Esports

Golden Guardians announce expansion to three additional esports titles

Golden Guardians announce expansion to three additional esports titles

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Golden Guardians (GG), an esports affiliate of the Golden State Warriors, on Wednesday announced an expansion to compete in Apex Legends, Teamfight Tactics (TFT) and World of Warcraft (WoW). The brand will also continue to compete in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS). With this expansion, 10 competitors will begin streaming under the Golden Guardians brand including Rebecca “Becca” Cho, marking the second female esports professional signed by Warriors teams this year.

In addition to announcing three new titles, the Golden Guardians unveiled a new logo and color scheme for the four teams competing under the brand. 

“Our primary goal during this time of expansion of the Golden Guardians brand was to enter three unique and popular titles that will enhance our organizational reach,” said Hunter Leigh, Head of GSW Esports, LLC. “As we take the next step in our road to becoming an elite esports franchise, we are proud to say we now have five teams competing in some of the biggest games in the world.”

Apex Legends is a character-driven, squad-based battle royale shooter game where teams freefall from a dropship and must scavenge for weapons and resources while navigating a shrinking map in order to be the last group standing. Teamfight Tactics is a round-based strategy game created by Riot Games, the maker of League of Legends, that pits players against seven opponents in a free-for-all race to build the most powerful team to become the last person standing. World of Warcraft is a multiplayer online role-playing game where players progress custom avatars through exploration and conquest of the fantasy world of Azeroth and its many challenges, entities and landmarks.

“Expanding our esports portfolio is an integral part of growing the Warriors brand from just a basketball team to a sports and entertainment company,” said Kirk Lacob, Vice President of GSW Sports Ventures. “We are always looking for innovative ways to strengthen the footprint of our organization, and growing the Golden Guardians brand is a major aspect of that growth.” 

The Golden Guardians Apex Legends team includes streamers Timothy “iiTzTimmy” An, Deston “Bronzey” Nguyen and Devon “Pfitter” Self. An is a San Francisco native who joins the Golden Guardians at just 19 years old. Nguyen has numerous top-three tournament placements including first place finishes at the Dlive Tournament 1 and UGS Tournament. Self, a Bay Area native, has been competing in first-person shooter games for over eight years and competed in Twitch Rivals Road to Twitchcon earlier this year. In addition to Apex Legends, the team will also spend time competing in other battle royale games. 

Teamfight Tactics competitors include Andrew “TidesofTime” Biessener, Rebecca “Becca” Cho and Jeffrey “DeliciousMilkGG” Pan, who will stream under the Golden Guardians name in TFT and other autobattler and card games including Legends of Runeterra and Hearthstone. Biessener joins GG with experience as a professional Hearthstone and Dota 2 player, earning multiple tournament wins since he began competing in 2012. Cho made history as the first competitor to become a finalist at the following three Teamfight Tactics tournaments: Twitch Rivals, Teamfight Tactics Rise of the Elements Invitational and the Legends and Littles Charity TFT Tournament at All-Star 2019. Pan is currently ranked No. 1 in competitive TFT and finished Rank 1 in Set 1 earlier this year. 

GG’s World of Warcraft team is comprised of Carlos “Absterge” Correa, Jason “Pikaboo” Smith, Conner “Wizk” Torrence and Vincent “Jellybeans” Tran, a foursome that formerly founded The Move team that placed second at the Arena World Championship 2018. Correa has multiple first-place tournament wins to his name, including MGNwow Tournament and the GCDTV NA Spring Finals. Smith began playing professional WoW in 2014, making multiple top-four Blizzcon appearances since he began competing at the highest level. Torrence, a native of Houston, Texas, has been playing World of Warcraft since 2004 when he was just seven years old. Tran has placed in the top five in seven tournaments throughout North America and has won four cups.  

All new Golden Guardians competitors will continue to stream during their regularly scheduled time slots and will compete in various tournaments under the Golden Guardians name as they get announced. 

The Golden Guardians will aim to continue their expansion over the next several months with a focus on Rocket League and the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS), amongst other titles. 

Founded in 2017, the Golden Guardians are an esports affiliate of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. The Bay Area-based organization currently competes in Apex Legends, League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics and World of Warcraft. The Warriors also own and operate Warriors Gaming Squad, one of 23 teams who compete in the NBA 2K League. For more information on the Golden Guardians, visit goldenguardians.com. 

Bash shows he belongs on Kings Guard Gaming through heroics, hot start

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Kings Guard Gaming

Bash shows he belongs on Kings Guard Gaming through heroics, hot start

It all came down to one possession in Kings Guard Gaming's 60-58 win over Grizz Gaming on Friday. 

Kings Guard trailed by one point with 1.1 seconds remaining in the second game of a best-of-three series. They had the ball, and a chance at a game-winning -- and series-clinching -- shot.

