TORONTO, Canada—It’s time to lock in.
With a playoff spot on the line, Raptors Uprising GC begin their run at THE TICKET Tournament Powered by AT&T on Thursday when they take on Heat Check Gaming, as these two teams will square off for the first time this season in this high-stakes affair.
Toronto enters the must-win tournament having won four out of their last six games — all against playoff teams. After a slow start to the regular season and the acquisition of Dimez from Mavs Gaming, the team from the North feels confident that they’ve clicked at an ideal time.
“The expectation is to get in THE TICKET and win the THE TICKET,” said Dimez.
“Teams still have us on their radar and we still know what we’re capable of,” added veteran power forward TsJosh.
As mentioned, Dimez has been helping to change the culture at Raptors Uprising since joining the team in Week 8. In 24 games this season, split between Raptors Uprising and Mavs Gaming, the league’s first ever draft pick is averaging 25.0 points and 9.5 assists.
— Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) August 3, 2021
Alongside the shifty point guard is Kenny Got Work — the reigning NBA 2K League MVP. Over the past two weeks, the duo have formed a lethal backcourt, one that may just be perceived as the most dangerous backcourt in the NBA 2K League. They’ll be relied upon to carry a majority of the load offensively for Raptors Uprising (9-19) in this one.
Heat Check Gaming (12-16), meanwhile, finished in 10th place in the Eastern Conference after an up-and-down regular season. They’ve won two out of their last three outings, most recently splitting a pair of games against 76ers GC.
Toronto will be wary of Canadian and 2020 NBA 2K League seventh-overall pick Sav, who has once again found himself as one of the league leaders in his first season with Heat Check Gaming. The point guard is averaging 24.6 points per game and ranks third in assists, dropping 11.0 per contest.
Their second-leading scorer is former Gen.G Tigers sharpshooter Killeyy, who is averaging 21.3 points through four contests after recently joining the team, while Heat Check Gaming veteran Hotshot has once again cemented himself as a lethal force down low, posting 19.5 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.
Tipoff is set for 5 p.m. EST. The winner of Thursday afternoon’s game will advance to the quarter-finals where they’ll take on Gen.G Tigers of Shanghai (14-14). Tipoff in that one is set for 8 p.m. EST on Thursday as well.
THE TICKET powered by AT&T is comprised of the seven teams from the Eastern conference and six teams from the Western conference who did not automatically qualify for the NBA 2K League Playoffs Delivered with DoorDash. The winning teams from the Eastern and Western conference brackets in THE TICKET will earn the 11th and 12th spots in the Playoffs in lieu of prize money.
Matchups during THE TICKET will be played in a best-of-three series, single elimination format, with the winner of each series advancing to the next round.
— NBA 2K League (@NBA2KLeague) August 16, 2021
In 2018, Knicks Gaming went on a heroic run to win THE TICKET to secure their spot in the postseason and subsequently went on to win the NBA 2K League championship that season. Can Raptors Uprising do the same this year?
You can read more about the third and final in-season tournament here.
How To Watch: Games will air live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels. Games will also be available on ESRevolution, eGG Network in Southeast Asia, Loco in India, Sport1 in Europe and Dash Radio.