Dev in The Lab Vs D’Vontay Friga
Last night, Devin Williams AKA ‘Dev in the Lab’ and D’Vontay Friga faced off in a 1 on 1 Basketball game for $10,000. For those who do not know, Dev and D’Vontay are two of the biggest basketball YouTubers on the platform. They boast hundreds of thousands of subscribers and they are both hooper hoopers. D’Vontay is well on his way to playing professionally overseas and Dev gave up the professional basketball dreams to become an elite trainer and basketball filmmaker. Dev and D’Vontay had some beef that has formed over the past few months and it all culminated with a 1 on 1 Pay Per View basketball game where the winner would take home $10K.
Let’s take it back to where it all began. D’Vontay Friga was up and coming through the basketball YouTube community looking to make a name for himself. He was filming his 5 on 5 games at random parks across Ohio and Florida. He was the only basketball YouTuber to be ‘Mic’d up’ playing his games which set him apart from everyone else who was filming their games at the park.
D’Vontay started to gain some traction and headed down to California to play against some of the other YouTube hoopers like Flight, Jay Jones, White Iverson etc. Apparently, D’Vontay had reached out to Dev in the Lab who agreed to play 1 on 1. Long behold, Dev in the Lab ‘Ghosted’ Friga and the game never happened. Friga took to social media to express his displeasure with being stood up by Dev for their 1 on 1 match and headed back to Florida.
A month or so later, D’Vontay went on a cross- country road trip where he would be playing 5 on 5 games at random parks and some 1 on 1 matchups as well. Again, he was in California to play against Dev in the Lab and again, the game never happened. D’Vontay started calling out Dev for ducking him and their beef formed. They have been going back and forth taking subtle jabs at one another in their videos and people started taking sides. Everyone wanted to see them go head-to-head and squash the questions on ‘Who is the better basketball YouTuber?’
Finally, the stage was set. They had agreed to play against one another on December 13th, 2020. They would charge $10 per ticket and they had big name brands that wanted to be involved such as ‘Kick Genius’, ‘HOUSE’ and ‘Ball Is Life’ amongst others. Since then, the two of them have been promoting this Pay Per View 1 on 1 basketball game that will net the winner a cool $10,000 in cash.
Now that the background information is out of the way, let’s get into the game and stream itself. A few days before the actual event, ‘Kick Genius’ and ‘HOUSE’ backed out. They were supposedly going to be commentating the game and doing giveaways throughout the stream. Luckily for them, it turned out to be a good business decision.
The matchup was set to begin a little after 7pm CST. When it started, the stream seemed as advertised. It was good sound quality as both competitors were Mic’d up and the picture was clear. Shortly after the beginning of the game, the stream cut out. As it did for 80% of the individuals that paid the $10 fee for a ticket. For some, the stream would start back up again for a split second and then cut out, and for others, the stream never regained connection.
Frustrated fans took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the connection of the stream. Most of the paying customers only saw a portion of the 5 games the two rivals played if anything. It turns out that hackers had posted the stream to Reddit, Twitch, even YouTube. This caused for an overload on the streaming site which subsequently caused many outages of the stream primarily for those who actually paid the $10 to watch the game. Instead of the 8,000 people that purchased a ticket watching the game and being on the site like Friga and Dev had anticipated, it was broadcasted to around 70,000 people. $62,000 of which were not paying customers.
Yeah, you can say it’s only $10, but it’s not about the money. It’s about principal. Many fans thought Dev and Friga had scammed them out of their money as they did not see much if any of the actual 1 on 1 itself.
After the games, Dev and D’Vontay found out that most of their fans that paid the price of admission did not get to watch any of the stream. They took do Dev’s Instagram Live to discuss what had happened and how they will take care of those who paid. They concluded that they would send a direct link of the game to those individuals who paid the $10 to watch the game. Of course, within 24 hours of someone getting the entire game file emailed over to them, it was on YouTube for everyone to watch.
So, this morning I was able to watch the 1 on 1 matchup almost in its entirety. From my understanding, they played 5 1 on 1 games to 7. All baskets were worth 1 point. Each possession mostly starting at the top of the key, but sometimes from the wing. They had a 3-dribble limit which meant that they could only dribble 3 times per possession before having to shoot. They would also only have one shot. If you miss, or go over your 3-dribble limit, the ball gets turned over to they other player. Aside from that, those are the only rules that I interpreted.
To my surprise, the games did not go as I had envisioned. D’Vontay Friga has been the catalyst behind the beef and trash talk the way I see it. He took most of the shots at Dev in the Lab saying Dev was scared to play him the two previous times he had been to California. Overall, it seemed like D’Vontay had the most to gain from a solid performance and a win against Dev and that he would be the one to take this more seriously. D’Vontay is years younger and has a size advantage over Dev that I thought he would use to his significant advantage. However, you could see from the first possession of this game that Dev was going to be the aggressor. He played pressure defense on D’Vontay and did not let him drive to the hoop where he could use his size to bully Dev in the paint. Dev forced Friga to shoot from the outside and D’Vontay could not get his jump shot to fall.
Dev used his elite quickness and ballhandling skills to keep D’Vontay off balance. He controlled the majority of the 5 games with his shifty dribbling and trash talk. Contrary to Friga, Dev was connecting on his outside jump shot and that forced Friga to respect his outside game. This led to Dev being able to drive right by and get to the basket for a higher percentage shot.
When it was all said and done, Dev took 3 out of 5 games from Friga and took home the grand prize of $10,000. As I mentioned previously, this was not the result I was anticipating. I thought D’Vontay would use his size and strength to power through Dev and secure the bag. That was not at all how it went as it seemed like Friga was playing the role of ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ as opposed to his trash talk and pot stirring leading up to the event.
Overall, it was a much-anticipated YouTube 1 on 1 that grabbed the attention of thousands around the world. While I don’t think they should have made it Pay Per View seeing as how everything turned out, I respect them for trying something new. This was very similar to the Roy Jones Vs Mike Tyson fight in my eyes. An overhyped event that really didn’t meet expectations. Hopefully in the future, they just decide to upload their content to YouTube rather than trying to put on a Pay Per View event.
In hindsight, they had to see something like this happening. Any time there is a Pay Per View event, there are going to be hackers who put it up on the internet for free. It sucks that it happened to these two guys who were genuinely trying to put on a show and not trying to scam anybody. It is unfortunate the way that everything unfolded as the two of them will probably lose subscribers and fans who thought they were scammed.
This is not the end of this story. I think they will face off 1 on 1 again in the very near future and post it publicly to YouTube for all to watch without any glitches, bad streams, or conspiracy theories.