Bash, the point guard, stood at the top of the arc and ran right. Drawing his defender into a screen, he cut back in the opposite direction, received the in-bound pass and pulled up for a 3-point shot.

A perfect shot.

A game-winning shot, the first of his NBA 2K League career.

His controller didn't stay in his hands much longer.

You probably wouldn't believe it if someone told you last season that Matt Robles, aka Bash, would come up clutch.

After all, he wasn't even drafted last season. Seventy-five selections were made across four rounds, and Robles' gamer tag wasn't called.

Now, he's out to prove them all wrong.

"I use it as motivation," he told NBC Sports Bay Area in an interview Thursday, prior to his game-winning heroics. "I was undrafted last year and I feel like I, 100 percent, could’ve helped a lot of teams last year that needed point guards. I feel like I could’ve been that person. So this year is my year to show people you missed out. I could’ve helped your team."

Kings Guard wouldn't make the same mistake twice. They drafted Bash with their second first-round pick (No. 17 overall) in February's draft.

"I feel like a lot of people doubted me, people slept on me from before the league," he said. "The day I heard my name get called people were like ‘Who’s that? Why is he being drafted so high?’ "

With his game-winning shot Friday and impressive numbers through the first three weeks of his rookie season, Bash is answering all the questions.

The point guard is averaging 20.7 points in 12 games over five separate series, leading Kings Guard to a 3-2 record.

Bash has always been known as a scorer. Even before he was drafted, people familiar with his game knew Bash as a shooting guard with an elite scoring touch.

What people and teams weren't sure about was if he could run the point.

"People knew my name before the League, they thought, 'he’s gonna score the ball, make him pass. If we make him pass, that’s where he’s not as comfortable,' " Bash said. "So coming into the league, now it’s like, I’m drafted as a point guard, so I can’t be known as that guard that’s just like, 'Alright, he’s just gonna score the ball and that’s it.' What I did was I watched a lot of other PGs play, to see the certain things they would do to break down defenses."

That studying seems to be paying off for Bash, who's averaging just over six assists per game.

Kings Guard Gaming has a lot of room to grow with Bash and two other rookies, Crush and Nasthetic, filling out half of the six-player roster. They've had an up-and-down start to the season, alternating series wins and losses over the first two weeks as a result.

They blew teams out, but they also have been blown out. Kings Guard have pulled off huge comebacks, but they've also given up big leads.

That's par for the course for a team with so many rookies. Mix in the the fact that all these games are being played remotely, which the league has never done before, and Kings Guard's 3-2 series record over the first three weeks is really solid.

With all of that said, Bash isn't settling for the way the team is playing right now. He believes they can, and will, get better as the season goes on.

"I feel like right now we’re not playing bad, but we’re not playing like ourselves," he said. "We’re not playing at the level we all know we can play at. I feel like we’re a top team, championship contender top team. As long as we limit our turnovers and keep trusting each other on defense, the way we do, I like our chances."

There's still a lot of season left to play. The NBA 2K League will continue to be played remotely through Week 6, but what happens next is still unknown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether they're playing together in-person or online, Bash and Kings Guard will aim to continue developing into one of the NBA 2K League's best teams.

Warriors Gaming Squad, CB13 dominate Lakers Gaming, continue unbeaten season

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Warriors Gaming Squad

Warriors Gaming Squad, CB13 dominate Lakers Gaming, continue unbeaten season

Warriors Gaming Squad has been impressive all season, but their performance in Tuesday night's win over Lakers Gaming may be the most impressive yet.

Led by CB13, the Warriors dominated the Lakers during the two-game sweep to keep the team's record at an undefeated 5-0.

In the second game of the set, the Warriors blew out the Lakers 105-47.

105-47!

The 105 points scored by Warriors Gaming is tied for the second-most points scored in a single game by a team in NBA 2K League history. In fact, CB13 outscored Lakers Gaming by himself. He led all scorers with a career-high 53 points, going 23-36 from the field.

It was an outstanding all-around team performance by WGS. Every player scored double-digits in points and had no lower than an A- performance grade.

Not all games can be 58-point blowouts, though. The first game of the set was much closer, with the Warriors winning 69-60.

WGS got off to a hot start in the game, leading by as many at 12 points early in the second quarter. The Lakers fought back and brought the deficit to within two points midway through the third before the Warriors pulled away toward the end of the game and held on for a 9-point win.

CB13 and Bsmoove combined for 49 points, while Slaughter hauled in an impressive 25 rebounds, tying the entire Lakers team in Game 1.

Warriors Gaming Squad has a bye in Week 4, but will come back to face Hawks Talon GC and Blazers Gaming in Week 5 of remote NBA 2K League action.