Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, today announced that they have protected Caesar Martinez (CEEZ) and Juan Gonzalez (HOTSHOT) from the upcoming NBA 2K League Expansion Draft, set to take place on Nov. 10. All protected players are ineligible to be selected in the expansion draft.
“Protecting CEEZ and HOTSHOT helps us maintain the anchors of our team coming into Season Six,” said Hawks Talon GC Director of Esports Wesley Acuff. “We are very excited with the prospect of building around them and continuing the momentum we gained last season.”
CEEZ, Hawks Talon’s 2021 first-round draft pick, returns to Hawks Talon Gaming for his third season as the only NBA 2K League player to win the league’s Player of the Week award twice last season. His 27.2 points per game led the entire league during THE TURN. HOTSHOT was acquired via a trade with Heat Check Gaming prior to Season Five and played the center position for Hawks Talon Gaming. A five-year veteran of the league, HOTSHOT’s skills on both ends of the floor were instrumental in helping to lead Hawks Talon Gaming to its most successful year, advancing to bracket play in three of the four regular season tournaments.
During the expansion draft, held on Nov. 10, the newly announced NBL Oz Gaming (Australia) will select players for their inaugural season. In the weeks following the expansion draft, each of the 24 teams that competed in 2022 will have the opportunity to retain additional players. Teams will retain players by forfeiting draft picks in the 2023 Draft. Subject to NBA 2K League rules and satisfaction of all applicable requirements, all players who are not retained will be automatically eligible for the 2023 Draft.
Whether Hawks Talon does or does not have a player selected in the expansion draft, the team can retain a first additional player by forfeiting a third-round draft pick and can retain a second additional player by forfeiting a second-round draft pick. Hawks Talon will retain their first overall pick via winning the recent draft lottery in the upcoming 2023 NBA 2K League Draft.
HAWKS TALON GC FALL TO 76ERS GC IN FRONT OF FANS IN ATLANTA ON SUNDAY
On Sunday evening, Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, hosted Atlanta rapper Kid Saiyan on stream as part of the second installment this season of the team’s award-winning Talon Takeover content series. The stream served as a pregame show before the Hawks Talon’s in-person 5v5 matchup with 76ers GC as part of group play in THE TURN in the NBA 2K League. Hawks Talon hosted fans, friends, and family to witness the competition in person. 76ers GC ultimately came away with the win, 66-61.
“Competition is a part of my DNA and is what drives my fuel for gaming,” said Kid Saiyan. “It was awesome to play 2K with Hawks Talon GC today.”
Kid Saiyan, an Atlanta rapper and son of Atlanta legend T.I., is a recording artist, avid gamer, and Pokémon card collector. He recently appeared at “Hot 107.9 Birthday Bash” at the award-winning State Farm Arena, joining his father as a surprise guest. His most recent project, Wild Rock$tar$, featured Lil Keed and Matt Ox, among others, and he is currently working on new music to be released this year.
He joined the stream to talk about his love for gaming and play NBA 2k with members of Hawks Talon, as well as talk about his music, Atlanta, and more.
“We are grateful to everybody that came out to support us in-person and for all the work done behind the scenes to make another in-person game happen,” said Hawks Talon Director of Esports Wesley Acuff. “We pride ourselves on reaching our fans in new ways each season and having them at our facility is always impactful for us.”
On the virtual court, Hawks Talon and 76ers GC engaged in a back-and-forth affair. MarkDavid Smith (MDS) led both teams with 31 points (13-20 FG), but it was ultimately not enough as the 76ers GC outscored Hawks Talon 28-24 in the second half to secure the win.
In 2020, Hawks Talon announced the creation of the one-of-a-kind content series called Talon Takeover which features celebrities, entertainers and influencers playing various popular video games. The Talon Takeover content series earned the NBA 2K League’s Team Business Award for Best Livestream Program in March 2021. The first installment of the 2023 season featured Memphis crunk rapper Duke Deuce on May 23.
HAWKS TALON GC ADVANCE TO WASHINGTON, D.C. FOR SLAM OPEN BRACKET PLAY
Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, will face off with Cavs Legion on stage in Washington, D.C. after defeating Heat Check Gaming (3-2) and Team Handlez (3-1) in the first stages of bracket play of the SLAM OPEN. Hawks Talon is 2-0 in the double elimination tournament, and advanced to the stage as one of the top 12 teams remaining in the competition. Their matchup with Cavs Legion will come on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:45 p.m. ET. The game can be followed on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch or YouTube channel.
“Being back on stage as one of the best teams in the tournament is huge for us. The guys have worked hard to get to this point and their reward is the chance to compete for a banner in front of the NBA 2K fans,” said Hawks Talon Head Coach Ismael Diaz-Tolentino. “I believe that our team performs best on stage and I’m excited to see this group play this Wednesday.”
