Magic Gaming Suffers Heartbreaking Defeat to Hawks Talon GC

Loss Eliminates Orlando From Bracket Play Contention in THE TURN Tournament

The Lead:  

Caught in a tight back-and-forth battle with Hawks Talon GC on Thursday night, Magic Gaming was unable to knock down a pair of potential game-tying shots in the final moments of a crushing 66-63 defeat to Atlanta. A must-win contest for both squads, the loss eliminated Orlando from claiming their group’s fourth and final seed in bracket play for THE TURN, the NBA 2K League’s second 5v5 tournament of the season.

Key Stretch: 

In the closing moments, Justin “Snubby” Stemerman had two opportunities to potentially send the crucial contest into overtime. After being unable to knock down a tough triple with 2.1 seconds remaining, Robert “May” May came up with a clutch rebound and called timeout with 1.6 ticks left. On the subsequent inbounds play, Magic Gaming was able to get the exact look they wanted for their shooting guard, but his 3-point attempt rimmed out as time expired.

“The second one, the idea was to attack Ceez (Caesar Martinez), their point guard. We thought he might be guarding the close-side corner, so Snubby snuck over there (and got) a great look,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “That’s exactly what we hoped we would get on that possession. You can’t hope for a better look and at the end of the day, we’re going to live with that shot all day.”

Key Performers: 

Christopher “Duck” Charles put together one of his best performances since joining Orlando early last month. The dynamic point guard posted team highs in points (24) and assists (nine). Three other Orlando players scored in double figures as Snubby put up 12, Matt “Matty” Grant had 11, and Blaine “BigReign” Wilson tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds. May stuffed the stat sheet with six points, eight boards, and four steals.

Atlanta, meanwhile, got an unbelievable showing from Ceez, who knocked down seven triples on his way to a game-high 33 points. John “Witness” Mushaben poured in 18 points and Juan “HotShotx305” Gonzalez added 12 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists to help secure Hawks Talon GC’s place in bracket play for THE TURN.

Quote to Note: 

“We wanted it a lot because I wanted to go out there and compete with these guys on stage (for in-person bracket play in Indianapolis). I thought that would be really fun. It would be some of these guys first time playing on stage and it’s always a fun experience to see how everyone plays. Some players play way better on stage. They’re just used to that real-life environment. Obviously, it was an elimination game where if we win, we get to go to Indy, and it would have helped us a lot towards our playoff hopes too. So, obviously, this game had a lot of implications. Sadly, we didn’t come out with the win, but I felt like we’ll learn a lot of stuff from this loss.” – Duck

Up Next: 

Magic Gaming’s final game in THE TURN tournament will come against a familiar face as they take on Josue “FutureClutch” Acosta-Gomez and Heat Check Gaming on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Miami’s small forward played the lockdown position for Orlando last season prior to becoming a second-round selection for Heat Check Gaming this year.

“He’s actually been really, really good this year,” said Edwards. “They lean into his offensive ability from the lockdown position as well, which as you see around the league, lockdowns are averaging a little bit more this year from last year from a scoring perspective. He’s able to get involved more into their offense and he’s been phenomenal. A huge part of the game plan tomorrow is going to be (limiting) his offensive points.”

More on THE TURN: 

The TURN tips off with two weeks of remote group play to determine the four teams from each six‑squad group that will advance to the round‑of‑16 in-person bracket play at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis from Wednesday, June 8 – Saturday, June 11.

Each team will play five games in group play, competing against each squad in its group once. The four teams in each group with the best records will advance to the round of 16.

Matchups in group play and in the round‑of-16 will use single‑game formats. However, contests in the quarterfinals through the finals will be played in a best-of-three format.

The teams are competing for a total prize pool of $250,000. The prize pool will be awarded as follows: first place – $100,000, second place – $50,000, third and fourth place – $25,000 each, and fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth place – $12,500 each.

The tournament groups are as follows:

Group A (Western Conference): Blazer5 Gaming, DUX Infinitos, Jazz Gaming, Mavs Gaming, Pacers Gaming, T-Wolves Gaming

Group B (Western Conference): Bucks Gaming, Cavs Legion GC, Kings Guard Gaming, Lakers Gaming, Pistons GT, Warriors Gaming Squad

Group C (Eastern Conference): Hawks Talon GC, Heat Check Gaming, Knicks Gaming, Magic Gaming, Nets GC, Wizards District Gaming

Group D (Eastern Conference): 76ers GC, Celtics Crossover Gaming, Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, Grizz Gaming, Hornets Venom GT, Raptors Uprising GC

Where to Watch:  

Fans can watch games live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will also be available on Dash Radio, eGG Network in Southeast Asia, Loco in India, and Sport1 in Europe.