Martinez is the First Player to Win the Award Twice this Season After Leading Hawks Talon to Undefeated Week and Clinching a Spot in the 3v3 Playoffs
The NBA 2K League announced that Hawks Talon Gaming’s Caesar “CEEZ” Martinez has been named the NBA 2K League Player of the Week for the week of July 17-23. CEEZ is the first player to receive the award twice during 2022, after having received it for games played through May 2-8 as well. CEEZ led Hawks Talon to an undefeated week during the 3v3 Seed Week portion of the schedule, which secured a spot in the NBA 2K League 3v3 Playoffs in August for Hawks Talon.
On July 19, Hawks Talon Gaming hosted Wizards District Gaming for an in-person showdown at ‘The Lab presented by Diggi Games by Georgia Lottery’ at the award-winning State Farm Arena. Hawks Talon defeated Wizards District, 3-1 behind 43 combined points and 12 assists from CEEZ over the four games. The following day, Hawks Talon Gaming defeated Knicks Gaming, 3-1 behind 63 points and six assists over the four games from Martinez. With the win over Knicks Gaming, Hawks Talon clinched their spot in Indianapolis for the NBA 2K League 3v3 Playoffs in August. In total, CEEZ averaged 13.3 points per game during the week.
“To win this award not once, but twice this season is something I am extremely proud of,” said Martinez. “I could not have done it without my teammates, and I think this award recognizes our team’s success more than anything. I’m glad people are taking notice of what is happening here in Atlanta.”
Martinez, in his second year in the NBA 2K League, was the first Hawks Talon player to receive the award when he won it in May. As the team’s point guard, he has been instrumental in helping the team secure positions in bracket play in Indianapolis for three straight regular season tournaments (Coinbase NBA2KL 3v3 SLAM OPEN, THE TURN powered by AT&T, Coinbase NBA 2KL 3v3 SWITCH OPEN) as well as for this year’s 3v3 NBA 2K League Playoffs in August.
Hawks Talon Gaming will cap off their Seed Weeks schedule with three games this week. Tonight, they will play Magic Gaming at 8 p.m. ET. Wednesday night Hawks Talon will square off with Bucks Gaming at 7 p.m. ET, and they will conclude Seed Weeks with a matchup against T-Wolves Gaming on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.
HAWKS TALON GC TO OPEN 2024 NBA 2K LEAGUE SEASON TONIGHT
Hawks Talon Will Begin 3v3 Gameplay During SLAM OPEN; Opening with Matches Against Nets GC and Cavs Legion GC.
Hawks Talon GC, the official NBA 2K League affiliate of the Atlanta Hawks, will begin the 2024 NBA 2K League season later tonight on Wednesday, Feb. 28, with matchups against Nets Gaming Club (6 p.m.) and Cavs Legion Gaming Club (7:30 p.m.) in 3v3 gameplay. All games throughout the season can be found on the NBA 2K League’s Twitch and Youtube channels. To find the full Hawks Talon schedule during SLAM OPEN, visit website.
Hawks Talon GC returns to the virtual court behind last year’s first overall pick, ‘MDS’, and four newcomers. In this year’s NBA 2K League Draft, Hawks Talon selected power forward Tyler ‘BaitPickk’ Montague with the 11th overall pick and four-year veteran Christopher ‘Duck’ Charles with the 35th overall pick. Prior to the draft in September, the team also acquired Ludlow ‘LOW’ Samuels and Elijah ‘UNDERRATEDGOAT’ Spears in separate trades.
“We are really happy with the group of guys we have this year,” said Hawks Talon Head Coach Ismael ‘MAELO’ Diaz-Tolentino. “The team has been working hard to get ready for these matchups and we are confident that we will accomplish many great things together. We have solid vets in ‘LOW’, ‘UNDERRATEDGOAT’, and ‘Duck’. These are players that have won in this league and understand what it takes. Additionally, the evolution of ‘MDS’ and the incredible potential rookie ‘BaitPickk’ has shown makes me feel very confident in this team’s ability to succeed.”
All 3v3 tournaments will be played beginning on February 28 and will run through April 27. This will include the SLAM OPEN, SWITCH OPEN, STEAL OPEN, and the 3v3 NBA 2K League Playoffs presented by Google Pixel. The 3v3 format will include five groups of five with mixed conferences for group play, and double elimination bracket play. At the end of one week of group play in each tournament, all 25 NBA 2K League teams and seven community teams will advance to a 32-team double elimination bracket, which will take place over two weeks.
The STEAL OPEN is the last chance qualifier for 3v3 playoffs and will feature 15 teams plus one amateur team from an open qualifier. It will feature over two days of single-elimination bracket play, with the top two teams advancing to the 3v3 playoffs.
Following the conclusion of all 3v3 tournaments, 5v5 gameplay will commence, beginning on May 8 and running through June 29. 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 presented by Google Pixel. 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 two teams from each group will advance to in-person bracket play in Washington, D.C.
