The most important time of the week for Mavs Gaming isn’t watching film or time on the practice court. It’s not their workout time in the gym or their team meetings.
The most important time of the week for Mavs Gaming is Monday nights. Fun night.
“Monday nights are probably the most important night of the week,” Devillon said. “It sort of resets and restarts everything. We get to clear our mind. Plus, it is a good break from film and everything.”
With every game taking place on either a Friday or a Saturday, Mavs Gaming normally returns from New York City that same weekend. This leads to Monday being the start of the new week and somewhat of a reset for the team. After Mavs Gaming takes part in their team obligations during the day, Monday nights are fun nights where they go out as a team and bond together through something fun and lighthearted.
“Monday nights are great. It is great to have a day off and have friend time,” HazzaUK2K said. “It releases all the tension and frustration from the weekend. We can all let loose.”
JLB added, “It is like a refresh.”
And it was something that was strategically planned by the upper management.
“Coming from the eSports world where everyone is together all of the time, it could cause a lot of issues,” Roger Caneda, operations manager of Mavs Gaming said. “We wanted to create a fun atmosphere…we wanted to add a fun element on a weekly basis consistently. Where it is taking everyone out of their element from here working or at the apartment.”
That is exactly what they did.
— PINSTACK Bowl & Bite (@pinstackbowl) May 22, 2018
When you look at their calendar for the week, almost every single hour is accounted for as the team has media obligations, practice blocks, and team meetings. And every Monday night you can see the hours set aside specifically for a team outing somewhere in the city.
“We wanted to give the players an outlet to have fun and be able to bond and create chemistry through doing different stuff in the Dallas area,” Caneda said. “Thankfully, we are in a city where it is awesome and a lot to do.”
Although past Monday nights have been entertainment nights for the team, future Monday nights look to take advantage of the city itself and the luxuries that exist within.
“Besides creating chemistry and having fun, we wanted to show them how awesome this city is and everything you can do here,” Caneda said.
They have plans to visit the Reunion Tower, museums, and a handful of places in Fort Worth.
“We want to give them an experience of what Dallas, Texas is,” Caneda said.
And for a team that is from all around the world, Dallas is a little different than their hometowns.
“It is real hot. Everything is saying 100 degrees,” Seem said. “I don’t think I have ever had to go through that before.”
“One thing I learned about Dallas is that it is super hot,” Dimez said. “It’s a different breed.” As for the biggest difference between Cleveland and Dallas, Dimez went with the accents. “Nothing too much different outside of the accents,” Dimez said. “I like the accents though. The country accent is dope.”
Accents aside, focusing on their jobs is priority number one, but getting time away from the game is high on the priority list also.
“We don’t really get a lot of off days because we travel so much,” Jonah Edwards, Head Coach of Mavs Gaming said. “It gives us an outlet, that is not NBA2K, to go do something different.”
— Mavs Gaming (@MavsGG) May 7, 2018
There was a point a week or so ago that Caneda was debating on whether to continue them or not due to the busy schedule. He wondered if the guys were getting tired of it and if they truly enjoyed them. But the guys made it clear that Monday nights are their favorite night of the week. When I spent time talking to each player about the importance of those Monday nights, each one of them lit up when talking about it.
On Memorial Day, the team as a whole took the day off, but for Dimez, he wanted to make sure they got their team bonding night in.
“I looked forward to it every week,” Dimez said. He would go on to talk about how he was pushing for a makeup night for the team outing since it was cancelled for Memorial Day. No matter what, the guys wanted it to happen.
Over the course of the past month, those Monday nights have consisted of everything from bowling together to catching the latest movie at Studio Movie Grill.
For the England native, Hazzauk2k, bowling and rock climbing was his favorite. For Edwards, it was putting it to his players in NBA Jam at Cidercade. “I really liked Cidercade and they have NBA Jam…those guys can’t handle me in NBA Jam,” Edwards laughed.
— Mavs Gaming (@MavsGG) May 15, 2018
Dayfri said it is always a fun night because they are all so competitive at whatever they do, but building those relationships is what lays the foundation for success on the court.
“It is super cool especially learning Harry and Jannis being from different countries.,” Dayfri said. “Even Devillon being from Canada. I feel like we are really a team. We have bonded really well.”
Coming from a baseball background, Dayfri knows what a team looks and feels like. When I asked him if this Mavs Gaming team came together as a team quicker than he expected he admitted that it did.
Six players coming from places from all around the world. From countries like Germany and England, to cities such as Philadelphia and Cleveland, Mavs Gaming has formed somewhat of a brotherhood in just over a month of time.
And don’t think that doesn’t impact their play on the court. Mavs Gaming is one of the best teams in the league, sitting with a 4-1 record and a +31 point differential. Their success and chemistry as a team is being noticed from other franchises across the league also.
“I am of the belief that we get a long as a team better than anyone in the league,” Coach Edwards said. “It is not just me saying that. I have heard that from other coaches. They come up to me and tell me ‘your guys get along really well’.”
Not every team can say that and not every franchise can put together a team consisting of players from four different countries and form the family-like bond that already have.
That is a testament to the players, the management team and most importantly, Monday nights in the city of Dallas.