Utah Jazz Gaming lose in NBA 2k League Finals

Utah Jazz part owner Dwyane Wade and Ronnie 2K (John Sciulli/Getty Images for NBA 2K20)
Utah Jazz part owner Dwyane Wade and Ronnie 2K (John Sciulli/Getty Images for NBA 2K20) /

Sometimes, a tough road only leads to a hard place, and that’s exactly what happened to Utah Jazz Gaming as they suffered a 3-0 sweep in the finals of the NBA 2k League at the hands of Wizards District Gaming. It was an emotional season for Utah Jazz Gaming, as team member Yeah I Compete’s brother passed away. While the team was unable to claim the ultimate prize in his memory, a loss in the finals to recently crowned back-to-back champions Wizards District Gaming is still quite the accomplishment.

Utah Jazz Gaming’s star player, Splash Edition, did enter the penultimate series of the tournament with loftier ambitions.

“Hopefully I can capitalize, win this tournament, and then go into league and make a splash there and that’s the best year you can have,” said the 2k athlete.

Obviously, it didn’t pan out that way. Still, the members of Utah Jazz Gaming will split a second-place award of $180 000: a far cry from the whopping $450,000 prize awarded to the first-place team, but still a heftier sum than most of these young men likely anticipated earning from video games in their lifetimes.

Esports are gaining increasing influence and prestige among basketball lovers. Each member of Utah Jazz Gaming seems to recognize that there are more eyes on them now than they ever could have expected throughout history, and each hopes to capitalize on that moment. According to Splash Edition, that means winning a 2k League championship before the Utah Jazz bring home their first Larry O’Brien trophy.

“Maybe everybody in Utah is gonna become fans of us now if we were to win a title before the real Jazz” mused Splash Edition at a recent press conference.

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It’s hard to imagine the people of Salt Lake City prioritizing an Esports championship over an NBA title for their beloved Utah Jazz. Still, based on the increasing popularity of 2k, it might be a consolation prize for some.