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Wizards oust Handlez in NBA 2K League’s Slam Open

Sportsnaut
Nov 10, 2018; Syracuse, NY, USA; General view of the 2K Empire Classic logo prior to the game between the Morehead State Eagles and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Team Handlez’s stunning run against NBA 2K League opposition finally ended on Monday, as Wizards District Gaming beat the community team 3-2 in the round of 16 at the Slam Open.

Bracket play in the $150,000 tournament began Wednesday at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis.

The Wizards and Handlez alternated wins throughout their best-of-five series, with the Wizards prevailing 22-20 in the decisive fifth game. Team Handlez had gone 6-0 in group play, the only team to reach bracket play undefeated.

Up next for the Wizards is a quarterfinal matchup against Hornets Venom GT, who took the final game 22-16 to edge 76ers GC 3-2.

Another quarterfinal will feature Pacers Gaming, a 3-0 winner over T-Wolves Gaming, and DUX Infinitos, a 3-0 victor over Pistons GT.

The other four round-of-16 matches are scheduled for Thursday:

–Lakers Gaming vs. Bucks Gaming

–Knicks Gaming vs. Hawks Talon GC

–Cavs Legion GC vs. Blazer5 Gaming

–Grizz Gaming vs. Celtics Crossover Gaming

The 32-team Slam Open field included 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, 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 advanced to bracket play, which began Wednesday and runs through Saturday.

The round of 16 features best-of-five matches, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be best-of-seven. The winning team will receive $60,000.

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.

–Field Level Media