SAN ANTONIO — Jazz Gaming punched their ticket to the 2021 NBA 2K League Championship and are looking to secure the franchise’s first title.
Despite being crowned the league’s 2021 Western Conference Champions, the team was overlooked to start the season, and Jazz Gaming's Shaka “Compete” Browne completely understands.
However, instead of pointing fingers at naysayers, he looked inward at the team and its subpar start.
“We started out and didn’t live up to expectations early," Browne said. "Last season we were 14-2, made the semi-finals in tournaments. We had a dominant run.”
Coming into the 2021 season, Jazz Gaming was tabbed as a frontrunner for a deep postseason run but the start of the regular season saw its ups and downs.
It was not indicative of a team poised to be in the championship round and Browne sums up exactly what went wrong: The team was not in a good spot.
“We came out this year and we were mediocre. We weren’t great defensively,” said Browne. “We didn’t trust each other.”
Said Browne: “It was just a lot of one-on-one type of things that we didn’t play as a team.”
Perhaps that stumble out of the gates is exactly what Jazz Gaming needed.
It took a proverbial swift kick in the butt to shake them out of mediocrity in the poor start to the season and the bad start ended with a much-needed team meeting midseason.
And it certainly appears to be the cure for Browne and Jazz Gaming as they are now on the verge of being called “champions.”
“Coming back from the break that’s when we really sat down as a team,” said Browne. “We talked about everything on the team that we weren’t good at.”
Jazz Gaming will have the opportunity to look back on a season filled with highs and lows as champs but will have to get past the defending champs, Wizards District Gaming.
It won’t be an easy task and the pressure will be enormous.
Wizards District Gaming are undefeated in postseason play and boast the best record in the regular season.
In addition, the winning team will walk away not only as champions but take home a prize pool of $1.08 million.
Jazz Gaming will enter the best-of-five series versus Wizards District Gaming on with spirits high and Browne sees that as key.
“We worked on it and we’re peaking at the right time,” he said.
The NBA 2K League Finals are scheduled for Sept. 4 and Spurs fans can visit the league’s Twitter page to find out how to watch.