Lakers Gaming cruised to a 3-0 win over Bucks Gaming on Thursday to earn a spot in the NBA 2K League's Slam Open.
Hawks Talon GC, Blazer5 Gaming and Grizz Gaming also advanced with best-of-five wins in the $150,000 tournament at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis.
The Hawks beat Knicks Gaming 3-1, Blazer5 ousted Cavs Legion GC 3-1, and the Grizz bounced Celtics Crossover Gaming 3-1.
The Friday quarterfinals are set, with the Lakers facing Blazer5, the Hawks tangling with the Grizz, Wizards District Gaming opposing Hornets Venom GT, and Pacers Gaming meeting DUX Infinitos.
The 32-team Slam Open field included all 24 NBA 2K League squads plus eight other teams: amateur trios that advanced through qualifying plus "community" teams featuring 2K social-media influencers.
For remote group play, the field was divided into eight groups that each consist of three NBA 2K League teams and one amateur or community team. The top two teams in each group advanced to bracket play, which began Wednesday and runs through Saturday.
The round of 16 features best-of-five matches, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be best-of-seven. The winning team will receive $60,000.
The NBA 2K League season will run through August, with the focus on tournament play and qualifying events for tournaments. The traditional five-on-five tournaments are The Tipoff (season opener), The Turn (midseason) and The Ticket (late season).
The league is also adding a trio of three-on-three tournaments that will lead up to a three-on-three championship featuring a separate prize pool.
--Field Level Media