Phygital basketball. Bright, dynamic, emotional

A phygital basketball tournament kicked off on September 21 at the first Phygital Games in Kazan. The format combines interactive basketball (NBA2K) and 3×3 basketball. Emotions run high both in the virtual universe and on a real basketball court.

Liga Pro (St. Petersburg) v Let’s Go (Moscow) – 38:24

Liga Pro team lined up the reigning European champion in NBA2K Current Gen Nikita Savchenkov, so is it any wonder that the players from St. Petersburg were tactically superior in the digital event? Good defense, fast breaks and accurate long-range shots – and Liga Pro was up 22:2. A crazy digital gap.
But the lads from Let’s Go were determined to fight and wouldn’t give up. The students of the leading national sports university are no strangers to phygital, and they also have a rather impressive track record they can brag about. Therefore, the team captain Artem Chebotarev was motivating the players to fight in the physical part of the clash. However, long range shots of Khokhlov from Liga Pro made the opponents feel nervous and rush things up in the attack only to make errors, and with such an edge on the opponent time was not in favor of the Muscovites. Closer to the end of the match Chebotarev scored several points in a row but his team failed to overcome a 20-point deficit in just 10 minutes.

“We haven’t completed the tasks that we set for this match. We wanted to prevent the opponents from scoring in the physical part of the match and yet they scored 10 points. Hence the final score. As far as the esports component is concerned, it went exactly how we planned it. Liga Pro players excel at esports, so we had no chances. In real basketball they play on the amateur level, and we are stronger. The very idea of Phygital Games is really cool. This is what I call action”,- says Let’s Go captain Artem Chebotarev.

“As was expected, the opponent was strong enough in live basketball, but we were unmatched in cyberspace. The very idea of Phygital Games is dear to me. The future belongs to esports, so it’s great to have a new format which makes you not just sit in an armchair with a joystick but also run for real. We really love this with the guys. We expect a tough fight in the finals. We will try to get an edge in the cyber part, just like today, and we’ll try to play better in the physical part”, the captain of Liga Pro Daniil Maximenko commented.

Basketball Club “Minsk” v Take Shot (Moscow) – 42:43

The second semifinal was quite dramatic. Lineup-wise, the members of the Belorussian team seemed to be the favorites, at least on paper. But the digital part of the clash proved to be quite intriguing as the Muscovites put up a real fight, so this stage of the match looked like an NBA slam dunk contest as if the players were competing in the art of slamming the ball through the basket which definitely pleased the crowd. Up until the middle of the match the score was even – 9:9. And then virtuoso point guard Kirill Gorshkov from Take Shot showed his prowess in handling and passing the ball. His penetrating passes were tearing to shreds the defense of Minsk as the Belorussians proved helpless against such fast game. So before the teams stepped on a real basketball court to play in 3×3 format, Take Shot was leading 21:13 with the Belorussians trying to overcome an eight-point deficit.
The teams from Minsk is more experienced, so they rather quickly caught up with the Muscovites and were dominating. Roman Moskvitin pulled off a nearly flawless performance scoring three-pointers almost without missing, center Denis Bergman was fighting under the backboard asking his partners to be as tough as they can. So the club Minsk was up 28:13 and the aggregate score was 41:34 in its favor. But the excessive number of fouls played a cruel trick on the Belorussian team as the judges punished them with free throws, and that factor proved decisive. Andrey Elin put in a few tricky throws, Andrey Kurchenko didn’t flinch closer to the end of the match, and just seconds before the final whistle Minsk missed its last-ditch long-distance shot. Alas, Minsk will be vying only for the bronze medals.

To watch the competitions, follow the link.