The three players who have represented Hawks Talon in 3v3 format so far are: Caesar “CEEZ” Martinez, Sam “GRADIENT” Salyers, and Juan “HOTSHOTx305” Gonzalez. The team competed remotely from The Lab presented by Diggi Games by Georgia Lottery, located in the award-winning State Farm Arena.
In a new format this year, 3v3 tournaments will include double elimination bracket play and no conferences. At the end of two weeks of group play in each tournament, all 25 NBA 2K League teams will advance to a 32-team remote bracket play for the first week, with the 12 top-performing NBA 2K League and Community teams remaining advancing to in-person bracket play in Washington, D.C. for the following week. The top eight teams in winners bracket and the top four teams in losers bracket will form the 12 teams who are invited to DC for on stage competition.
HAWKS TALON GC OPEN 2023 NBA 2K LEAGUE SEASON ON THURSDAY, MARCH 9
Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, will begin the 2023 NBA 2K League season on Thursday, March 9 with matchups against Celtics Crossover Gaming (6:45 p.m. ET) and Kings Guard Gaming (8:15 p.m. ET) in 3v3 gameplay. All games throughout the season can be found on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and Youtube channels.
In the recently announced 2023 NBA 2K League season structure, all 3v3 tournaments will be played beginning on March 8 and will run through May 13. This will include the SLAM OPEN, SWITCH OPEN and STEAL OPEN, and the 3v3 NBA 2K League Playoffs. The 3v3 format will include double elimination bracket play and no conferences. At the end of two weeks of group play in each tournament, all 25 NBA 2K League teams will advance to a 32-team remote bracket play for the first week, with the 12 top-performing NBA 2K League and Community teams remaining advancing to in-person bracket play in Washington, D.C. for the following week.
Following the conclusion of all 3v3 tournaments, 5v5 gameplay will commence, beginning on May 23 and running through Aug. 5. The 5v5 format will follow last season’s traditional format with conferences and single elimination bracket play and will include THE TIPOFF, THE TURN, THE TICKET, and the 5v5 NBA 2K League Playoffs. During two weeks of group play, teams will face off in smaller groups (three groups of six teams, one group of seven) within their conferences. After group play, the top four teams from each group will advance to bracket play, the first week of which will be played remotely. The best eight teams from that original group of 16 will then advance to in-person bracket play in Washington, D.C.
Hawks Talon GC returns to the virtual court on the back of their most successful year in 2022, having advanced to bracket play in three of four regular season tournaments and making the 3v3 NBA 2K League Playoffs for the first time in franchise history. On Jan. 26, Hawks Talon drafted Mark David Smith (MDS) with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA 2K League Draft. The team also traded for 2022 NBA 2K League All-Star Sam Salyers (GRADIENT) and drafted DeJuan Queen (HIDEJUAN) with the 37th pick. The three new additions join Caesar Martinez (CEEZ), who won Player of the Week honors twice last season, and Juan Gonzalez (HOTSHOT), a five-year NBA 2K League veteran and 2019 All-NBA 2K League Second Team member acquired prior to the 2022 season.
Wamba Technologies Announces Gamers Oasis: A Patented eSports Platform with In-Game Wagering
Nordcurrent turns players into fashion designers with UGC marketplace
Digital Gaming Corporation Expands Partnership with Caesars Digital into Pennsylvania
UltraPlay at SiGMA Europe Summit, Malta 2023
SIS sponsors Confraternity Cup on Caribbean Classic day at Hipódromo Presidente Remón Racecourse
Seminole Tribe of Florida and Dozens of A-list Celebrities Welcome a “New Era” in Florida Gaming Introducing Craps, Roulette and Sports Betting at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood on December 7
Vixio PaymentsCompliance Forms Executive Advisory Board
80% Bets Made Mobile: SOFTSWISS Sportsbook Q3’23 Overview
BETBY crowned best Mobile Sportsbook Provider at the 2023 SiGMA Europe Awards
Six Major Affiliates Form RGAA to Protect Consumers and Advocate Responsible Gambling
News6 years ago
Softbroke collaborates with Asia Live Tech for the expansion of the service line in the igaming market
EEG iGaming Directory7 years ago
iSoftBet continues to grow with new release Forest Mania
News5 years ago
Super Bowl LIII: NFL Fans Can Bet on the #1 Sportsbook Review Site Betting-Super-Bowl.com, Providing Free Unbiased and Trusted News, Picks and Predictions
iGaming Industry6 years ago
Rick Meitzler appointed to the Indian Gaming Magazine Advisory Board for 2018
News5 years ago
REVEALED: Top eSports players set to earn $3.2 million in 2019
iGaming Industry6 years ago
French Senator raises Loot Boxes to France’s Gambling Regulator
News6 years ago
Exclusive Interview with Miklos Handa (Founder of the email marketing solutions, “MailMike.net”), speaker at Vienna International Gaming Expo 2018
News5 years ago
iGaming experts Bojoko analyse female representation in film