Hawks Talon Gaming Club will have three selections in the 2021 NBA 2K League Draft which will take place on Saturday, March 13. The team’s picks are 11th overall (first round), 34th overall (second round) and 48th overall (third round). Below is a special pre-draft Q&A with Hawks Talon’s Head Coach and Team Manager Wesley Acuff.
Question: What have you been up to this offseason?
“My main focus was on strengthening my relationship with our players and growing the bond between the four of us. I also focused heavily on helping create some new content, such as our new Talon Takeover series where we brought on influencers and musicians to game with us while conducting interviews. I also participated in the Women in Gaming development camp and worked closely with some of the up-and-coming women in gaming.”
Q: What’s your honest assessment of Hawks Talon GC’s second season?
“I thought we made some improvements and only missed the playoffs by one game. We established an identity and created a core to build around that will only get better in the future.”
Q: In terms of retaining BP (Michael Diaz-Cruz), Kel (Mykel Wilson) and LEE (Lee Lamb), what factored into the decision to retain them and build around them for Season 3?
“The three of those guys proved to have a magic chemistry at certain points in the season. I felt like allowing them another shot at building even more chemistry was a better decision than starting over after just one season.”
Q: Let’s talk more about the rest of your draft picks this year. What sorts of players, both skills-wise and personality-wise, are you looking to bring into the HTGC fold this season?
“I’m looking for some defensive-minded beasts who can help get us to the next level. Players who have great communication skills and are proven winners in the Pro-Am community.”
Q: What is it like to coach in the NBA 2K League from your perspective. It seems like coaches have to bring a unique mix of 2K knowledge and IRL basketball experience to the table. How do you balance that and manage the team/travel, etc.?
“It’s exciting. Having worked in the NBA family for 12+ years it’s just fun to take real basketball knowledge and combine that with the game that we love to play. Managing the daily operations, booking the team’s travel plans, managing the budget, and creating the content – that’s the real work. Practice and playing the games – that’s the fun part!”
Q: Do you ever stop to take stock in the fact that you’re coaching in an esports league that’s growing each and every year?
“All the time. I’m thankful and blessed, I get to not only coach the game that I love to play, but I also get to work with some of the best people in the sports industry on a daily basis. From our players to the staff at the Hawks who work diligently to make sure we are putting in the necessary work to move the needle in the esports industry.”
Q: When this season is all said and done, what will define a successful campaign for your organization from your perspective?
“The first goal is simple, as far as gameplay. This year, I would like to make playoffs and see what we can pull off from there. But from a business standpoint, I would like to see Hawks Talon GC leave a mark in the community helping grow another generation of fans, as well as create some innovative and entertaining content that will help elevate NBA 2K League and esports industry to the next level.”