Warriors Gaming Squad Playoff Preview

At long last, the 2020 NBA 2K League playoffs are here. Warriors Gaming Squad set a franchise-high mark with 13 wins during the regular season, claiming the No. 3 seed in the playoffs, and is looking for a franchise-best finish to the season after being eliminated in the semifinals in 2019.

The road to the finals begins at 5 p.m. PST on Friday, August 21, when WGS will take on sixth-seeded Bucks Gaming (10-6) in a best-of-three series live on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and YouTube channels.


The Format

For the first time in league history, the playoff field expanded from eight teams to 10. The top nine teams during the regular season qualified for the playoffs, and the No. 10 team had an opportunity to defend its precarious position in THE TICKET Tournament final. Blazer5 Gaming—last year’s No. 1 seed—defeated tenth-seeded T-Wolves Gaming in THE TICKET finals to claim the final playoff spot, becoming the only team to make the NBA 2K League playoffs in each of the league’s first three seasons.

Blazer5 Gaming subsequently swept seventh-seeded Mavs Gaming (10-6 in the regular season), a fellow top two seed in 2019, in one of the two play-in games. THE TICKET winners will play second-seeded Jazz Gaming (14-2) in the quarterfinals. In the other play-in game, former WGS center Type and Hornets Venom GT (9-7) swept NetsGC (8-8), earning the right to play undefeated top seed Raptors Uprising GC in the quarterfinals.


The Matchup

Bucks Gaming isn’t as well known as the powerhouse that was last year’s first-round opponent, Blazer5 Gaming, whom WGS swept in the 2019 quarterfinals. Making the first playoff appearance in franchise history, however, Bucks Gaming boasts an extremely high-powered offense, which blew away the single-game scoring record with 133 points in week 11. Rookie point guard Regg ranks among the league leaders in points (32.7) and assists (9.1) per game, consequently being named one of five MVP candidates while becoming the likely Rookie of the Year. Veteran sharpshooter Arooks (55% from deep) is always a lethal scorer, dropping a career-high 55 points in the team’s record-setting win.

Warriors Gaming Squad will hope for a repeat of the teams’ matchup earlier this season, when WGS eked out a 74-73 win in game one before completing the sweep with a 79-53 win in game two. WGS’ own sharpshooter Bsmoove had his best series of the season, shooting 93% from three on 15 attempts while helping limit Arooks to just 5.5 points per game. Slaughter also had a huge day against 2019 first-round pick Plondo, averaging 14.5 points and 15.5 rebounds. The key to the series this time around will be limiting Regg, who averaged 33 points per game despite the loss in week 10.


The Award Finalists

Warriors Gaming Squad point guard CB13 was named one of five finalists for the 2020 MVP award. CB13 averaged career highs in points (31.4) and assists (8.7) per game, orchestrating one of the league’s best offenses and leading WGS to its best-ever regular season. Lockdown defender Gradient is also up for an award. His Vince Carter-esque dunk against Hornets Venom GT was one of five plays nominated as NBA 2K League Play of the Year.

The Play of the Year, Fan Engagement, Sportsmanship, and Coach of the Year awards will be announced on Saturday, August 22, at which time the league will also reveal the finalists for Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Those awards, as well as the MVP and All-League teams, will be announced before the NBA 2K League Finals on August 28.