The league’s first playoff berth is set to be secured at THE TICKET, with the single-elimination tournament beginning Thursday at The Fortress at Full Sail University in Orlando.
The winner will rest easy over the ensuing weeks knowing they’ve already locked in the opportunity to compete for the league’s grand prize in August. Knicks Gaming rode the momentum of winning last season’s TICKET to become league champions.
Let’s check out which teams are best positioned to capture the third and final tournament of Season 2. Note: Each team’s seeding is listed in the parenthesis below.
Blazer5 Gaming (1): Previous tournament success (THE TURN champions, 2018). Check. Longest current winning streak (10) in the league this season. Check. Pair of MVP candidates (Mama Im Dat Man and OneWildWalnut). Check. Not sure what else they could do to make themselves more of a favorite. If there is a knock against them, however, it’s that they are an uncharacteristic 1-2 in tourney play this season.
Mavs Gaming (2): They had a week off to prep after suffering their first loss of the season. Prior to that, Mavs Gaming rattled off 10 consecutive wins. They haven’t had great tournament success so far this season, but this team has a swagger to it. It starts with Dimez, who’s elevated his play in recent weeks, and could be primed to carry his team to the title.
Warriors Gaming Squad (5): Can the defending TURN champs do it again? They’ve been solid in the weeks since capturing the crown in Las Vegas, posting a 4-2 record. While Type did the heaving lifting in grabbing MVP honors last time, point guards have generally sparked the winning team’s tournament success. It’ll fall on CB13 to take charge this time around for WGS.
76ers GC (6): Just as they hit a rough patch, 76ers responded by winning three straight, including scoring 95 points in their last game before the tournament. They’ve reached the finals of the season’s first two tournaments, including winning THE TIPOFF, and will be looking to make it three-for-three. If they get the ZDS from against Pistons GT (42 points) instead of the one against Nets GC (2 points) in Week 8, they’ll be a tough out.
Celtics Crossover Gaming (4): Activate tournament Celtics Crossover Gaming mode. One of the best tournament teams dating back to last season, CLTX have yet to break through for a title, including finishing runner-up at this event last year. A sluggish start in the regular season has left them with an uphill climb to the playoffs, so this could be the last resort for oFAB an Co.
Magic Gaming (8): They’ve been a different team since the arrival of ToXsiK, winning three of their past four games. They also boast a built-in advantage, serving as the unofficial tournament hosts. If there is such a thing as home-court advantage, Magic Gaming will have the biggest support in the building.
Kings Guard Gaming (11): Their seeding is a bit misleading as their 3-2 record in between tournaments included a pair of losses to the two top seeds (Blazer5 Gaming and Mavs Gaming). They made a run at THE TURN behind the play of Bp, who is capable of being the best player on the court at any given game.
Bucks Gaming (14): Their seed is easily one of the most egregious. Yes, they hit a rough patch a few weeks back, but Bucks Gaming have made appearances in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the two earlier tournaments. They enter THE TICKET having won two straight and can game play with the best of them.
Pacers Gaming (16): Their 2-4 record over their past six games leaves something to be desired. Yet with the talent they have on their roster, no one is going to take them lightly despite their double-digit seeding. They experimented with Swizurk running the point in Week 8, but returning the talented scorer to small forward might give them their best shot at success.
The Dark Horses
Nets GC (3): They might appear to be over-seeded based on the totality of their season, but Nets GC have been playing some of their best basketball lately. They’ll need Lav to shake off a tough outing in his previous game and be the steady hand at the point.
Cavs Legion GC (7): Outside of Blazer5 Gaming, these guys are riding the longest winning streak in the league with four straight victories. Their calling card during that stretch has been defense, so they’re capable of frustrating any opponent.
Wizards District Gaming (10): Talk about turning around their season. After residing near the bottom of the standings, WDG have won four of six games to regain relevancy. Their success hinges on the play of point guard Demon JT, who is rounding into form after a rough start to the campaign.
T-Wolves Gaming (12): The pieces are starting to fall into place. Mid-season acquisition JMoneyRep817 has excelled since playing small forward, with BearDaBeast returning to his natural position of point guard. They’ve been a good tournament team so far, and we’ll see if they can keep it up this week.
Grizz Gaming (9): Their first step is to win a tournament game (0-3 on the season). Until they prove they can have sustained tournament success, it’s tough to fully trust them.
Raptors Uprising GC (13): Middle-of-the-road seems to define their season. Raptors Uprising are playing .500 ball over their past six games while also owning a 2-3 record in tournament play this season.
Jazz Gaming (15): It’s a tale of two teams. Will we see the Jazz Gaming squad that advanced to the semifinals of THE TURN, or the one that is 2-3 over their past five games?
Hawks Talon GC (17): Having yet to win consecutive games, tournament or regular season, it’s difficult to envision them stringing together enough wins. A current three-game losing streak doesn’t help their cause.
Knicks Gaming (18): Might this be déjà vu? Knicks Gaming face the same situation as last season, needing to win the tournament as their only hope of a postseason berth. It’ll be a tough feat to duplicate.
HEAT Check Gaming (19): Despite being losers of five in a row, if there’s one team from this final group that could surprise and make a run it’s HEAT Check. They have far too much talent and experience to be seeded this low.
Lakers Gaming (20): With just one win over their past six games, they’re still searching for answers. It doesn’t bode well for their chances of suddenly getting things together.
Pistons GT (21): It’s been a lost season at this point for Pistons GT, who have suffered nine straight defeats. Their two Week 8 losses came by a combined 75 points.
This article represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer and not on the NBA 2K League.