Handlez, the only non-NBA 2K League team to qualify for the playoff of the Switch Open, rallied from a two-game deficit to beat Knicks Gaming 3-2 on Thursday and advance to the quarterfinals.
In three-on-three action at the NBA 2K League Studio in Indianapolis, the Knicks looked to be in control following 22-15 and 21-17 wins. However, Handlez took the next three games 23-19, 23-20 and 23-19.
Handlez, consisting of NotEliteShooter, KazeTheLock and xmiami2k, became the first "community" team to earn a victory at the new NBA 2K League Studio. Their reward is a quarterfinal matchup with Wizards District Gaming, who won the season's first three-on-three event, the Slam Open.
The Wizards beat Handlez 3-2 in the round of 16 at the Slam Open.
In other round-of-16 Switch Open action on Thursday, Celtics Crossover Gaming eliminated Jazz Gaming 3-1, Pacers Gaming downed Heat Check Gaming 3-0 and Pistons GT beat Hornets Venom GT 3-1.
The Friday quarterfinal matchups are:
--Wizards District Gaming vs. Handlez
--Celtics Crossover Gaming vs. NetsGC
--Pacers Gaming vs. Cavs Legion GC
--Pistons GT vs. Bucks Gaming
The 32-team field began with 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 consisted of three NBA 2K League teams and one amateur or community team. The top two teams in each group advanced to the round of 16, which is being held in person in Indianapolis.
The round of 16 also featured best-of-five matches, while the quarterfinals, semifinals and final will be best-of-seven. The winning team will receive $60,000 from the Switch Open's $150,000 prize pool.
--Field Level Media