Warriors Gaming Squad will join three NBA 2K League teams in the Coast to Coast Cup, a preseason round robin tournament held on March 23 and 24.
With the start of the NBA 2K League season smartly on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hornets Venom GT, a 2020 expansion team, has been very active in streaming live scrimmages during the preseason. The Venom’s Coast to Coast Cup offers a more official preseason tournament, consisting of two days of league matchups, in what was originally the week of the NBA 2K League’s TIPOFF Tournament. Each matchup in the cup will be a best-of-three series.
Warriors Gaming Squad is already gearing up for the NBA 2K League Three for All Showdown tournament next week, but the Coast to Coast Cup offers a real chance to play meaningful scrimmages in front of a virtual audience. Here’s who WGS will have to go through to emerge from the preseason as the league’s coastal favorite.
Kings Guard Gaming vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (March 23, 1 p.m. Pacific, broadcast live by WGS)
WGS’ first matchup of the cup is Kings Guard Gaming, led by coach D.J. Layton. Like WGS, Kings Guard mounted an impressive turnaround in season two, winning 10 games and qualifying for the playoffs after just four regular-season wins in 2018. Only two starters return from last year, however, with the team protecting 2019 draft picks BallLikeSeem and Yusuf_Scarbz over the offseason. Kings Guard made arguably the biggest deal of the offseason, trading MVP candidate BP to Hawks Talon GC for veteran forward DatBoyShotz and the third and twenty-sixth picks in the 2020 entry draft. The team found its lockdown defender, Crush, third overall, and snapped up point guard Bash—who made the draft pool through the WGS Invitational—seventeenth overall; fellow guard Nasthetic rounds out the roster.
Hornets Venom GT vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (5 p.m. PST via Hornets Venom GT)
Despite being an expansion team, Hornets Venom GT already has some history with Warriors Gaming Squad. The Venom’s first-ever player, taken first in the 2019 expansion draft, was Type, an original WGS draftee who earned All-NBA 2K League Defensive Team honors in 2019. Hornets Venom GT filled out its inaugural roster with three first-round picks (Expose, Snubby, and Zae) and two later selections (Trap and 2019 Jazz Gaming starter Gliz). Snubby has been particularly impressive thus far in scrimmages, averaging nearly 25 points per game in the team’s latest series against 76ers GC. The Hornets Venom front office features a wealth of league experience in head coach/GM Lawrence “BigWest” West, a former scout/analyst for Hawks Talon GC, and Brian “Nacho” Traynor, who played in the league for two seasons and won the title in 2019.
Gen.G Tigers vs. Warriors Gaming Squad (March 24, 11 a.m. PST via WGS)
Gen.G Tigers, the league’s second expansion team, is WGS’ final matchup of the round robin. The esports organization is the first non-NBA franchise to join the league, though the organization enters the league with plenty of experience in the esports sphere. After selecting 2019 champion TURNUPDEFENSE in the expansion draft, the team maneuvered its way to four picks in the first half of the entry draft and snagged ShiftyKaii fifth overall. Deadeye, Gen, and Killeyy followed in quick succession before the team selected Luck_Yi_Wesley, the first Chinese player drafted into the league and the 2020 season’s lone Asia-Pacific Invitational draftee, 56th overall. Gen.G Tigers head coach Jordan “Len” Ross made the NBA 2K League draft pool in 2019 but went undrafted.
Should WGS run the gauntlet of two expansion teams and a fellow 2019 playoff team, the round robin finals are scheduled to tip off at 5 p.m. on March 24. The third-place series is slated for 3 p.m.
Here’s the full schedule for the Coast to Coast Cup (all times Pacific):
Monday, March 23
Hornets Venom GT vs. Gen.G Tigers, 11 a.m. (Broadcast live via Gen.G Tigers)
Kings Guard Gaming vs. Warriors Gaming Squad, 1 p.m. (Warriors Gaming Squad)
Kings Guard Gaming vs. Gen.G Tigers, 3 p.m. (Gen.G Tigers)
Hornets Venom GT vs. Warriors Gaming Squad, 5 p.m. (Hornets Venom GT)
Tuesday, March 24
Warriors Gaming Squad vs. Gen.G Tigers, 11 a.m. (Warriors Gaming Squad)
Hornets Venom GT vs. Kings Guard Gaming, 1 p.m. (Kings Guard Gaming)
3rd Place Game, 3 p.m.
Finals, 5 p.m.