Bucks Gaming claims first NBA 2K League 5v5 title
The NBA 2K League 5v5 concluded Season 5 last Saturday. The tournament found its champions after Bucks Gaming defeated Wizards District Gaming in the finals. Bucks’ Artreyo “Dimez” Boyd was named the Finals MVP.
The win marked the first-ever NBA 2K League triumph for Dimez and co. The team brought home the first-place prize of $500,000. Wizards failed to claim its third consecutive championship after being defeated 3-1.
Bucks’ journey to winning Season 5
Leading to the finals, Bucks had to take on the championship’s best offensive team, Warriors Gaming. Bucks defeated Warriors before extending their win over the Western Conference top shot, T-wolves Gaming, 77-67 on August 26.
Bucks faced Wizards the following day. The team had only a single point behind the leading 76ers Gc, and its roster was confident in taking on Bucks, whose 11 points were only enough to get them in third place in the West.
All four games of the final took place on August 27. Bucks were quick to take over the lead by winning the first two games—63-50 in Game 1 and 76-66 in the following game. The team almost had a complete sweep until Wizards bounced back to claim a 66-61 win in Game 3.
Wizards’ Justin “Kapp” Kaplan led the team in the offense, racking up a team-high 21 points and 12 assists. Kapp and co. had the upper hand in Game 3 despite Bucks taking over the first quarter.
In Game 4, it was apparent from the start that Wizards would lose the game after trailing 14 points behind early in the first quarter when Bucks recorded 22 points. In the remaining quarters, Wizards displayed a dominant performance, going over 15 points while Bucks made lower. However, it was too late for a comeback, and the reigning champ lost the game 61-58.
Finding best play, celebrating win
Bucks rookie Michael “Cooks” Campbell said the team had to find a better offense play to take on Wizards, whose defense is ranked the best.
“When everybody asked me about this matchup, I told them we have a way better offense than they do. And we have the same defense if not better and that showed,” Cooks said.
“They have a really good defense, but our offensive firepower is just too much for them to hang with us in that game 4, and we just knew we had to lock in. Preparation was the big thing for us, we prepared hard for them and every other team in this playoffs.”
Dimez also celebrated being named Finals MVP. After competing for four years and being selected as the first overall pick in 2018, his hard labor finally bore fruit.
Before making his way to play for Bucks this year, Dimez had a stint with Mavs Gaming and Raptors Uprising Gc.
“It feels surreal, to be honest, it really has not me hit yet,” Dimez said. “It feels amazing. We worked really hard from management on down, to myself, my teammates.”
The team has been through several restructurings this year. Aside from Dimez, the team also signed Jeremy “Seese” Seese and Dawson ”dawsix” Thomas.
“This is the first year that all of us have been together. We just completely changed the coaching in less than six months so it doesn’t feel real,” Cooks explained.
“I still can’t believe we won a championship with a rookie back core, a power-forward who was on the worst team in the 2k league, and a center we traded for less than three months ago.”