STEAL OPEN Predictions
May 2, 2023
With the 2023 regular season in the books, we finally get to turn our attention to the postseason! First off, congrats to Killeyy, Hes, LowkeyGodlike, and the rest of Dux Infinitos for their win in the Switch Open. But, luckily for them, they have nothing to worry about this week because it’s time for…*dun dun duuuuun* the Steal. Any team that isn’t in the playoffs will play this week, so that means we have 15 NBA 2K League teams plus 2 new international teams fighting for the last 2 spots in the playoffs. Let’s put all of our Steal teams into tiers and we can break down who the real threats are in this competition!
Picking favorites for a tournament like this is a bit of a double-edged sword. Sure, there are “better” teams, but every team is in the Steal for a reason. No team is in the Steal by accident, so they all come with their own fatal flaw that may come out at any time! Plus, it’s single elimination this time around, so truly, no prisoners will be taken. With that being said, these 4 feel like the most likely teams to win. Pacers Gaming with their gritty defense could easily slow this whole tournament down and win the necessary 3 rounds. Same goes for Jazz Gaming and Hawks Talon with their elite guard play from RekCombos and Ceez respectively. Can’t forget about reigning champs Magic Gaming either who I just can’t seem to quit on this season. Regardless, these are the 4 who in my eyes were the closest getting to the playoffs but missed out for one reason or another. Whether they have the gall to actually win this tournament and get to the playoffs, well that’s another conversation entirely.
Heat Check Gaming
Wizards District Gaming
It’s a gigantic cop out, but it’s my column so I get to do it anyway. I think one of the winners will come from this middle category. There is just too much collective TALENT here for one of these teams to not squeak through. Now again, it’s the Steal, so none of these teams winning is absolutely on the table and probably more likely than not, but this is a chaotic tournament where weird things happen. Probably better to just embrace it! I think it’s a huge test for Heat Check Gaming. Still so much promise and hope around this team, very excited to see Ky on stage for the first time. Funny enough, they get a suddenly-maybe good Lakers Gaming team in the 1st round, so they will be tested immediately. Also, don’t sleep on Dre and 76ersGC randomly figuring it out and making a run. I refuse to count them out in a tournament, ever.
BACKS AGAINST THE WALL
Raptors Uprising GC
Kings Guard Gaming
Hornets Venom GT
Look, anything is possible in one of these. It’s single-elim, you have to win 3 best of 5 series to make the playoffs. Any team can get hot at any time to win one of these. But personally, I just haven’t seen enough from these teams this year to reliably pick them. Heck, they want to use this as motivation and win the damn thing, go right ahead, please do! But, it’s been pretty brutal this season for all 6 of these teams. Raptors Uprising and Gen.G have just been floating around the middle all season. Kings Guard started the season 0-10, Blazer5 and Mavs Gaming weren’t much better. Hornets Venom had to start Big Saint at PG one series, it’s been…yea you get the point. Miracles happen in this league all the time, just about getting hot at the right time.
With all that being said, my two picks to make it out of the Steal are 76ersGC and Jazz Gaming.