Ahead of postseason play, this weekend marked the final week of regular season NBA 2K play in the HBCU Esports league.
Founded at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) League completed its first season during 2020-2021. The purpose of the league is to provide students at HBCUs with opportunities to compete and position themselves among the elite/upcoming talent in collegiate esports; featuring competition in NBA 2K, Madden NFL, Fortnite and Call of Duty. Though the original season of the HBCU Esports team saw 17 teams participate, the success of the league (headlined by Atlanta based non-profit Cxmmunity) has grown to include the participation of 35 HBCUs during the current season.
Founded by Ryan Johnson, Cxmmunity is driven by the mission to increase the participation of minorities in the esports sector. Though much of Cxmmunity’s notoriety stems from the success of the HBCU Esports League, heavy involvement is also seen in education (K-12); where partnerships with schools provide the opportunity for students to explore career pathways in esports and STEM fields. With the support of Cxmmunity in both the collegiate and secondary esports scenes, a new pipeline of esports talent now has a pathway into collegiate esports. Additionally, Cxmmunity has partnerships with some of the top organizations in the esport and video game industry including:
NBA 2K Week 16 (Series 1)
To begin the competition, Bowie State squared off versus Albany State; represented by “DevindaDude” (Golden State Warriors) and Savion “iLL Hoodie” Sneed (Milwaukee Bucks). Entering the 4th quarter, both teams were tied at a score of 41-41 with just under 4 minutes remaining. Back-to-back 3 pointers (Khris Middleton, Bobby Portis Jr.) sent the Bucks (iLL Hoodie) on a 18-9 run to closeout the game; which iLL Hoodie won 59-50. Entering the 4th quarter of game two, iLL Hoodie led 51-36 and ended the game with a decisive 70-45 win. A dominant performance by iLL Hoodie capped statement wins for this season; as he sits at a 5-1 record heading into the playoffs.
NBA 2K Week 16 (Series 2)
The second matchup of the day would see Claflin University (vSportss) vs Fayetteville State (TNP Molly) square off; where both players made the interesting choice to use the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James was used heavily by both players (69 pts between the two teams) in a back and forth match; with a score of 37-35 heading into the 4th. TNP Molly would secure the win for Fayetteville State secured with a score of 55-47.
In the potential series closeout game, TNP Molly would change up his team selection and use the Milwaukee Bucks; headlined by Giannis Antetokounmpo (21 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists). Proving a costly selection, vSportss stayed with the Lakers and sealed the win with a free throw by Carmelo Anthony. In a last attempt, Antetokounmpo (TNP Molly) made an alley-oop just after the buzzer (with final score 44-42). For the final game of the series, vSportss again used the Lakers and TNP Molly went with the Bucks. After holding a lead as high as 11 points (21-10) towards the end of the 3rd quarter vSportss changed his strategy; using James to drive into the lane and close out the game in an aggressive manner. Claflin University (vSportss) would secure a 33-22 win with the Lakers to clinch the series.
With regular season play of NBA 2K in the HBCU Esports League wrapping up, the focus will turn to upcoming Madden ‘22 competition this Wednesday night. Both titles will begin their playoff series (quarterfinals) when play resumes on March 23rd.
Featured image courtesy of HBCU Esports