Magic Gaming Overhauls Roster to Begin Aggressive Approach to Offseason

ORLANDO – Over the past three seasons, Magic Gaming has attempted to utilize continuity and internal development as the main ingredients in order to develop a championship contending squad.

Brendan “Reizey” Hill, the 2019 NBA 2K League Rookie of the Year, and Daniel “DT” Tlais, the team’s second round selection from the same draft class, have been franchise cornerstones over that span with the expectation that the duo would eventually lead Orlando into the playoffs and beyond.

Despite knocking on the door of the postseason over the course of three straight campaigns, Magic Gaming has still been unable to earn the first playoff berth in franchise history and as a result the organization has decided to shake things up.

After opting not to retain DT in November, Magic Gaming continued their offseason overhaul on Wednesday when it shipped Reizey to 76ers GC in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League Draft.

“Going into season five, I think that Magic Gaming just desired a change,” Magic Gaming General Manager/Head Coach Jonah Edwards explained. “We see this draft class with some solid names in it and saw an opportunity to move Reid to a place he would like to be and is going to be successful at. So, it’s obviously bittersweet, seeing Reid leave. Both he and DT have been a huge part of our organization for the last three years and will always be a big part of the history of Magic Gaming.”

With the completion of that deal, Orlando is now armed with the No. 10, 12, and 31 overall selections in the upcoming NBA 2K League Draft, which is scheduled to potentially take place in late February. That collection of assets will either allow them to select three pieces to round out their roster, potentially move up to acquire an even higher pick, or possibly trade for an established 2K League veteran.

“It gives us a ton of flexibility,” said Edwards. “If we want to go out and get someone currently out there, it gives us the ability to do so. It also gives us the ability to potentially move some things around if we want to as far as pick (positioning). We’re going to look to be as aggressive as we can, but also with the understanding that we like where we’re at and we’d be more than fine with going into the draft with what we have here.”

Regardless of those decisions, Orlando now has three holes to fill around guard Justin “Snubby” Stemerman and center Robert “May” May, who remain on the roster.

In his first season with Magic Gaming, Snubby impressed Orlando with his work ethic and team-first attitude. In his sophomore 2K League campaign, the Connecticut native averaged 15.9 points per game over the course of the regular season while shooting 51.4 percent from the field and 43.7 percent from 3-point range.

“From the first moment we picked up Snubby it became clear that this is a guy who wanted to put the team first and will play any role we ask him to,” said Edwards. “I have the utmost trust in his ability to get the job done in whatever position we throw him at or role we put him in. Having a guy like that on the team is invaluable.”

May is coming off a season where he toggled between center and power forward. Known as Octo-May for his ability to disrupt passing lanes and cause issues for opposing offenses, the third-year 2K League veteran averaged 1.2 blocks and 0.9 steals per contest. May led the entire league in field goal percentage, shooting a ridiculous 82.1 percent from the floor, while posting 13.6 points per game. He also finished second among all players in rebounding, pulling down 12.5 boards per contest.

“Super reliable, super consistent, the kind of guy who comes in every day and actually tries to improve and is willing to do whatever it takes to make the team better,” Edwards said. “Can’t say enough about May. We’re excited with where we are at and looking forward to the future.”

The changes to Magic Gaming coincidentally coincide with some major alterations to the league structure for the upcoming 2022 season.

The NBA 2K League will pivot from featuring a traditional regular season and instead will now primarily be focused on tournament play – including qualifying events for tournaments – with the season spanning from April through August.

The league’s existing marquee 5v5 tournaments – THE TIPOFF, THE TURN, AND THE TICKET – and the NBA 2K League playoffs and Finals will continue as the key components of standard 5v5 competition.

However, in addition to standard 5v5 competition, the league is partnering with Coinbase to host three new 3v3 tournaments, and a culminating 3v3 championship.

The total prize pool, including the pot for the standard 5v5 competition and for the new 3v3 tournaments, will be significantly higher than those awarded during any prior NBA 2K League season.

“It certainly adds another wrinkle to what we do,” said Edwards. “Definitely excited to see how the whole 3v3 game mode pans out and what the league build looks like. We’re excited about our potential in the mode. With May, we feel strongly about our ability to be competitive in the 3v3 game play. We’ll see what we’re able to pick up in the coming draft to add to that.”