Day 2 of THE TICKET, powered by AT&T, started off with an upset, as Heat Check Gaming took down Blazer5 Gaming, 53-50.
The Blazer5 Gaming (10-1) tournament woes continue this season, as for the second straight time, they are knocked out in the first round. This time, it was by the No. 19 seed (16 seed after winning their play-in matchup) Heat Check Gaming (4-7).
Friday’s contest was an ugly and sloppy outing, but it came with a thrilling finish. With just 19 seconds remaining in the game and Heat Check Gaming up one point, everybody got out of the way for superstar power forward Hotshot, who was putting on a brilliant performance. Hotshot not only got a bucket to put his team up three, but it was a posterizing dunk over Blazer5 Gaming’s OneWildWalnut, arguably the best center in the entire league.
On the next possession, Blazer5 Gaming, one of the 2K League’s top perimeter shooting teams, got three clean looks from behind the arc in an effort to tie the game. None of them fell, and Heat Check Gaming emerged with the huge upset victory to kick off Day 2 of the tournament.
With no one on Heat Check Gaming able to get anything going offensively, the team allowed for Hotshot to be a one-man wrecking crew from start to finish. And while this isn’t typically a sound strategy in the 2K League, the power forward managed to do just enough to lead his team to victory. Hotshot finished with a game-high 34 points on 15-of-25 shooting, doing his damage almost exclusively with an unguardable turnaround mid-range jump shot. Shooting guard Hood was the only other member of Heat Check Gaming to reach double figures with 12 points.
For Blazer5 Gaming, they couldn’t get anything going from behind the arc, shooting 8-of-20 from three-point range and looking disjointed on offense for the entire game. Star point guard and MVP front-runner Mama Im Dat Man tried his best to will his team to victory Friday, but his 21 points and nine assists just weren’t enough to avoid the upset. It also wasn’t a great start from Mama Im Dat Man, who managed to post just two points and one assist to go along with four turnovers in the first quarter.
OneWildWalnut added a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds, while Lavishphenom, who went cold to close out Friday’s game, added 10 points of his own.