With the New Zealand E Blacks set to play Guam in the eFIBA Oceania Qualifier Final – part of the eFIBA’s Season 2 tournament – this Wednesday, Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) and NZ Esports are excited to announce the inaugural squad competing in this ground-breaking online competition.
The 2023 New Zealand E Blacks has been named as: Flumeto (Jaxon Sutton), oHorsii (Cameron Fox), oSxnseii (Cameron Allan), ShotMoist (Ethan Simmonds), RVC_KOPO (Jacob Winterstein) and thebrass_ (Nathan Tudreu).
Should the E Blacks beat Guam in this three-game Oceania Qualifier series, New Zealand will then proceed to the first-ever in-person eFIBA World Finals 2023 – held in Sweden from 25-26 November to determine the world’s best national eFIBA team.
E Blacks Squad
- 17-year-old, Timaru-based Cameron Allan will operate at the point guard position as oSxnseii, who is described as a two-way three point shot hunter and two-way spot up threat
- Jaxon Sutton a.k.a. Flumeto comes in as the youngest player on the squad; the Hamilton-based 17-year-old joining the E Blacks as three point shot hunter at the shooting guard position
- Nathan Tudreu will captain this E Blacks squad under his thebrass_ handle, with the 34-year-old, Palmerston North-based gamer described as a two-way spot up threat at the small forward position
- The power forward position will be manned by Jacob Winterstein, a.k.a. RVC_KOPO, with the Auckland-based, 25-year-old described as a two-way spot up threat
- Also based in Auckland, Cameron Fox comes in at centre for the E Blacks; the 21-year-old both a diming interior threat and inside the arc scorer as his oHorsii online persona
- Rounding out the squad is Simmonds, 21 years old from Hastings who – as ShotMoist – can slot in at both point guard and shooting guard for the squad when required, with skills as a two-way three point shot hunter.
Sutton (a.k.a. Flumeto) says that while little is known about their competition in an online gaming sense, the squad is excited to compete together against another country on the big stage.
“We don’t know much about Guam as a team; we haven’t been about to find any footage of them online so they’re a mystery. But we’re confident we can get it done against them,” says Sutton.
Sutton has been playing NBA 2k for 4-5 years, and trains between 4-8 hours a day. He recently gained fame in the 2k community for becoming the first player to score 100 points in an ANZPL game, which is the Australia and New Zealand ProAm League for NBA2K. He says that representing New Zealand in 2k is a huge opportunity for him and his teammates.
“It’s been amazing, I was super excited when I was selected to play for the New Zealand team – it’s a great opportunity and I’m excited for what happens in the future with this team.
“I’m quite active [in the 2k community], I’m always trying to improve and get better. As a player I feel I’m good at facilitating on the floor, setting the temp and I’m a good scorer – I can get us a bucket when we need one and I feel I’m good under pressure.”
Sutton is also excited by the possibility of travelling to Sweden for the in-person World Final and taking on the world’s best.
“It means a lot to be honest, I’ve travelled overseas a few times but nothing this important – so I’m keen to go, put all my effort into winning and just hoop to my fullest with the New Zealand boys on the team. Our team is full of hoopers, so hopefully we can do well in Sweden and get some wins in the tournament.”
eFIBA Season 2
Season 2 of eFIBA commenced in October this year, with 61 countries participating in online Regional Qualifiers and Regional Finals across the four FIBA Regions of Africa, Americas, Asia (including Oceania) and Europe. All games are played in NBA 2K24, a highly successful sports simulation video game.
The top nations from each Regional Final then proceeds to the in-person eFIBA World Finals 2023, held in Sweden on 25-26 November to determine the world’s best national eFIBA team.
Oceania Qualifier Final – New Zealand vs Guam
For New Zealand – who have partnered with NZ eSports to create an E Blacks basketball team for the first time – the path to the eFIBA World Finals hinges on winning the Oceania Qualifier Finals. This best of three series will be held online from midnight on Wednesday 8 November, with the E Blacks taking on Guam.
The E Blacks face Guam in the eFIBA Oceania Qualifier Finals from 12am on Wednesday 8 November.
Watch live on Twitch at https://m.twitch.tv/efibaofficial
Find out more about the E Blacks at https://nz.basketball/national-teams/e-blacks/