Magic Gaming Opens Up Season with Thrilling Series Victory Over Blazer5 Gaming
March 10, 2023
Orlando Drops Second Matchup of SLAM OPEN to Knicks Gaming
ORLANDO – Coming off their most successful season in franchise history, Magic Gaming was eager to deliver a strong showing at the SLAM OPEN – the league’s first tournament of the year – and demonstrate to the NBA 2K League community that they’re a true contender in 3v3 action this season.
After opening up the tournament with an exhilarating win over Blazer5 Gaming, consider that mission accomplished.
“We certainly have high expectations going in,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “Ultimately, we’re building and growing and we’re going to get a lot better as the year goes on.”
Magic Gaming Earns 3-2 Series Victory Over Blazer5 Gaming
Game 1: Magic Gaming came out of the gates determined to show the world that last season was no fluke. Joshua “unguardable” Hunter dominated Blazer5 Gaming on both ends of the floor, notching game highs in points (17) and steals (three) to lift Orlando to a 21-10 victory in the series opener on Thursday.
“He made a statement to the whole league that he’s back and he’s still the best in the world,” said Magic Gaming small forward Matthew “Matty” Grant of unguardable. “He’s still that guy. So, I think he put the league on notice that he’s still tough, he’s still that guy.”
Game 2: After Magic Gaming controlled and dictated the pace of Game 1, Blazer5 Gaming flipped the script in Game 2 on their way to a 21-16 triumph. Portland guard Harby posted eight points, guard Claude “Claude” Knight scored seven, and Andron “Lavish” Thomas added six.
Unguardable led all Orlando players with eight points and four assists, while power forward Robert “May” May had two steals.
Game 3: One of Orlando’s biggest advantages this season in 3v3 play will be their ability to generate offense not only from their point guard position, but also through their small forward. Magic Gaming put that novelty on display in Game 3 as unguardable fired off 11 points and Matty posted nine, including a game-winning corner triple, in Orlando’s 23-18 victory over Portland.
“His skill set on offense is pretty obvious,” said Edwards of Matty. “He makes good decisions with the ball, scores it with high efficiency. And then today against a double shooting guard lineup (against Portland) playing corner defense which is not what you often see from a lockdown defender. … He’s got skill sets from every angle and provides a lot of leadership in the room too.”
Game 4: Determined not to go down without a fight, Blazer5 Gaming got strong performances from both members of their backcourt and handed Magic Gaming a 21-15 defeat. Claude posted 10 points, while Harby scored eight.
Matty led Orlando with six points.
Game 5: With the game and the series on the line, unguardable sent a message to his former franchise when he delivered a spectacular dime to Matty for an easy bucket to give Magic Gaming a 22-18 win over Blazer5.
“Ever since (unguardable came in a mid-season trade last year), I feel we have really good chemistry,” said Matty. “He hits me in the perfect spots.”
Magic Gaming Falls to Knicks Gaming in Second Matchup of Slam Open
Less than an hour after defeating Blazer5 Gaming, Magic Gaming returned to virtual hardwood to take on Knicks Gaming in group play of the Slam Open.
Although Orlando had plenty of opportunities to earn victories against New York, ultimately, it dropped the series 3-1.
Game 1: Knicks Gaming jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they took down Magic Gaming, 21-7. New York shooting guard Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson went a perfect 7-for-7 from the floor and 4-for-4 from long range on his way to a game-high 18 points.
Unguardable scored all seven points for Orlando.
Game 2: Magic Gaming had numerous opportunities to swing this one in their favor, but turnovers, second-chance opportunities and missed shots down the stretch proved to be too much to overcome in a 21-18 loss to Knicks Gaming.
Game 3: In desperate need of a win to keep the series alive, Orlando turned to its franchise player and unguardable delivered. Magic Gaming’s floor general erupted for a contest-best 19 points as Orlando took down New York, 21-17, in Game 3. The No. 5 overall pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League Draft went 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-6 from distance.
Game 4: Unguardable scored a game-high 12 points, but it wasn’t enough as Magic Gaming fell, 22-16, to Knicks Gaming.
OriginalMalik led New York with 10 points, while power forward Ethan “Radiant” White added nine.
UP NEXT: Magic Gaming returns to action on Saturday with a pair of SLAM OPEN group play contests.
First up is a series with Warriors Gaming Squad at 8:15 p.m. ET. That’ll be followed by a showdown with Wizards District Gaming at 9:45 p.m. ET.
“We saw two of the tougher matchups in our group on Thursday, but there’s certainly no easy matchup in our group,” said Edwards. “We’re going against the Warriors who have a perennial MVP candidate in (Charlie “CB13” Bostwick) … and the Wizards are still the Wizards.”