TORONTO, Canada—It’s tournament time!
Fresh off a record-breaking week in the NBA 2K League regular season, the first-place Raptors Uprising GC will compete in THE TIPOFF powered by AT&T beginning Wednesday, June 17 vs. Blazer5 Gaming (6 p.m. EST). The team will round out Group 6 action later that evening when they take on Lakers Gaming (8 p.m. EST).
Toronto has won nine-straight regular-season games to begin Season 3 and will be looking to carry that momentum into the first tournament of the year.
“We feel great heading into THE TIPOFF,” said third-year centre Sick One. “You can’t feel any better than 9-0. I think that everybody is contributing; we don’t rely on one person. Everybody plays defence, we get a lot of transition buckets because of great defence, and when you get the free ones, it’s hard to beat us.”
Toronto will play four tournament games in the group stage, competing against two other teams in its group twice, which will all take place on Wednesday. The team’s full group stage schedule is below:
160 racks on the line, all west group, popcorn ready 🍿 pic.twitter.com/ZL9hQVlaAh
— x-Raptors Uprising GC (@RaptorsGC) June 15, 2020
Pool Play (Times in EST)
6 p.m. vs. Blazer5 Gaming
7 p.m. @ Blazer5 Gaming
8 p.m. @ Lakers Gaming
9 p.m. vs. Lakers Gaming
Up first, Raptors Uprising (9-0) and Blazer5 Gaming (4-5) will meet for the second time in less than a week. Led by point guard Kenny Got Work and lock Timelycook, Toronto handed reigning MVP Mama Im Dat Man and his Portland side their fifth-straight loss in an overtime thriller.
Lakers Gaming (1-8), meanwhile, are hoping for better luck in tournament play than they’ve had so far in the regular season. Headlined by Canadian and NBA 2K League leading scorer SAV, L.A. recently picked up their first win of the year (2-0 series over CLTX Gaming) after opening the season with eight straight losses.
“They’re 1-8 right now, but they’re not really a 1-8 team,” said Sick One. “They’re better than a 1-8. They (Lakers Gaming) like to Pro 8 dribble all the way up the court, all the way to the paint—every play—so I’m not too worried about them.”
Following Wednesday’s action, the top seed from each group, plus one wild card team, will advance to an eight-team playoff beginning on Thursday, June 18. The tournament will conclude with semifinals and finals on Friday, June 19. Each matchup in the playoff rounds will be played in a best-of-three format, as teams will compete for their share of a $160,000 prize pool, and of course, the first of three tournament banners on the year.
Last season, Raptors Uprising advanced out of their pool as the top seed, overcoming a group that included Mavs Gaming and Cavs Legion GC. The team would eventually fall in the quarter-finals to Magic Gaming (42-55) as 76ers GC would go on to capture their second Tipoff Tournament title in as many years.
Stat To Watch: 22.6 – Entering Wednesday afternoon, Raptors Uprising are averaging an eye-opening 22.6 assists, up from 15.9 a season ago. Sharing the ball has been an important facet of Toronto’s game so far this season, as the team registered a season-high 37 in their most recent win over CLTX Gaming. For what it’s worth, when Toronto notches fewer than 20 assists in a game, they’re 2-3 this season, but when they get 20 or more, they’re 16-0.
Key Matchup: Sick One vs. OneWildWalnut – Any time Raptors Uprising centre Sick One and Blazer5 Gaming big man OneWildWalnut meet, it’s always an entertaining matchup down low. Last time out, it was Sick One getting the better of the Season 1 MVP, recording his league-leading fifth triple-double of the year in Toronto’s (2-1 series) win. He’d follow that up with another triple-double against the CLTX, as the New Jersey-native rolls into this home-and-home as one of the most dominant big men in the league. For what it’s worth, last time out, OneWildWalnut shied away from Sick One on the screen-and-roll, instead opting to guard the corner as opposed to the paint. We’ll see if the Blazer5 make any adjustments ahead of Wednesday’s tipoff.
How To Watch: Fans can watch all Raptors Uprising contests in their entirety via the Twitch Command Center, which is available on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch channel. The TIPOFF matches will also be streamed on Sportsnet and ESPN’s digital platforms and the league’s YouTube channel. Raptors Uprising fans make sure to register for 6IX2K—the team’s official supporters club. Agent00 will once again be giving away prizes during the pregame meetup, beginning at 5:30 p.m. EST on the team’s Twitch channel.