10 Finalists Remain for 2020 USA Basketball E-National Team
-- Official USA Basketball E-National Team to be Announced Monday –
The USA Basketball E-National Team trials have concluded following a second day of action that saw teams shuffled and each gamer played two games over the first half of Sunday’s trials. Following a break, during which time the panelists pared the list of players from 30 to 10 finalists, two additional games were played to cap the inaugural USA gaming trials.
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“I think the weekend went great,” said ALittleLady87 (Wendi Fleming/BallHerAlert), one of the 10 finalists. “I won most of my games, and I think I played well and contributed as much as necessary. I tried to be a great teammate and do whatever my team needed.”
In addition to ALittleLady87, the finalists include Arooks (Aaron Rookwood/Bucks Gaming); Crush (Rafel Davis/Kings Guard Gaming); FEAST (Mihad Feratovic/T-Wolves Gaming); icygrl (Brianna Novin/BallHerAlert); JBM (John Mascone/Wizards District Gaming); Kenny Got Work (Kenneth Hailey/Raptors Uprising GC); OriginalMalik (Malik Hobson/Knicks Gaming); Ramo (Ramo Radoncic/Pistons GT); and Ria (Spencer Wyman/Jazz Gaming).
“There was some pressure, definitely more than some tournaments because it’s a bigger opportunity,” added ALittleLady87. “But it made it more exciting and made me try harder. The last two games, I definitely went into those games thinking more about it. I was looking at my team. Just knowing that the teams were so evenly balanced, it made it that much more competitive. It was a fun weekend. Even though there was the pressure, it was a lot of fun.”
The seven-member, mixed-gender USA gaming squad that will represent the United States at the FIBA Esports Open II in the North and Central American Conference on Dec. 19-20, will be announced on Monday, Nov. 9.
Team selections are being made by the USA Basketball E-National Team Selection Panelists, featuring NBA 2K League community ambassador Graham Borden; Wizards District Gaming team manager Patrick Crossan; Utah Jazz Gaming coach Jelani Mitchell; Aerial Powers, a 2015 World University Games gold medalist and a forward with the WNBA Washington Mystics; and Andrea Travelstead, USA Basketball Youth & Sport Development assistant director..The USA will tip-off virtually in the FIBA Esports Open against gaming teams from Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras and Puerto Rico for the right to be crowned conference champions.
While this will be USA Basketball’s first foray into esports, the tournament will mark the second edition of the FIBA Esports Open, the first of which took place in June and included five conferences featuring 114 gamers from 17 national federations. The FIBA Esports Open II field has been expanded to 38 national teams in seven regional conference.
Each national team will consist of up to seven players, five on the court and two reserves. Games will be played remotely on NBA 2K21 using the Pro-AM mode and allowing for customization of gamer avatars and uniforms.
The North & Central Americas Conference games will stream live on FIBA’s YouTube, Twitch and Facebook channels.
Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia conferences will be played Nov. 14-15, the Europe Conference is scheduled for Dec. 12-13 and the South America Conference will be held Dec. 19-20.
As was the case for the inaugural FIBA Esports Open, this entire series will be produced from the FIBA Esports Studio in Riga, Latvia, with 54 hours of live content being streamed on FIBA's Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels. Each game will be available online with live commentary in English, as well as a daily show featuring up to 12 games.