Wizards District Gaming has won the NBA 2K League Championship after six months of training. The team, which defeated the Warriors Gaming Squad 70-55, celebrated an end to months of uncertainty in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wizards District Gaming center Ryan “Dayfri” Conger, who was named NBA 2K League Finals MVP, said, “It’s nuts, every year you set these goals to win a championship, but it always feels like it’s so far away. But then suddenly it was all right there in front of us.”
After a late-season slide from a 2-seed to the postseason tournament’s No. 4 slot, the team beat the Kings in a best-of-three opening series. In the semifinals, Wizards District Gaming crushed previously undefeated Raptors Uprising GC to reach the 2K League Finals.
“We had issue after issue come up and as a result, we didn’t have our best practices leading up to the playoffs,” Jack “JBM” Mascone, who battled internet connectivity issues during the tournament, said. “But regardless of what happens, you still have to show up ready to play and we did.”
Woke up champions. #RanTheDistrict
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After their victory in Game 1 of the Finals, 65-53, the team went on to win the next three games before celebrating on the floor of Capital One Arena. Conger says the win was never a given, especially considering the circumstances.
Wizards District Gaming joins the Mystics, Valor, Nationals and Capitals as the fifth District of Columbia team to win a championship in the last three years. The team will share a $420,000 prize, on top of each player’s respective yearly salary.
Wizards District Gaming small forward Maurice “ReeseDaGod” Delaney said the victory feels like winning the NBA Championship after all the blood, sweat and tears that it took to get to the final.
The 23-team NBA 2K League, operated in part by the NBA, has seen a significant increase in viewership this year as many fans were stuck at home. Games had a 76% increase in unique viewers per stream on Twitch compared to last season.
The league also aired games on linear television for the first time, including on ESPN2, Sportsnet in Canada and eGG Network in Asia. According to the league, the 29 matches aired on ESPN2 boasted at least 1 million unique viewers when combined with Twitch viewership.
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