Besides the regular season, there were many other tournaments for the teams in the NBA 2K 2018 League to play in. Namely, there were three, and they would basically guarantee a non-playoffs team to be able to qualify for the playoffs if they were not able to get in through the regular season.
This is what happened for the Knicks Gaming as they were not even seeded into the original playoffs bracket due to their regular season, but through their tournament play. We will also see how it has gone through the playoffs and finals as well, as that is what truly matters.
Tournaments: The Big Three
There were three large tournaments that were held for the teams. Each of the tournaments was held periodically during the regular season, and gave teams the opportunity to showcase what they can do in an extended period.
The first tournament, the Tip Off, was held during a full week of May back in 2018. The amount of games played was staggering, culminating in a slaughter fest between 76ers GC and Blazers Gaming. Although it looked like Blazers Gaming would be able to pull a comeback in the third quarter, 76ers GC were able to hold off their advances, winning the grand finals 75-65. This secured them a spot in the upper bracket in the next tournament, the Turn.
The Turn was another chance for the teams to be able to take home a piece of the NBA 2K League banner. Being able to say they won a tournament was the all important prize that all teams were searching for. It was also a chance for other teams to really size the others up, and get ready for the end of the season, as this tournament was held in the middle of the regular season. This time around, the Blazers Gaming were able to fully come out on top of the Celtic Crossover Gaming in a score of 92-78.
However, all of those didn’t matter as much as the Ticket Tournament. This tournament was held over 3 days, and was the decisive tournament those not in the top order of teams. This tournament was made so that a team would be able to have a golden ticket to the Playoffs of the league, even if they didn’t make the top bracket set. This came as an invaluable tool for Knicks Gaming, as they were sitting fairly low at 14th place of 17 teams. But, they were able to bust out all of their moves in the Ticket Tournament, beating the Celtic Crossover Gaming 83-80, and securing themselves a playoff spot.
After the regular season, the playoffs were held for the top teams in the league. The top 7 teams from the league were drafted into a bracket to play each other for the grand prize at the end of the tournament. Now, you may be wondering why I only said top 7 teams. This is because there was a team not in the upper side of the league that won the golden ticket in. The top 7 teams that qualified for playoffs were: Blazer5 Gaming, 76ers GC, Pistons GT, Raptors Uprising GC, Cavs Legion GC, Heat Check, Gaming, and Wizards District Gaming. The one wildcard team, or the golden child, that got the lucky seed was the Knicks Gaming, which would prove to be one of the best Cinderella stories to end the first season of the NBA 2K League.
The bracket fell within a fairly normal standard. With 8 teams, each team played against their counterpart for the quarterfinals. The 76ers GC dominate the Wizards District Gaming 92-73, Heat Check Gaming beat the Pistons GT 85-67, the Cavs Legion GC upended the Raptors Uprising GC 77-65, and Knicks Gaming beat Blazer5 Gaming 82-78.
From there, Heat Check Gaming went on to defeat 76ers GC 2-0 pretty swiftly, but the Knicks Gaming had a bit tougher of a time beating the Cavs Legion GC, finally ending them in a 2-1 series. With nothing left, Knicks Gaming went on to play and defeat the Heat Check Gaming in a fairly close 2-0 series, with both games ending with less than 5 points separating them each time.