Magic Gaming Eliminated From SWITCH OPEN With On-Stage Loss to Knicks Gaming
April 27, 2023
ORLANDO – Late last week, Magic Gaming closed out remote bracket play of the SWITCH OPEN with a thrilling series victory over Grizz Gaming to earn a trip to Washington D.C. for the remaining portion of the tournament. Although they were unable to leave the nation’s capital on this visit with a series win – losing in four games to Knicks Gaming on Thursday – the Magic feel this was an important step forward as they now get ready to defend last year’s STEAL OPEN championship.
“It was awesome to come out here and compete and show that we are able to at least take games from some of the best teams in the league,” Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “We knew this for weeks that we had this capability in us. I still think we are improving. I don’t think a lot of teams can say that. We are going to go home and we are going to try and do the best we can to be as sharp as possible next week and try to repeat as the STEAL OPEN champions.”
Game 1: Magic Gaming broke a 12-12 tie with back-to-back 3-pointers – one from Joshua “unguardable” Hunter and the other from Robert “May” May – and then Matthew “Matty” Grant ended Orlando’s 23-16 Game 1 win with a triple from the left corner.
The Magic, who made nine of their 10 shot attempts, led 10-4 early before Knicks Gaming stormed back. Unguardable finished with 13 points to lead Orlando, while Jakari “WhatsStick” Hunt led New York with nine points.
Game 2: Turnovers proved costly in the Magic’s 21-17 Game 2 loss. The Knicks seized momentum with a pair of steals midway through – one by Ethan “Radiant” White and the other from WhatsStick – and Malik “OriginalMalik” Hobson sealed it with a driving dunk.
Once again, the Magic were efficient, missing just one shot, but the Knicks took three more shots because of Orlando’s three turnovers.
Unguardable finished with 13 points on perfect 6-of-6 shooting. OriginalMalik led New York with 13 points, while WhatsStick scored eight.
Game 3: The Magic’s one turnover came at the worst time. With the Knicks up 18-16, WhatsStick swiped the ball away from unguardable and then passed it ahead to Radiant for a breakaway slam. New York would go on to win 22-18 after a game-winning dunk from WhatsStick.
Unguardable led the Magic with 10 points, while May, who also grabbed three rebounds, and Matty each had four points.
OriginalMalik posted nine points, Radiant had seven and WhatsStick finished with six.
Game 4: Although they kept themselves in the game with some ferocious defense, cold shooting denied the Magic from extending the series in a 23-15 Game 4 defeat.
Orlando missed seven of its first 11 shots and all five of its 3-point attempts before getting into a bit of rhythm late.
*Full box score information was unavailable for this game
“I still think Game 2 and 3 were very winnable. I think they came down to one or two plays on both ends,” Edwards said. “In general, they play a very unique style with what they were doing, at least with their adjustment going into today…It was able to get us tonight.”
Magic Gaming will return to Washington D.C. next week for the STEAL OPEN, which will feature all the teams that haven’t already qualified for the 3v3 playoffs. Last year, the Magic made the 3v3 playoffs by virtue of winning this same tournament, then held in Indianapolis.
“We are absolutely confident that we can (win this tournament),” Edwards said. “This is a different game, though (compared to last season), and I think it’s very easy to drop a series compared to last year. I think anyone can beat anyone on any day. I think the amateur success has shown that to folks in the league. We will have to be incredibly sharp. We’ll have to be at our very, very best to make sure that the game doesn’t take one from us and let one slip away. It’s still in our control. I still like us next week. But at the end of the day, we are just happy about the fact that we have really given it our all over the last couple weeks and we can feel proud about it.”