As we wrap up 2022, Wizards District Gaming is proud to look back on a fantastic year. Even though we weren’t able to secure a third consecutive championship, making it back to the NBA 2K League Finals for a third year in a row is a huge accomplishment. Led by Head Coach and General Manager Patrick Crossan, we were able to retain four members from 2021’s championship team. This year the league introduced 3v3 gameplay into the competition, adding a new element, additional tournaments and a higher prize pool for the league. All in-person tournament play was hosted in Indianapolis this year kicking off with the presentation of our Season 4 championship rings at the TIPOFF Tournament. In May, Wizards District Gaming went on to win the NBA 2K League’s first-ever 3v3 tournament, the Coinbase SLAM OPEN, sweeping DUX Infinitos 4-0 in the best-of-seven series finals. The competition victory was the first in-season tournament championship in five seasons for the franchise. In June, Wizards District Gaming defeated the first place T-Wolves Gaming in a grueling semifinals series of THE TURN and landed a spot in the tournament finals against 76ers GC. Wizards District Gaming qualified for the postseason in both 3v3 and 5v5 modes, finishing first in the Eastern Conference in 3v3 standings and second in the East in 5v5.
New for this season, the NBA 2K League playoffs and finals were broadcasted across NBATV, Stadium: Stadium is Sinclair’s sports property, and B/R Gaming in addition to the league’s YouTube and Twitch channels, totaling over 4.7 M unique viewers including a single-day record 2.2 M unique viewers during the 5v5 Finals. Showing the team’s versatility and competitiveness, Wizards District Gaming was the only team to make it to the Finals of both the 3v3 and 5v5 Championships. Even though we didn’t take home the championship trophies, Wizards District Gaming did take home over $417,000 in prize money, the second highest in the league for Season 5. Adding to our grand total of $1.4 M, the most prize money in the history of the league and more than double the second highest-earning team in the league.
The end of season awards continued to roll in for Wizards District Gaming! As voted on by the fans, Brandon Richardson (B Rich) won Play of the Year for an incredible buzzer beater, series-winning shot against Knicks Gaming in the quarterfinals of The TURN. Justin Howell (Just Awkward) and Ryan Conger (Dayfri) were selected as NBA 2K League All-Stars for the second consecutive season and with WDG winning the Eastern Conference in 5v5, Head Coach Patrick Crossan was the Head Coach for the Eastern Conference All-Star team for the second straight year as well. Coach Pat was also selected as a finalist for Coach of the Year. Wizards District Gaming won the Fan Engagement Award for outstanding fan engagement through community service, local business initiatives and/or social media. Just Awkward and Dayfri were both finalists for Defensive Player of the Year, named to the All-2K League Defensive Team and the All-2K League First Team. To top it all off, Dayfri was named Defensive Player of the Year and MVP! Wizards District Gaming walked away with the most nominations and awards won in the entire NBA 2K League.
Wizards District Gaming went worldwide to get the off-season started! While half the team was putting on a show at the NBA 2K League All-Star Game in Los Angeles, the other half comprised of Justin Kaplan (Kapp) and Antonio Newman (Newdini), accompanied the Washington Wizards to the NBA Global Games in Tokyo, Japan. The guys enjoyed taking in the Global Games and represented Monumental and the 2K League in leading an esports activation and gaming station at Tamagawa University alongside the Washington Wizards and Washington Mystics. This off-season Wizards District Gaming also announced the retirement of Dayfri and that we have retained Kapp, Just Awkward, and Newdini going into the 2023 season. We are excited for many exiting announcements heading into next season and are eager to move into our new home at District E very soon!