ORLANDO — Magic Gaming enters Week 10 of the NBA 2K League regular season set for a Sunshine State showdown with Heat Check Gaming on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Orlando is looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses last week to Hawks Talon GC and Pistons GT.
In order to do that, Magic Gaming will need to slow down a Heat Check Gaming squad that’s built around center Juan “Hotshot” Gonzalez and point guard Glenn “GlennRatty” Wilkerson.
Hotshot, the seventh overall pick in the league’s inaugural draft, has been a centerpiece for Miami in all three seasons and for good reason.
“He’s been a top three center as long as I’ve known him,” Magic Gaming Head Coach Jonah Edwards said. “He’s just one of the best that’s ever done it. He gets it.”
The focus of Orlando’s offensive and defensive structure will be as much on Heat Check Gaming as it will be building momentum and constructing a lineup that’s built for success in the NBA 2K League’s two remaining tournaments.
Next week’s tournament, THE TURN, will offer Magic Gaming the opportunity to grab part of a $260,000 prize pool, while THE TICKET, the final tournament of the season, will grant a postseason berth to a non-playoff qualifying squad. Now sitting with a regular season record of 4-9, that will likely be Orlando’s only chance at reaching the postseason and ultimately achieving its main goal of winning a championship.
“Our focus now is the tournaments,” Edwards said. “We hope to win games, we hope to build momentum and we’re still focusing on opponents, but primarily we’re more focused on having success in THE TURN and THE TICKET.”
MATCHUP TO WATCH VS. HEAT CHECK GAMING: A win over Miami would assist Orlando in gaining momentum heading into THE TURN. One of the key factors in achieving that goal will be the battle between lockdown small forwards Brandon “ToXsiK” Raudenbush and Abdafatah “TBShiftay” Noman.
While ToXsiK will be tasked with limiting the most dynamic member of Miami’s backcourt in GlennRatty, TBShiftay will certainly have his hands full trying to control reigning Rookie of the Year Brendan “Reizey” Hill.
In Heat Check Gaming’s wins this season, TBShiftay has done more than just stop the opposing team’s point guard. Playing on an archetype that grants more offensive capabilities than a traditional lockdown build, TBShiftay tends to gamble, leak out and score points in transition.
“There are games where’s he’s taken over a bit this year,” Edwards said. “He’s their x-factor. When he’s on, they’re definitely good enough to beat anybody and when he’s not, I think they struggle.”
HOW TO WATCH: Catch the matchup on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch (@NBA2kLeague) and YouTube (@NBA2kLeague) channels.