- Staff Writer for ESPN.com
- Reports across multiple games, including League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty.
- Specializes in investigative reporting
The NBA 2K Players Tournament is over and Devin Booker is the best NBA 2K20 player in the league.
Booker defeated Deandre Ayton 2-0 in an all-Phoenix Suns final on ESPN on Saturday night, earning bragging rights and a $100,000 donation to a charity of his choice for coronavirus relief. Booker went undefeated in the bracket over the past two weeks, defeating Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., Washington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura and LA Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell prior to meeting Ayton in the finals.
The final two matches saw Booker pick the Houston Rockets in the first game and the Nuggets in the second; Ayton chose the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks, respectively. Using the Rockets, Booker defeated Ayton 72-62 in Game 1, then in Game 2 beat Ayton 74-62 with the Nuggets.
Booker did not play the Suns during the tournament, saying on Twitter on April 5 that his NBA 2K20 recreation was “messed up.” Ayton did play the Suns in a semifinal matchup versus Clippers guard Patrick Beverley. Ayton won that match and took the series over Beverley 2-0 to advance to the finals.
“I said in the beginning that it was going to be Deandre and I in the championship — and that’s the way it ended up,” said Booker, who split his charity winnings between Direct Relief and the Arizona Food Bank Network
During the tournament, Booker netted five double-digit victories, including the two against Ayton. The other three came against Harrell, Hachimura and Porter.
With the win, Booker maintained his reputation as one of the best gamers in the NBA. A member of esports team 100 Thieves, Booker often livestreams on Twitch, and with the suspension of the NBA season has been live more frequently on the platform. Booker has competed in tournaments in Call of Duty and appeared on streams teaming with 100 Thieves’ founder, former Call of Duty pro player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag.
“I played a lot growing up,” Booker said. “It’s all about timing and eye coordination.”
Saturday night capped the 2K Players Tournament that saw 16 players from various NBA teams compete online over the past two weeks. The event featured Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant, Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young, Portland Trail Blazers center Hassan Whiteside and more. On the first night, 16th-seeded Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. upset Durant, the No. 1 seed, and Beverley went viral for trash-talking Whiteside in their matchup.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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