Similar to THE STEAL, THE TICKET is the last chance qualifier for 5v5 playoffs and will feature 15 teams over two days of single-elimination bracket play. The top team from each conference will then advance to the 5v5 playoffs.
To stay up to date on Hawks Talon Gaming Club, visit HawksTalonGC and follow the team’s social channels on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Gen.G and University of Kentucky Bring Back Award Winning Conference “Campus Takeover” Designed to Drive the Future of Collegiate Esports
Global esports and gaming organization Gen.G and the University of Kentucky (UK) are bringing back their award winning collegiate esports industry conference, Campus Takeover, on March 30 and April 6. This two-day event will bring together esports professionals with students and administrators from different universities. UK continues to pave the way as an esports ecosystem leader in the SEC and Midwest region.
Campus Takeover Day 1 is a student-focused event leading up to the professional conference, and will be live-streamed at twitch.tv/universityofky on March 30 starting at 4:30 PM EST. Campus Takeover Day 2, the flagship professional conference, will be hosted at the Don & Cathy Jacobs Science Building on the University of Kentucky campus on April 6, starting at 10:00 AM EST.
“Since we started this event, we had a responsibility to uphold what future students expect of the University of Kentucky when it comes to their budding esports careers. There’s a lot expected about the future of gaming and esports, and we want to make sure our students are well equipped to be that expected change for years to come,” Heath Price, Associate Chief Information Officer at University of Kentucky, said.
Additionally, many esports professionals hailing from different segments of esports business will participate in various panels during Campus Takeover. The panels and discussions will cover a bevy of topics, including how to maximize your time when looking for new jobs, a conversation around esports, influencers, business, and video games, a look at intersectionality in games, and much more. Other clubs and programs will also be welcome to have tables within the Atrium during Campus Takeover, so even newer students get to see everything UK has to offer.
“University of Kentucky has been our long term collegiate partner; their investment in this community allows us to have a small hand in making sure the future of gaming and esports is secure. We all want to see this industry thrive, and we hope Campus Takeover is a stepping stone for other schools to form their own ways to develop the collegiate esports ecosystem,” Martin Kim, Chief Revenue Officer at Gen.G, said.
Campus Takeover was recognized at the 2023 Esports & Gaming Business Summit Tempest Awards, where it won the award for the Collegiate Esports Program of the Year.
ESL FACEIT Group and Znipe Esports reveal FACEIT Watch: A cutting-edge, new digital streaming platform from esports fans for esports fans
Designed for the competitive gaming community and now open to all, FACEIT Watch is created to disrupt the esports content distribution model by putting users in control of their viewing experience.
Designed in collaboration with Znipe Esports, a technical partner, FACEIT Watch marks the first major product launch from FACEIT that moves beyond gameplay by offering its audience a unique streaming experience tailored to the user.
Featuring a unique multi-perspective view selector where users can watch their favorite player’s perspective directly next to the main event stream, it enables esports fans to pause and rewind, with access to killcams and live-generated replays of key moments and adjust the volume of caster and multi-perspective sounds, as well as disable spoilers, letting them personalize how they engage with FACEIT Watch streaming content.
Earlier this year, FACEIT announced its collaboration with Call of Duty 2024 Challengers Season and partnership with Overwatch, that aim to grow the community of competitive gamers and fans on its platform. The launch of FACEIT Watch will provide an unparalleled viewing experience and create a new way for users to connect and enjoy content with friends, bringing fans closer together. By enabling users to watch their favorite players’ perspectives and offering tools that mean they will never miss a play again, FACEIT Watch establishes a new environment where esports enthusiasts can discuss and debate, celebrate victories, and forge lasting connections.
“Our mission at EFG is to create worlds beyond gameplay. FACEIT Watch represents a new chapter for the platform as it moves beyond the ultimate competitive environment to play and provides players multiple ways to engage with their favorite games,” said Warren Leigh, Senior Vice President of Product, Digital Platforms, ESL FACEIT Group. “On the FACEIT platform, we’ve had unparalleled insight into the needs and nuances of this community for over a decade, and, together with Znipe Esports, we’ve designed FACEIT Watch to meet them. We look forward to hearing their feedback after Katowice and continuing to develop and optimize Watch with them.”
Johan Ryman, CEO, Znipe Esports, added: “We are honored and excited about being a part of this initiative from EFG and their commitment towards the esports community and looking forward to our combined efforts to create best in class esports streaming.”
Over 100,000 viewers have tuned in so far on FACEIT Watch during the play-ins of EFG’s flagship event, IEM Katowice, which culminates this weekend and will see the world’s best Counter-Strike 2 teams battle it out for a share of the $1,000,000 prize pool.
FACEIT Watch is now available to all at FACEIT.com. Tune in to see the Grand Final of IEM Katowice on the 11th of February on FACEIT. Watch at 17:00 CET.
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