Shakor Paki wants to leave no doubt about who the best NBA 2K player in New Zealand is.
After winning last year's national title, the 21-year-old lines up in the Ultimate Grand Final of the LPL Pro NBA 2K18 1on1 NZ Championship.
Paki, who plays under the moniker "Te_Shakor_Pakii", will meet South Island Conference winner Te Awanui "minnislug" Waaka.
Paki punched his ticket to the big dance when he beat Jahkel "Notorious-God" Mita 2-1 in the North Island Conference Final last weekend.
"Going back to back would definitely give me bragging rights across New Zealand as the best," Paki said. "There would be no excuses for anyone."
Paki entered the tournament as the North Island's No 1 seed and he said it was not a simple path to the final.
"Making it to the Ultimate Grand Final again was tough as the North Island had so much competition. It wasn't exactly easy but I knew my game was good enough to get me back to the final once again."
Today's Ultimate Grand Final will get underway at 2.30pm and will be broadcast live on Maori Television and streamed online on Twitch.
"It's the last series, so no matter how much confidence I have in myself I cannot let my next opponent gain any momentum. I have to go in for the kill and show no mercy," Paki said.
This weekend's winner will pocket $5,000 and a trip to the US to watch an NBA game. The losing finalist will earn $3,000 and a "Breakers Experience".
Waaka, the fifth seed in the South Island Conference, swept Regan "TROPIC_Superstar" Small 2-0 last week to make his way to the Ultimate Grand Final.
"It means a lot to me," Wakka said. "It was a huge task to get here during these past eight weeks and so far it's been a great ride.
"I've enjoyed coming up to Auckland to compete and getting to the Ultimate Grand Final is just an incredible feeling to have."
Waaka, 20, will likely start as an underdog this week, as he has in most of his matches throughout the competition, but he said that wouldn't shake his confidence against an opponent like Paki.
"He's obviously a good player. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing, create better offensive plays and have a solid defence on my end as well.
"Also, just keep calm and confident no matter what."
Event: LPL Pro NBA 2K18 1on1 NZ Championship
Game: NBA 2K18
When: Every Sunday, 2:30pm, July 21-September 30
Watch: Maori TV and www.Twitch.tv/letsplaylive