After a decades-long drought in New York, the Knicks have finally delivered a championship ... in gaming.
Knicks Gaming knocked off Heat Check 2-0 on Saturday to become the inaugural NBA 2K League champions, despite being tabbed as an underdog entering the event. It's the first championship trophy for the Knicks since they won the NBA championship in 1973.
The Knicks were so far back in the standings that they had to win a tournament late in the gaming season just to earn a playoff spot in the first year of the NBA's venture into esports. They then knocked off the top-seeded Blazers, and capped off their magical run by sweeping Heat Check Gaming, first with a 69-66 win and then a 74-71 title game to bring it home.
The NBA 2K League is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league, and it featured 17 teams in its first season. The Lakers, Nets, Timberwolves and Hawks have all committed to joining next season, meaning that two-thirds of the league's franchises will be represented with teams of gamers moving forward.
"We expect this to be a global league," NBA 2K League managing director Brendan Donohue told the Associated Press on Saturday.
"That is on our game plan, though when that happens it's not definitive. But that is our goal."