The inaugural NBA 2K League season concluded this week, capping off nearly four months of frenetic play. The playoffs are now locked in and awards were given on Saturday night.
Portland’s Blazer5 were the big winners of the night. Not only are they the first seed in the playoffs, but star center Dayne “One Wild Walnut” Downey took home some major hardware, winning the League MVP and Defensive Player of the Year awards.
One Wild Walnut’s work on the defensive end and his synergy with point guard Nidal “Mama Im Dat Man” Nasser were major factors for Blazer5’s 12-2 run through the regular season.
Other winners of the night included Tilton “xTFr3sHxX” Curry from the 76ers GC. 76ers are another squad at the very top of the league and they’ve been in second place to Blazer5 for the whole season. Coach of the Year went to Pistons GT, who are third in the rankings. The complete award list is as follows:
As for the playoffs, games start next Friday, Aug. 17 at 7pm CT, starting with the 76ers facing off against Wizards District Gaming. The first round being played on Friday should be extremely exciting: The best-of-one, single-elimination format threatens to introduce a lot of variance and makes every game critical. The last mid-season tournament saw several top seeds bow out early due to the chaotic nature of the format.
The teams that survive through to the semifinals and finals on Saturday will play best-of-threes that will allow them to adapt to the play of their opponents. And at the end of the day, the winning team will take home half of the $600,000 playoff prize pool.
That’s a huge amount of money that would do a lot to supplement the players’ salaries, which range from $32,000 to $35,000. Money aside, the winners of the tournament will also go down in history as the first champions of the NBA 2K League.