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The second tournament of the 2019 NBA 2K League season is set to tip off Thursday, May 9 as seven games open play in The Turn Tournament at the HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor Hotel and Casino. Play begins with five play-in games starting at 4 p.m. EST when Wizards District Gaming faces Magic Gaming.
The Turn features all 21 teams in action. A total of 20 games will be played to crown a champion and award a prize pool of $180,000. In addition to the five play-in games, two first-round games are slated to take place on Thursday. Heat Check Gaming take on Warriors Gaming Squad at 9 p.m. EST and 76ers GC play Hawks Talon GC at 10 p.m. EST.
2K League history in the making
This week marks two historic events for the NBA 2K League. With games being played in Las Vegas, it will be the first time in the league’s short history that games will be played outside the studio in New York City.
In addition to the new venue, the league has implemented “Archetype Bans” for the first time. Bans will occur before the game begins when each team determines an archetype that cannot be played by either team in the game. This adds a new dimension to the games and fans will get to enjoy teams playing outside of their comfort zones.
Teams will follow this new format over the course of the tournament. The championship game of The Turn is set for 6 p.m. EST on Saturday, May 11.
Almost. Time. To. Ball.
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) May 9, 2019
The Turn predictions
Seeding plays a vital role in this tournament and only Thursday’s schedule is solidified. Once the five play-in games are complete, the winning teams are re-seeded 12th through 16th for Friday’s slate. Below are predictions for Thursday’s opening games and more for The Turn.
Thursday Play-In games
Magic Gaming over Wizards District Gaming: Wizards just do not look good right now and their only hope is that the archetype bans throw Magic Gaming out of a preferred style.
Raptors Uprising GC over Pistons GT: Raptors Uprising GC have been inconsistent coming into The Turn, but they get the benefit of playing a Pistons GT squad on a three-game losing streak.
T-Wolves Gaming over Grizz Gaming: This is a game with two teams that left fans scratching their heads the past two weeks of plays as far as what to expect. T-Wolves get the nod because of their talent.
Celtics Crossover Gaming over NetsGC: NBA 2K League fans know Celtics Crossover Gaming always show up for the tournaments. The Boston crew should get a wake-up call and show more emotion than they have in the regular season playing for a prize pool.
Knicks Gaming over Lakers Gaming: Experience in these tournament environments should help Knicks Gaming to an opening win. However, the thing to watch will be how Knicks Gaming play away from home for the first time ever.
The Turn Championship
Blazer5 Gaming over Pacers Gaming: Going through the games, it is hard not to see Blazer5 making it to the final. Blazer5’s path to the final looks like Grizz Gaming, Jazz Gaming, then possibly tested with Mavs Gaming in the semifinals. Fans can expect the ban to target Mavs point guard Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd. The other side of the bracket is more challenging to pick a winner for.
With how 76ers GC have been playing these last couple weeks, Pacers Gaming become the favorite. Pacers Gaming are undefeated in the regular season and Blazer5 Gaming are playing very well right now, arguably the hottest team in the league. The Portland crew has been overwhelming for teams to handle these last few weeks and the Pacers will struggle to stop the pick-and-roll combo of Blazer5.
It should be an entertaining final with Blazer5 lifting the banner to conclude Saturday.