INDIANAPOLIS (9/25/21) – Pacers Gaming rookie point guard Xavier Barraza (GAMER TAG – 630) was named NBA 2K League 2021 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Saturday at the league’s first-ever All Star Game in New York. – the first time anyone captured both awards in the same season in the four-year old league. Barraza was named as a starter in the all-star contest. The Aurora, Ill., native led the league in scoring this year with a 35.0 PPG average. He was the guiding force behind Pacers Gaming best-ever 20-8 regular-season mark, No. 2 finish in the Western Conference and semi-final appearance in the league championships.
“Obviously, I am honored to be named MVP and Rookie of the Year,” said Barraza, who turns 20 on Dec. 20. “I had four goals this year: make the playoffs, win the title, be Rookie of the Year and earn MVP. We got three of those and now, along with my teammates, my goal next year is to bring a championship to Indiana. I must thank my mom, my family, my coach, my teammates and our entire organization for the support this year. I love this league and I love playing for Pacers Gaming.” Barraza’s twitter handle is @Xavier_630.
“We are so happy for Xavier,” said Pacers Gaming Head Coach and Senior Director of Esports Operations, Cody Parrent. “And, we are thrilled the league recognized what we’ve seen up close all season, that he is one of the best players in our game. Not only an MVP-quality player in 2021 but a future superstar for years to come. As great a player as he is, he is an even better teammate and person.”
Barraza’s remarkable rookie campaign included a team-record 65-point performance against Detroit. He also recorded 25 of the top 31 individual scoring games in team history in 2021. His 16 assists against Warriors Gaming is the second-best in team history. He scored 30-or-more points in 23 of Pacers Gaming’s 28 regular-season games. Barraza reached double figures in scoring in each of Pacers Gaming’s 37 contests in 2021.
The NBA 2K League, a joint venture between the NBA and Take-Two Interactive, is a professional esports league featuring the best NBA 2K players in the world and is the first official esports league operated by a U.S. professional sports league (NBA). The league tipped off its inaugural season in May 2018 with 17 teams, each affiliated with an NBA team. Since then, the league has expanded to 23 teams, 22 of which are affiliated with NBA teams. Gen.G, whose investors include LA Clippers alternate governor Dennis Wong, is the only NBA 2K League team not affiliated with an NBA team.