ORLANDO – Magic Gaming will write the final chapter of their 2022 NBA 2K League season this week.
Orlando begins action in the 2KL’s 5v5 postseason on Wednesday when it faces the Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai at 5 p.m. ET in a best-of-three series.
The winner of that contest will advance in the championship bracket, needing just two more series victories to reach the Finals. All of the action will take place this week with the quarterfinals taking place on Thursday, the conference finals on Friday, and the Finals on Saturday.
“It’s a great opportunity,” said Magic Gaming General Manager and Head Coach Jonah Edwards. “We’re certainly giving it all we have. We do see it as an opportunity for us to knock the door down and make our entrance as one of the premier teams in this league. We have talent as a group and the cohesiveness of this team is very, very clear. We’re really excited for this week.”
HOW WE GOT HERE:
Magic Gaming sat near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings in both 5v5 and 3v3 play at the midpoint of the season. However, on June 22, Orlando acquired point guard Joshua “unguardable” Hunter from Blazer5 Gaming and shooting guard Wesley “Gen” McNair from Jazz Gaming as part of a massive four-team trade.
Since then, they’ve excelled in both game modes.
Orlando went 4-1 in 3v3 seed week play and followed that up by winning the STEAL OPEN, which punched their ticket to the postseason. From there, they earned their first playoff victory in team history, sweeping Handlez. Magic Gaming then took the back-to-back champions, Wizards District Gaming, the distance in their best-of-five series, before dropping a heartbreaking 23-21 decision on the final possession of the game.
In 5v5, Orlando won the Eastern Conference bracket of THE TICKET, which secured it a playoff berth in that game mode as well.
EXPECTED LINEUP FOR 5V5 PLAYOFFS:
PG: unguardable – The fifth overall pick in the 2022 NBA 2K League Draft has lived up to his moniker since joining the franchise. In addition to being named 2KL Player of the Week for the final week of the regular season, the dynamic guard has emerged as a frontrunner for the league’s Rookie of the Year award.
SG: Gen – This offensive oriented guard can flip any contest with his lights out shooting. The Broward, Florida native was instrumental in the team’s success in THE TICKET, averaging 22.3 points per game.
SF: Matthew “Matty” Grant – It’s hard to put into terms what this four-year 2KL veteran means to the franchise. One of the squad’s best communicators on the virtual hardwood, Matty’s primary assignment throughout the season has been locking down the opposition’s best offensive guard in both game modes.
PF: Justin “Snubby” Stemerman – For the last two seasons, Snubby has primarily been Orlando’s shooting guard. However, when the team acquired unguardable and Gen via trade, Snubby was tasked with sliding over to the four. Always willing to do what’s best for the team, Snubby has embraced his new role. His strong showing against Hawks Talon GC in THE TICKET was a big factor in Magic Gaming advancing to the conference finals of that tournament.
C: Robert “May” May – Never shaken by a big moment, May has emerged as one of the 2KL’s most improved players this season. Always a factor on the defensive end, he’s been dubbed Octo-May for his ability to disrupt passing lanes and get his hands on any loose ball. In 5v5 action, Orlando’s big man – who’s been with the franchise for the past three seasons – has notched double-digit rebounds in nine straight contests.
KNOW THE FOE – GEN.G:
Magic Gaming will go head-to-head with Gen.G on Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET to tip off their best-of-three playoff series. In the most recent meeting between the two teams, Magic Gaming swept Gen.G in 3v3 action to advance in THE STEAL, which eventually led to Orlando’s postseason berth in that format. However, the last time the two squads met in 5v5, Gen.G edged Magic Gaming, 71-64.
Limiting Gen.G’s strong backcourt combo of rookie point guard Jaiden “OTTR” Frank and shooting guard Darjean “ReturnOfDJ” Henderson will certainly be a priority for Magic Gaming.
“They’re creative. They’re one of the most creative offenses in the league,” said Edwards. “That’s allowed OTTR to be as successful as he has this year. They have some veterans there too, so they’re a tough team. They’re a really tough matchup.”
QUOTE TO NOTE:
“I have truly felt this way since we made the trade, but Gen is our x-factor, in my opinion. When he is engaged on both ends of the court and when you see him shooting what feels like impossible-to-hit shots and he’s able to knock them down at high level and do these things, he’s an elite talent when he’s engaged. I personally think that he’s our x-factor as a player. In general, our defense too. I think the defense that we showed in THE TICKET has the ability to really, really choke teams and get stops at a high level too. When we’re able to do that, it’s going to create offense for free and really just make it tough (for Gen.G).” – Edwards on Magic Gaming’s keys to victory
HOW 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.