The 2019 NBA 2K League champion will be decided on Saturday when 76ers GC and T-Wolves Gaming face off in a best-of-five final series. Game one of the best-of-five series begins at 3 p.m. EST on the league’s Twitch and YouTube Gaming channel.
76ers GC and T-Wolves Gaming will compete in the first-ever best-of-five series in NBA 2K League history. Last year’s NBA 2K League final was a best-of-three series that led to Knicks Gaming lifting the league’s championship trophy. In addition to hardware, the championship team takes home $360,000. The first place payout is a $60,000 increase from 2018’s amount.
76ers GC came into the playoffs as the third seed behind Blazer5 Gaming and Mavs Gaming. The Philly crew faced Pacers Gaming in the quarterfinals and game one was a test. 76ers GC grabbed the early advantage in the series with a comeback and blew out Pacers Gaming in game two to move onto the semifinals. Ethan “Radiant” White combined for 44 points and 25 assists in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, the NBA 2K League studio was packed for a matchup between 76ers GC and Celtics Crossover Gaming. The two teams and their fans were jawing back and forth to match the drama in-game. Philadelphia narrowly defeated the Celtics in game one. Game two featured one of the best performances the league has seen all season. White took over the game for 76ers GC and ended the Celtics Crossover Gaming season with a 37-point performance.
T-Wolves Gaming showcased their dominance early in the playoffs against Kings Guard Gaming. The fourth-seeded T-Wolves jumped out to early leads in both games of the quarterfinals. Much of T-Wolves Gaming’s success was due to the play of Michael “BearDaBeast” Key. Minnesota’s passionate leader finished the first round with 45 points and 20 assists.
The semifinal matchup versus Warriors Gaming Squad did not offer much of a challenge for T-Wolves Gaming. Both games ended by double-digit margins in favor of Minnesota. T-Wolves Gaming, the hottest team in the league coming into the playoffs, earned their spot into the final by dismantling their competition.
These two teams met once this season in the Tip-Off Tournament back in April. 76ers GC won the game by 11, but both these teams are much different heading into Saturday. The matchup to watch is Philadelphia’s White versus Minnesota’s Key at the point guard position. Both players have been important to the success of the team in the NBA 2K League. If both are at the top of their games, then this series comes down to the supporting players.
Viewers could argue that Minnesota has been the better all-around team so far in the playoffs but has not been through the grind of a tight game. This scenario is very realistic for Saturday with both these teams playing so well. While playing well, 76ers GC has looked shaky at times, especially against Celtics Crossover Gaming. This tested the Philly group and the team has experience with adversity.
Down low, each team boasts an advantage. Josiah “JoJo” Oetjen produced well for T-Wolves Gaming in the semifinals offensively and should have an advantage over his counterpart on 76ers GC. At the power forward position, the nod goes to Christopher “BreadwinnerLA” Lafanette of 76ers GC. His defense is going to play a role in Saturday’s final, especially in any pick-and-roll situations.
The pressure is going to be on the shooting guards and small forwards to produce. Both teams have players who can post double-digits on the scoresheet, and one bad game could easily lead to a loss. At shooting guard, Christopher “TURNUPDEFENSE” Anderson takes a slight edge for T-Wolves Gaming. Rashann “ZDS” Petty gives 76ers GC an advantage at small forward due to recent performances.
Every series of the NBA 2K League playoffs has been a sweep, but that ends on Saturday. These two teams are evenly matched and the championship comes down to the potential of a bad game. Fans have seen this season that shutdown defense causes teams to look completely lost on offense. 76ers GC are the better defensive team, and this will help the Philadelphia crew to take home the top spot in the 2019 NBA 2K League. Our prediction is 76ers GC win 3-1.
Stay tuned to Daily Esports for a recap of Saturday’s NBA 2K League final and more NBA 2K news.
Proud alum of the slimy pebble, Slippery Rock University, and DePaul University. Making the transition from four years in traditional sports to esports. Happy to turn my obsession with NBA2K, CSGO, and Rocket League into content.