THE TURN Final 4: Raptors Uprising to face Kings Guard Gaming in tournament semifinals

TORONTO, Canada—It’s a rematch of THE TIPOFF Tournament final as the No. 1 seed Raptors Uprising GC and No. 5 Kings Guard Gaming square off once again Saturday afternoon, this time in the semifinal of THE TURN Tournament, presented by AT&T.

With the largest prize pool in NBA 2K League history up for grabs, these two squads need no introduction to one another when the stakes are high, as Toronto swept Kings GG (2-0 series) just over a month ago to win THE TIPOFF and $70,000 USD. On that day, Kenny Got Work scored a combined 56 points, while Legit 973, ReeceMode, Sick One, and Timelycook all added more than 20 points to help secure the franchise’s first banner.

The unbeaten Raptors Uprising have continued to show off their team’s versatility so far at THE TURN Tournament, winning both of their matchups without dropping a game, most recently knocking off the defending NBA 2K League champions T-Wolves Gaming (2-0) series in Friday’s quarter-finals.

For shooting guard Timelycook, Satuday’s matchup against Kings GG will be particularly special as he’ll be squaring off against his former team for just the second time since joining Raptors Uprising via the draft. However, the candidate for Season 3 Defensive Player of the Year says he’s approaching this game like every other.

“My mindset is to go out there and get the win and advance to the championship,” said Timelycook. “I’m approaching this game like I’ve been approaching every other game: one team, one goal.”

Leading the league in steals, opponents have targeted the two-way lockdown defender with THE TURN’s “Archetype Ban” rule: an added twist allowing teams to prohibit certain player builds for use prior to tipoff. Timelycook and Raptors Uprising have adjusted, however, and the team will try and continue that trend on Saturday.

Kings Guard Gaming, meanwhile, will look to keep their momentum going after impressive wins over Warriors Gaming Squad and Knicks Gaming. Like Raptors Uprising, Sacramento has yet to drop a series and will be hungry for revenge after being embarrassed by Toronto in their last meeting.

Winners of five out of their last six, Kings GG do boast a former Raptors Uprising player of their own as Toronto native and Season 1 RUGC alumni Yusuf_Scarbz has cemented himself with Sacramento as one of the best two-way power forwards in the NBA 2K League. However, their most dangerous offensive threat is point guard Bash, the team’s 2020 first-round pick who is averaging 29.5 points and 11 assists per game so far at THE TURN tournament.

Forcing 11 turnovers in the TIPOFF Tournament series clincher, Raptors Uprising were able to contain Bash last time they played. With the “archetype bans” and more money on the line, will this time be any different?

With $22,100 already guaranteed, Satuday’s game will be for an additional $29,900. The winner of THE TURN will earn nearly half of the $260,000 prize pool, with the remainder being awarded to the second- to eighth-place teams (first place – $117,000; second place – $52,000; third and fourth place – $22,100 each; fifth to eighth place – $11,700 each). 

THE TURN is also the second tournament of the year. After capturing THE TIPOFF Tournament in June, Raptors Uprising try and become the first team in NBA 2K League history to win the first two tournaments of the year.

The winner between Raptors Uprising and Kings GG will then advance to the 4 pm EST final on Saturday and will face the winners of No. 2 seed Jazz Gaming and No. 3 seed Wizards District Gaming.

Key Matchup to Watch: Timelycook vs Bash – Two 2020 NBA 2K League first-round picks who probably dropped further down the board than their value’s proving, No. 11 overall pick Timelycook and No. 17 Bash will go head-to-head for the second time this season. On that day, stifling Raptors Uprising defence led by Timelycook held Bash to just 13 points in each series game, including forcing 11 turnovers out of the Kings GG point guard in the series clincher. With both players being subject to “Archetype Bans” so far this tournament, Bash is averaging 29.5 points and 11 assists per game, while Timely is still averaging 4.25 steals. Last time out, Timely got the better of Bash, will the narrative remain the same?

Stat to Watch: 11-1 – Raptors Uprising have yet to drop a series in 2020, boasting an overall record of 37-5 in all competition. In Tournament play, the team is 11-1 following Friday’s win, with their only slip-up coming in the semifinals of THE TIPOFF back in June to Gen.G, a series Toronto won in three games. So far at THE TURN, their record is flawless, and Raptors Uprising’s goal will be to keep it that way, finishing the competition without a dent. Keep an eye on their record; it’s the most important stat moving forward.

How to Watch: Fans can watch Raptors Uprising play Kings Guard Gaming in its entirety via the Twitch Command Center, which is available on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch channel. The competition will also be available on Sportsnet and ESPN’s digital platforms, plus streamed on the league’s YouTube channel. Following the conclusion of the semifinals, the final—a best-of-three series—will take place at 4 p.m. EST.