SAN ANTONIO — The start of the 2021 NBA 2K League playoffs did not have any power, literally.
Ahead of the opening-round playoff series, a power outage hit the Dallas esports arena, home of Mavs Gaming, which delayed the start of the series between Jazz Gaming and Blazer5 Gaming.
But, once the power was back there was some intense energy from Jazz Gaming’s Splash Edition.
Heading into the contest, Blazer5 had Jazz Gaming’s number throughout the regular season. Whether it be during in-season tournaments or games which cost the Jazz players a prize purse, the team wanted to beat their nemesis and did exactly that.
Jazz Gaming sent Blazer5 to an early offseason thanks in large part to Splashy and his willingness to let the opponent know their time was over.
The popular professional esports player did not hold back his emotions as the second ticked off the clock versus Blazer5.
“It’s amazing because every time you make a play, you make a shot whether it’s wide open or contested, or you make a good read you can let the other team know,” Splashy said.
He definitely let Blazer5 know as he got in their faces and had to be held back by his own teammates.
“When you let the other team know, they’re not going to do it again,” Splashy said about his trash talking. “I tell them, ‘You’re trash,’ and being on stage is a whole new experience and I love it.”
Perhaps it was the stage atmosphere that fueled Splashy’s energy.
This playoff run for the league is the first time there’s been in-person competition since the pandemic.
All players relished in it but none more than Splashy.
Coach Jelani Mitchell had no issues with his player showing intense emotion.
“You got to let your pit bull go sometimes,” Mitchell said. “Sometimes you can’t restrict your players.”
Mitchell appreciates his player’s passion but for him, it is not just about that. He praises Splashy for taking instruction even when emotions are high.
“At the end of the game he took some bad shot,” Mitchell said. “I help him accountable and told him about it and that’s it and we move on.”
Said Mitchell: “I check him when he needs to be checked. Checks and balances. For the most part, I let him do his thing.”
Splashy will have to maintain that contagious energy for his team as the playoffs continue for Jazz Gaming.
Their next opponent is a tough Pacers Gaming squad with a bevy of players who talk their brand of trash on the court.
Spurs fans can check out all the NBA 2K League playoff action by visiting the league’s Twitter page.