Blazer5 Gaming Storms Into #1 Seed At This Weekend’s Tournament
Watch Portland's 2K League team go for their second championship at 6pm on Friday.
With the Trail Blazers rolling into Summer League tournament play with a perfect 3-0 record, buzz around Portland bringing a trophy home is starting to heat up. But in case you haven’t heard, Portland already has a championship under its belt this year, with another one on the line this weekend.
Blazer5 Gaming, the Trail Blazers esports team, has set the NBA2K League world on fire en route to an 8-1 regular season record and a championship run at last month’s THE TURN tournament in New York City. Thursday marks the tipoff of the last of the 2K League’s midseason tournaments and this one, dubbed THE TICKET, looks to be an important one. Not only does the winner take home part of the league’s trophy, but the champion wins an automatic bid to the 2K League playoffs in August.
For the uninitiated, the NBA2K League is the NBA’s first foray into the esports world with 17 teams participating in the inaugural season. Tryouts and a combine were held at the beginning of the year, and in April, 102 of the best 2K players in the world were drafted. Blazer5’s six players now live in Portland and train daily at the team’s esports practice facility.
Blazer5 has been on a tear since day 1, rolling their way to a championship game appearance at the 2K League’s tipoff tournament where they narrowly fell to 76ers Gaming Club. After that, Portland didn’t lose another game for nearly two months, while marching through THE TURN mid-season tournament and beating every team by double digits. While Blazer5 dropped a week 7 matchup against Boston, they are still the #1 seed heading into THE TICKET with a 17-2 overall record.
And for those Rip City diehards skeptical about how exciting virtual basketball can be, rest assured that Blazer5 is among the most entertaining teams in the entire 2K League. Portland has mastered the art of trash talk, which has become an essential strategic component of the 2K League.
The duo of center Dayne “OneWildWalnut” Downey and point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser have been stuffing the stat sheets, and the two are currently #1 and #3 in the league’s MVP rankings, respectively.
“It’s exciting to see the Blazers organization come together to fully support this new initiative,” said Cameron McAlees, Blazer5 Gaming's esports Operations Manager. “The Blazer5 Gaming team has been incredible both on and off the court; from interacting with our amazing fans, to weekly dominant performances, there is nothing this group of players does half-heartedly. We’re proud to be able to represent Portland in this inaugural season, and we’re set on bringing the championship back to this city.”
THE TICKET tips off Thursday at 3pm PT, though #1 seed Portland doesn’t play until 6pm PT on Friday, where it will face the winner of Warriors Gaming Squad vs. Kings Guard Gaming. Every game can be streamed live for free at www.twitch.tv/nba2kleague.
For the latest on Blazer5 and the 2K League, follow the team on social media: