- Staff Writer for ESPN.com
- Reports across multiple games, including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty.
- Specializes in investigative reporting
The second night of the NBA 2K Players Tournament on ESPN has come to an end and the quarterfinals matches are set.
The night featured two of the most competitive matches in the tournament so far, but also the largest blowout of the eight first-round matches. Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker defeated Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. 85-75, and Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura bested Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell 74-71 in a nail biter.
In two one-sided matches, Cleveland Cavaliers center Andre Drummond dominated former Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins 101-49, while LA Clippers center Montrezl Harrell took down Indiana Pacers center Domantas Sabonis 73-51. Harrell and Sabonis were the first in the tournament to use their real-life teams in the game, with Sabonis taking shots at his in-game self and pulling him early in the first quarter.
The second night featured a handful of NBA players who are noted gamers outside of NBA 2K. Since the NBA suspended its season, Booker and Mitchell have both actively streamed on Twitch, often playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, among other games.
Booker is a member of 100 Thieves, the popular esports team founded by former Call of Duty professional player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag. Hachimura and Drummond are also known for their gaming skills, with Drummond placing second in an NBA players tournament for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile tournament in July, just behind Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons.
In the 2K Players Tournament, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks were favorite picks for the competitors. Each was picked four times across the eight games. On Twitter, Booker said he did not pick his own team, the Suns, due to his 2K counterpart being “messed up.”
The quarterfinals of the event will kick off with Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. facing Harrell. On Friday, Jones Jr. upset Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant. The other quarterfinals will feature Booker versus Hachimura; Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young facing off with Suns center Deandre Ayton; and finally, Drummond taking on Clippers guard Patrick Beverley.
The NBA 2K Players Tournament will continue Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and will conclude on Saturday on ESPN. The winner of the tournament will earn a $100,000 donation from the NBA, National Basketball Players’ Association and 2K for a charity of their choice benefiting coronavirus relief.
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