Playoff Preview: Raptors Uprising take on Wizards DG in semifinals of $920,000 NBA 2K League Playoffs

TORONTO, Canada—With only four teams remaining, the stakes have never been higher as Raptors Uprising GC continue their quest for the franchise’s first NBA 2K League championship when the No. 1 seed from the North takes on Wizards District Gaming in the semifinals of the 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs delivered by DoorDash.

After a historic regular season, Raptors Uprising (16-0) entered the postseason with their confidence sky-high. Toronto became the first team to go undefeated, winning 28 straight matches in 2020 leading up to the playoffs, including their only two in-season tournaments along the way: THE TIPOFF and THE TURN.

And on Friday afternoon, Raptors Uprising made it 29 in a row without a loss, picking up their first-ever playoff victory: a (2-0 series) sweep over Hornets Venom GT. With the win, Toronto booked their spot in the semifinals, becoming the first No. 1 seed to advance past into the final four of the NBA 2K League Playoffs.

Two-time tournament MVP and the NBA 2K League leading scorer Kenny Got Work leads the charge for the first-place Raptors Uprising. The franchise’s first-ever draft pick has come into his own in Season 3 since shifting to point guard, averaging career-bests in points per game (35.3), assists (8.3), and steals (3.5). He is the frontrunner for the 2020 MVP award, which will be announced on Fri., Aug. 28 as part of a special 15-minute preshow for the 2020 NBA 2K League Finals.

But first, Kenny and Raptors Uprising will square off against the No. 4 seed Wizards District Gaming (13-3) in a rematch of THE TURN Finals. On that day, Toronto navigated through the added “archetype ban” concept to hold off Washington (2-0 series) and pick up their second banner of the year.

Wizards DG have had their best season in franchise history and one of the better seasons overall around the NBA 2K League in Season 3. The team finished fourth in the regular season and made it to a tournament final, of course falling to Raptors Uprising. Overall, they’re 19-6 in all competitions this season.

Like Raptors Uprising, Wizards DG have a well-rounded squad focused around their point guard—2020 first-overall pick JBM—and centre DayFri. The duo combined to average 40 points in two games as Washington defeated Kings Guard Gaming (2-0 series) on Friday night to advance into Saturday’s semis.

Saturday will mark the third time in Season 3 that Washington will get the opportunity to try and slay the beast that has been Raptors Uprising. In addition to their tournament bout, back in Week 1, Wizards DG became one of only three teams to force a third-and-decisive game out of the undefeated side from Toronto.

They’ll need to replicate that same sort of effort if they want any shot at slowing down the Raptors Uprising juggernaut.

And as mentioned, the stakes have never been higher. The 2020 NBA 2K League Playoffs delivered by DoorDash will have a total prize pool of $920,000, with the NBA 2K League champions receiving $420,000 from that pool.  The remaining $500,000 will be distributed among the teams that qualified for the 2020 Playoffs (second place – $150,000, third and fourth place – $75,000, fifth through eighth place – $35,000, ninth and tenth place – $30,000).

The winner of Saturday’s matchup will advance to Friday’s NBA 2K League Finals (Aug. 28 – 7 p.m. EST) where they’ll await the winner of Jazz Gaming and Warrior Gaming Squad.

Stat to Watch: +3.2—As mentioned, Raptors Uprising and Wizards DG are meeting for the third time in Season 3 with Toronto picking up both victories thus far. While the first-place Raptors Uprising have blown most teams out of the water, winning by nearly 20 points per game, Washington has proved to be a worthy opponent along the way. In their two encounters this season (five games), Wizards DG lost to Toronto by an average of just 3.2 points. Will Raptors Uprising resort back to their casual winning ways or will this one be another close battle?

Key Matchup to Watch: Sick One vs. Dayfri—With both sides boasting talented starters one through five, we look down low to Sick One and Dayfri for the key matchup to watch in this one, as these are two of the more elite, well-rounded centres in the league. From rebounding to scoring, Sick One and Dayfri can do it all, so it’ll be interesting to see if either player can make more of an impact for their team in this one. Numbers-wise, the two players post similar figures. Sick One enters the postseason averaging 14.3 points, 12.9 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and 2.7 blocks, slightly better than his counterpart DayFri’s 14.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.9 blocks. Keep a close eye down low.

How to Watch: Raptors Uprising and Wizards DG tipoff Saturday at 2:30 p.m. EST. All Playoffs and Finals games will air live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch channel.  ESPN2 will air games live Saturday, Aug. 22 from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET.  Select games will air live on ESPN’s digital platforms and the NBA 2K League’s YouTube channel, and on delay on eGG Network in Southeast Asia.  Dash Radio’s Nothin’ But Net channel will also provide live coverage of the tournament.