ORLANDO – Magic Gaming’s renewed resiliency will be put to the test on Tuesday with the first NBA 2K League tournament of the season, THE TIPOFF.
The opening night of the tournament begins with a marathon session of game play as Orlando will engage in four straight matchups with the hope of advancing to the next round.
THE TIPOFF begins with a series of pool play with each team competing against up to three other squads in its group twice. Magic Gaming was placed into Group 4 with Hawks Talon GC and Kings Guard Gaming. Orlando will face Atlanta in two straight matchups beginning at 6 p.m. ET before taking on Sacramento in the next two contests at 8 p.m. ET.
Below is a complete breakdown of THE TIPOFF’s seven groups:
Group 1: 76ers GC, NetsGC, Pistons GT
Group 2: Celtics Crossover Gaming, Jazz Gaming, Mavs Gaming
Group 3: Grizz Gaming, Pacers Gaming, Warriors Gaming Squad
Group 4: Magic Gaming, Hawks Talon GC, Kings Guard Gaming
Group 5: Bucks Gaming, Heat Check Gaming, Knicks Gaming
Group 6: Blazer5 Gaming, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, Lakers Gaming, Raptors Uprising GC
Group 7: Cavs Legion GC, Hornets Venom GT, T-Wolves Gaming, Wizards District Gaming
All 23 teams will compete in the tournament remotely from their local markets for a total prize pool of $160,000. The first of three in-season tournaments, THE TIPOFF will feature two days of pool play on June 16 and 17 to determine the eight teams that advance to the playoffs on June 18 and 19. At the conclusion of pool play, the seven teams with the best records in each group, as well as one wild card entrant, will advance to the playoffs with the following tiebreaker scenarios applying if needed:
• Winning percentage within group of pool play rounds
• Head-to-head record within group
• Average points differential within group
• Average points scored within group
• Technical fouls accumulated throughout the NBA 2K League regular season
• Random draw
Orlando heads into the tournament fresh off of a hard-fought regular season victory over Sacramento that snapped the team’s five-game losing skid and displayed a renewed resiliency among the group.
“Our mentality is different right now than it was a few weeks ago even,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “This is not a group now that’s going to give up easily.”
Although pleased with the outcome against Kings Guard Gaming, Magic Gaming’s coach still sees room for improvement offensively. As a result, Orlando will continue to adjust its lineup, moving Brendan “Reizey” Hill back to point guard and shifting Daniel “djbama” Burge to shooting guard.
“Whenever Reid touches it, teams play different,” Edwards explained. “Teams are running at him and there are different openings on the court because they’re compensating for his three-point shooting ability.”
They’ll need all the offense they can get against a group that features two talented squads.
MATCHUP TO WATCH VS. HAWKS TALON GC: Reizey vs. Michael “BP” Diaz-Cruz. The battle of two of the top floor generals from the 2019 NBA 2K League draft class will certainly be one to keep an eye on. Reizey edged out BP for Rookie of the Year, but the two shared the honor of being named to the All-NBA 2K League Rookie Team’s backcourt last season.
Also keep an eye on the shooting guard duel between djbama and Atlanta’s Mykel “Kel” Wilson. Kel played part of the 2019 season with Magic Gaming before being dealt to Grizz Gaming in exchange for Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush.
MATCHUP TO WATCH VS. KINGS GUARD GAMING: ToXsiK vs. Rafel “Crush” Davis. These two lockdown defenders had a major impact on the outcome in their last regular season meeting. Both will once again be tasked with limiting the opposition’s top point guard with Crush likely defending Reizey and ToXsiK deployed on Matthew “Bash” Robles.
“Tox did an incredible job at lockdown against Bash (in that matchup),” Edwards said. “Crush is probably the best lockdown in the league. That’s where my head goes with the lockdowns being pretty big factors in these games considering how electric Crush has been and how Tox fared against Bash last week.”
All games will air live on ESPN2, ESPN’s digital platform and the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.