Team Handlez continued their assault on NBA 2K League opposition, beating the Gen.G Tigers 3-2 on Thursday and sealing a berth in the Slam Open’s round of 16.
Handlez (5-0) are the only amateur or community team that will advance to the Slam Open’s in-person bracket competition next week.
The 32-team field includes all 24 NBA 2K League squads plus eight other teams: amateur trios that advanced through qualifying plus “community” teams featuring 2K social-media influencers.
For remote group play, which runs through Friday, the field was divided into eight groups that each consist of three NBA 2K League teams and one amateur or community team. The top two teams in each group will advance to the round of 16, the start of bracket play that will run Wednesday through May 14 in person at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis.
Teams will oppose every other team in their group twice in best-of-five matches. The round of 16 also will feature best-of-five matches, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be best-of-seven. The winning team will receive $60,000 from the Slam Open’s $150,000 prize pool.
In other Thursday action, Celtics Crossover Gaming swept Dot Squad 3-0, Pacers Gaming routed Kings Guard Gaming 3-0, Knicks Gaming defeated Raptors Uprising GC 3-1, Lakers Gaming handled Glitchy 3-1, Jazz Gaming dumped Intimidators 3-1 and Wizards District Gaming blitzed Nets GC 3-0.
Warriors Gaming Squad nipped Pistons GT 3-2, 76ers GC bounced Basketball Godz 3-0, Hawks Talon GC topped Team Smoke 3-0, Bucks Gaming edged Mavs 3-2 and Cavs Legion GC defeated Dreamshakers 3-1. T-Wolves Gaming earned a forfeit victory over Triple Threat.
The NBA 2K League season will run through August, with the focus on tournament play and qualifying events for tournaments. The traditional five-on-five tournaments are The Tipoff (season opener), The Turn (midseason) and The Ticket (late season).
The league is also adding a trio of three-on-three tournaments that will lead up to a three-on-three championship featuring a separate prize pool.
Slam Open group play concludes Friday with 10 matches:
–Handlez vs. Magic Gaming
–Glitchy vs. King Guard Gaming
–Pacers Gaming vs. Lakers Gaming
–Bucks Gaming vs. T-Wolves Gaming
–Blazer5 Gaming vs. Intimidators
–Heat Check Gaming vs. Hornets Venom GT
–DUX Infinitos vs. Jazz Gaming
–Celtics Crossover Gaming vs. Wizards District Gaming
–Pistons GT vs. Dreamshakers
–Grizz Gaming vs. Gen.G Tigers
NBA 2K League Slam Open group-play standings
1. Handlez, 5-0
T2. Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai, 2-3
T2. Grizz Gaming, 2-3
4. Magic Gaming, 1-4
1. 76ers GC, 5-1
2. Knicks Gaming, 3-3
T3. Basketball Godz, 2-4
T3. Raptors Uprising GC, 2-4
1. Hawks Talon GC, 5-1
2. Hornets Venom GT, 3-2
3. Team Smoke, 2-4
4. Heat Check Gaming, 1-4
1. Wizards District Gaming, 5-0
2. Celtics Crossover Gaming, 4-1
3. NetsGC, 2-4
4. Dot Squad, 0-6
1. Pistons GT, 4-1
2. Cavs Legion GC, 4-2
3. Warriors Gaming Squad, 3-3
4. Dreamshakers, 0-5
T1. Pacers Gaming, 4-1
T1. Lakers Gaming, 4-1
T3. Glitchy, 1-4
T3. Kings Guard Gaming, 1-4
T1. T-Wolves Gaming, 4-1
T1. Bucks Gaming, 4-1
3. Mavs Gaming, 2-4
4. Triple Threat, 1-5
1. Blazer5 Gaming, 4-1
T2. DUX Infinitos, 3-2
T3. Jazz Gaming, 3-2
4. Intimidators, 0-5
NBA 2K League Slam Open prize pool
3-4. $15,000 each
5-8. $7,500 each
–Field Level Media