rankings. He scored 30-plus points in his team’s last three tournament games, finishing with averages of 28.7 points, 13.7 assists and 1.5 steals in a performance that puts him squarely in the discussion for league’s top floor general. About the only thing holding back him in relation to his counterparts is in the steals department.
- Dimez, Mavs Gaming
Stats: 22.1 points, 13.4 assists, 2.5 steals
Last week: 3
Dimez could easily make a case to be ranked as high as any of the three point guards listed ahead of him. His stats certainly support his value — he’s third in assists, fifth in steals and 12th in scoring among all players. He gets a slight knock this week based on the tournament performance of Mavs Gaming, who fell in the quarterfinals despite being the No. 3 overall seed.
- Boo Painter, Wizards District Gaming
Stats: 29.6 points, 9.8 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 2.1 blocks, 1.4 steals
Last week: 4
The top-scoring frontcourt player in the league put on a clinic at THE TURN, pouring in 73 points over two games. Boo Painter is averaging nearly 30 points per game, second-highest behind Hood of Cavs Legion GC. He is at home operating in the paint and scores with efficiency, evident by his 64 percent field-goal percentage. Monster dunks have become a staple of his game.
- Dat Boy Shotz, Blazer5 Gaming
Stats: 24.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 1.3 blocks
Last week: 8
If you thought Blazer5’s run to the tournament title was a two-man show, think again. Dat Boy Shotz was the second-best frontcourt player throughout the tourney, while doing a little bit of everything. He averaged 24.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.7 steals over the four games. He is Blazer5’s leading scoring, ranking fourth overall in the league. He’s been the unsung cog of the league’s top team.
- ARSONAL x, Celtics Crossover Gaming
Stats: 23.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.5 blocks
Last week: 10
ARSONAL x is about as consistent as they come from the center position. He holds down the paint on both ends of the floor and teams with oFAB to be among the league’s best high-low tandems. ARSONAL x did his part during THE TURN, averaging 19.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. He’s been one of the league’s top rebounders from the get-go, currently sitting third among all players.
- Dayfri, Mavs Gaming
Stats: 22.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.7 steals
Last week: 9
Dayfri came up large in Mavs Gaming’s tournament-opening win with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three steals. His head-to-head matchup with ARSONAL x in the quarterfinals didn’t go quite as smoothly. He was held in check with 14 points while being forced into 7 turnovers as Mavs Gaming was knocked out of the tournament. The big man ranks among the top-five players in the league in both rebounds and steals.
- Hotshot, Heat Check Gaming
Stats: 24.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.5 steals, 2.0 blocks
Last week: Unranked
Hotshot is the lone new member of the list, making his initial appearance. His all-around stats are hard to overlook. He’s fifth in the league in scoring, fourth in steals and fifth in blocks. He’s been a steady presence on a Heat Check Gaming squad that has been in the middle of the pack so far. If Hotshot can carry his team to a few more victories, a jump up the rankings might ensue.