Magic Gaming headed into THE TIPOFF determined that their rigorous training camp schedule and hard-nosed team identity would translate into instant success.
Their performance in the team’s opening-tournament contest left no doubt.
Magic Gaming never trailed in a dominant 50-42 victory over NetsGC at THE TIPOFF inside the NBA 2K League Studio in Long Island City, New York.
Retained player Cameron “KingCamRoyalty” Ford stuffed the stat sheet to the tune of 10 points, a game-high 19 rebounds, three assists and three steals in the win.
“We were prepared for this game,” he explained. “We put in a lot of work these last couple weeks and we feel really confident.”
KingCamRoyalty single-handedly outrebounded the entire NetsGC squad 19-16 and held opposing center Moshood “Shockey” Balogun Jr. to a quiet three-point night.
“We have full faith in him, we know he has our boards and we all put that trust in him,” Magic Gaming second-round selection Daniel “DT” Tlais said.
Third-round selection Mykel “KelMav” Wilson and retained player Emmanuel “UCMANNY” Cruz each scored a team-best 11 points.
First-round pick Brendan “Reizey” Hill tallied nine points to go along with a game-high five assists, while DT notched nine points and two steals.
“We have a well-balanced team here, it worked out for us today, and we want to carry that on (moving forward),” KingCamRoyalty said.
Magic Gaming looked electric from the start. KingCamRoyalty won the opening tip and Reizey subsequently found DT for a slam to give the squad its first points of the season and a lead they would never relinquish.
While Magic Gaming delivered a balanced offensive attack throughout, its relentless full-court press gave NetsGC fits. Their gritty defensive effort limited NetsGC to a mere four points in the second quarter as Magic Gaming jumped out to a 34-17 halftime lead.
“We did live up to the hard-nosed expectation,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “We’re not going to make it easy on anybody ever.”
THE TIPOFF features pool play with seven groups of three teams – placed at random – competing over four days (April 2-5). Each team will play two games in the first round and the winning team from each group and one wild card team will move on to an eight-team, single-elimination playoff taking place on Saturday, April 6, the final day of the tournament.
All 21 teams are competing for a prize pool of $120,000. THE TIPOFF champion and runner-up will be awarded $52,500 and $37,500, respectively. The teams that finish third and fourth will each be awarded $15,000.
With a jam-packed schedule over the next four days, there won’t be much time for rest. Magic Gaming started action against defending champion Knicks Gaming on a back-to-back just minutes after the conclusion of this contest.