The Atlanta Hawks Talon Gaming Club have now won two straight games after a brief midseason malaise. They have secured these victories without Kwan Niblack Jr., who left the team after a personal tragedy. His teammates have rallied around him, dedicating the season to Niblack Jr.
“It’s been sad that he’s been gone. He brings a different type of energy you don’t appreciate till it’s gone,” Mykel “Kel” Wilson said.
“He’s like a glue guy, but we’re going to dedicate the season to him, and we’re going to finish the season with wins in our last two game and go into the Ticket 8-8.”
Talon GC have relied on their depth to replace Niblack’s energy and defensive acumen, with Andrew “MrStylez” Valle taking the mantle of lockdown defender. Wilson said Valle’s experience with the game contributes to his steady play as the defensive stopper of the team.
“Stylez has been playing 2K for a long time, and with the lockdown position, it is based more on IQ than skill,” Wilson said. “If you have a lot of IQ, then lockdown is a great position for you.”
Other standouts on the team include Derrion “Arkelle” Elmore and Levi “Lee” Lamb, who play guard and center respectively. Lamb has been a revelation this season, leading the 2K league in FG percentage at over 70 percent.
“We’re kind of like Kobe and Shaq,” Elmore said. “Whenever BP is not dropping 40 or 50 or some crazy Allen Iverson numbers, me and Lee start working. We just play differently, and it just comes with the chemistry of us being roommates. He doesn’t make the wrong read very often.”
While the players have been gaming remotely for months now, Elmore said he is looking forward to being able to compete in actual venues rather than just his residence.
“I wish my first year was a better experience with travelling and everything,” Elmore said. “But our relationship has only gotten stronger in-game, but I was looking forward to going to New York and Vegas. But hey, I’m working at being back here, so I’m hoping the experience is better next year.”
On the other hand, Wilson is a veteran of the 2K circuit, but this season has been one characterized by his transformation into a team leader.
“My first year in the league was an adjustment period for me,” Wilson said. “It was different, since I’ve never travelled and I’m used to one type of thing. As I grew in the league, I matured as a person, and I knew that coming into my second season I knew that I had to prove something.”
“[Head coach] Wes Acuff told me that when he drafted me, he drafted me to not just be a shooting guard, but a leader. If you ever see me play on stage, I scream and I’m a big energy guy. I think that if we were on stage next season, we would be top three or top five.”
ABOUT TALON GC (copied from a team E-mail):
Hawks Talon GC is the Atlanta Hawks affiliate team in the NBA 2K League. Led by Head Coach Wesley Acuff, Hawks Talon GC was one of four expansions team in the second season of the NBA 2K League, a professional competitive gaming league co-founded by the NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO). The NBA 2K League features the best NBA 2K players in the world competing as unique characters in 5-on-5 play against other teams in a mix of regular season games, tournaments and playoffs. For more information on Hawks Talon GC, visit hawkstalongc.gg or follow the team on Twitter and Instagram.