Two players who were given a second life in the LPL Pro NBA 2K18 1on1 NZ Championship are playing on Sunday.

Te Awanui "minnislug" Waaka and Shaun "HennyKingSteve" Stevenson both snagged a second shot in the competition after two players dropped out after the online qualifying.

They could become a fairytale story in the esports competition, which is the first of its kind to be broadcast live and free-to-air in New Zealand.

Coverage gets underway at 2.30pm on Sunday on Maori Television and the games will also be broadcast online on Twitch.


Waaka, the South Island's fifth seed, will meet fourth seed Robert "Im_Hutchh" Hutcheson.

"I don't know much about my opponent this week or their game. I've only played a few games against him so I don't know much about how they play," Waaka said.

"I'm confident I can do well in the tournament but I am still nervous. I just hope to pass the first round against my opponent but anything can happen."

Waaka, a full-time student, has been playing NBA 2K since the 2K10 version dropped and also dabbles in Fortnite and God of War.

Hutcheson, an IT student, didn't want to get ahead of himself on the eve of this week's clash.

"I'm confident I can do well. I have played the No 1 seed of the South Island a few times and have done quite well against him," he said.

"But I'm definitely not going into this competition cocky, as anything can happen on the day."

That No 1 seed from the South Island is Riley "Rizz" Aitken who will play eighth seed Stevenson this weekend.


As Stevenson looks to make an unlikely run in the tournament, Aitken will have the added pressure of being the top dog.

Aitken, 20, a computer science student at the University of Canterbury, has been playing 2K for eight years.

"Single elimination really puts the pressure on to perform, it should be intense on Sunday," he said.

"As a 2K vet I'm pretty confident in my stick skills, with it being my first event of this sort I'll have to wait and see how I fare but I feel confident that I'll be able to go deep in the tourney."

Stevenson, a civil engineering student at Otago Polytechnic, started playing 2K when he got an XBox One four years ago.

The 20-year-old said he didn't know a lot about Aitken's game but was looking forward to the challenge of playing him.

Last week, in the North Island conference, No 1 seed Shakor "Te_Shakor_Pakii" Paki beat Sharaz "Tyceno" Aslam 2-1, while fifth seed Zane "stonecoldkilla" upset Scott Campbell "airbrn" Knowles by the same margin.

The eight-week knockout tournament will culminate on September 30 when the finalists from the North and South Island will meet in a best-of-five Ultimate Grand Final.

Each island has eight players in the knockout stages.

Key Information

Event: LPL Pro NBA 2K18 1on1 NZ Championship

Game: NBA2K18

When: Every Sunday, 2:30pm, July 21-September 30

Watch: Maori TV and