The NBA 2K League is back this year and it’s getting even bigger after a deal with Champion Athleticwear that provides everything to the players and front office staffs around the league. Grizz Gaming just had another draft after retaining two players from last year’s team. Each team was allowed to keep two players for free but if they wanted to keep a third and fourth player, it cost the team a second and first round pick respectively to retain the players for the upcoming year. Grizz Gaming elected to keep just two players from last year’s team and drafted four new players a few weeks ago in the draft.
Over the next week or so, we will be highlighting all the players from Grizz Gaming in some ‘get to know the player’ pieces so that you know who you are rooting for this year as Grizz Gaming gets set to start another year. I sat down with all the players last week to talk with them about anything and everything including professional gaming. First up, is the starting small forward, Antonio Saldivar.
One of the players that they decided to retain from last year’s team was the man also known as UniversalPhenom. After completing the year on a roll but not having the type of season that he thought they should have had, he is ready to make sure that doesn’t happen again this year.
Gamer Tag: UniversalPhenom
Position: Small Forward
Draft Position: Retained from last year’s team
Where are you from: Phoenix, AZ
Favorite Video Game: NCAA College Games
Video Game that you play other than 2K: NHL Hockey; Fortnite
Favorite NBA Player of all Time: Steve Nash
Current Favorite NBA Player: LeBron James
Who do you model your 2K game after: Draymond Green
Antonio Salvidar was on the team last year and they finished strong at 6-8 over their last 14 games. He is considered one of the “older” players on this team since there are so many 19 year old kids even though he is young himself. He started in video games by playing actual 2K games (something that is not as common as you might think) and spending most of his time playing 2K video games and not much else. Growing up in Phoenix, AZ, Salvidar was always into sports, playing football growing up, wide receiver and even some quarterback, so playing sports games as a hobby came very natural to him.
“I was playing video games forever, for like ten years” he told me as we talked, but then he just stopped playing. He wasn’t getting anything in return for the time that he was putting into it. The NBA announced the 2K League and he immediately gets back into gaming because he knew he could beat everyone else that was on the court. The NBA 2K League gave him a place to showcase everything he learned over the past decade and made it all worth it. Antonio already has a ton of experience in this league, having been through it all before last year and for a lot of these players this is the first year to do everything. Grizz Gaming has three players that are only 19 years old and one that is fresh out of high school, so for Antonio being able to show them how things are done not only in the game, but the schedule, the travel, the practice, everything that goes along with being a professional gamer is important for not only him, but the team as well.
This year Antonio is playing small forward for Grizz Gaming just as he did last year and he has the experience to help lead this young group of professional gamers to hopefully the playoffs at the end of the year.
Grizz Gaming gets started with their first tournament of the year on April 3rd at 4:00 pm against T-Wolves gaming.