Esports: Wizards District Gaming rules 2020 NBA 2K League


Posted at Aug 30 2020 01:13 PM

Esports: Wizards District Gaming rules 2020 NBA 2K League 1
Wizards District Gaming, the champions of the 2020 NBA 2K League. Photo courtesy of Monumental Sports & Entertainment

Wizards District Gaming was crowned the 2020 NBA 2K League champions after defeating the Warriors Gaming Squad, 70-55, in Game 4 of their best-of-five game series.

This is a breakthrough title for Wizards District Gaming, one of the inaugural teams of the league when it was launched in 2018. The franchise, owned by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, is the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Washington Wizards.

The best-of-five game series ran for just under four hours. Wizards District Gaming lost Game 1, 53-65, but bounced back in Game 2 after dominating the second half for a 60-50 result. In the third game, they took control of the series, 64-59.

Down by two points in the half of Game 4, Wizards District Gaming again came alive in the second half to secure the championship.

"On behalf of Monumental Sports & Entertainment, I could not be prouder of this group of talented players who have exhibited excellence not only in their play but by conducting themselves with such maturity and professionalism throughout this entire season," said Zach Leonsis, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for Monumental Sports & Entertainment and General Manager of Monumental Sports Network.

"Bringing the trophy back for the fans who have shown us such loyalty and support is so rewarding," said Andrew McNeill, Director of Esports for Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

In a normal season, games are played in person at the NBA 2K League Studio in New York City. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire season transitioned to remote play, with players competing from their individual home markets.

"What we had all season was a great synergy between the incredible talent of our rookies mixed with the patience and wisdom of our veterans and it led us to this moment," said Patrick Crossan, Team Manager, Wizards District Gaming.

"This is life-changing for many of these players. They played with hearts and smarts all season and this is so well-earned by each of them," he added.

Throughout the sixteen-game regular season, Wizards District Gaming showed an ability to remain calm under tremendous pressure, mount exciting comebacks and show versatility on both offense and defense to earn a 13-3 record. 

Wizards District Gaming consistently had one of the NBA 2K League's best defenses throughout the season and a balanced scoring attack offensively.

A second half come-from-behind victory against Jazz Gaming in Game 2 of the semifinals of The Turn Tournament was the turning point in the season and kickstarted the team's momentum heading into the postseason, where they completed 2-0 series sweeps of Kings Guard Gaming in the NBA 2K League Playoff quarterfinals and the undefeated Raptors Uprising GC in the semis to advance to the NBA 2K League Finals. 

Veteran player Ryan "Dayfri" Conger was named NBA 2K League MVP finalist and Defensive Player of the Year, and teammate Jack "JBM" Mascone was named NBA 2K League's Rookie of the Year finalist.

In winning the NBA 2K League Championship, Wizards District Gaming earned $420,000 in prize money.

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