The first of two NBA 2k League in-season tournaments for the 2019 season has completed, as Warriors Gaming Squad won “The Turn” in Las Vegas on Saturday, May 11.
The road to the championship on Saturday for Warriors Gaming Squad started in the quarterfinal round. That round began with Celtics Crossover Gaming facing 76ers Gaming. Celtics Crossover Gaming came in riding a wave of momentum, having knocked off the tournament’s top seed, Pacers Gaming, on Friday. That momentum wasn’t enough to topple 76ers GC, however. 76ers GC point guard Radiant dropped 27 points and his team went 10/22 from 3-point range to claim a spot in the semifinals 57-53.
The second quarterfinal game featured another team that was looking to pull off a big upset, Warriors Gaming Squad. Unlike in the day’s first game, that dream would be fulfilled. Warriors Gaming Squad overcame a slow start, led by guard Gradient’s 23 points, to upset second-seeded Mavs Gaming 64-60. Two teams had punched their tickets for the semifinal and now awaited to see who they would play.
Competing for a spot in the semifinals against Warriors Gaming Squad in the next game were Jazz Gaming and T-Wolves Gaming. Jazz Gaming overcame a poor defensive effort in the second quarter to hold T-Wolves Gaming to just six points in the fourth quarter and squeak out a 56-53 win. Jazz Gaming power forward Gliz poured on 23 points to lead his team, some of which came on crucial buckets late in the game.
The final semifinal spot of the day would go to either Bucks Gaming or Kings Guard Gaming. It proved to be another close game and offensive struggles in the first quarter for Kings Guard Gaming proved to be too much to overcome as Bucks Gaming moved on to face 76ers GC in the semifinals, 55-51. Bucks Gaming center Plondo recorded a double-double (11 points and rebounds) while power forward Arooks dropped 29 points.
After a break for teams to prepare, the semifinals began with 76ers GC and Bucks Gaming playing for a spot in the final. Limiting Bucks Gaming to just nine points in the final quarter and getting a strong performance from their center Steez, 76ers GC made the final looking for the second part of the Banner Chain trophy, to which they already have the first part by virtue of their victory in The Tip-off Tournament.
Defense continued to rule the night in the other semifinal game, as Warriors Gaming Squad held Jazz Gaming to no more than 14 points in any quarter. Warriors Gaming Squad went 11/18 from downtown to complement its defense and advance to take on 76ers GC in the final 63-49. Forward Bsmoove led Warriors Gaming Squad in scoring with 22 points, followed by center Type with 20.
In the final, Warriors Gaming Squad brought its lockdown “D” to another level. 76ers GC scored a combined 16 points in the first and third quarters. Warriors Gaming Squad got three players into double figures, led by Bsmoove and point guard CB13 at 17. Type recorded a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds) to help his team claim the second part of the Banner Chain trophy and half of the $180,000 prize pool 58-39.
The NBA 2k League regular season resumes Wednesday, May 15 and Warriors Gaming Squad will have a lot of momentum to carry into its next contest. If it can continue to defend like it did in this tournament run it will be a dangerous opponent.