Milwaukee locals train for new NBA 2K18 eSports league

They hope to represent one of 17 NBA teams.
Posted at 4:41 PM, Apr 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-02 17:41:54-04

Milwaukee-native Nate Kahl has been practicing for a moment like this for nine years. He has been playing the popular NBA 2K video game since he was 12 years old.

NBA 2K18 announced a new eSports league with 17 NBA teams across the country drafting six players each, including the Bucks. Those who get drafted will be provided housing, a salary with a six-month contract and a chance to win nearly $1 million in tournaments. 

The official draft is set for April 4 but players need to make it through several rounds of tryouts in order to be considered. 

In January, anyone who wanted a spot in the league had to win 50 games in a special online tryout mode. More than 72,000 players across the world made it past this round, including 21-year-old Kahl and his best friend, 22-year-old Stephen Lay. 

In February, they moved onto a "combine mode," where they played a minimum of 40 games in one position with others online. From here, it was narrowed down drastically to just 250 players. 

After making this pool of 250, Kahl and Lay had an interview with the league at the beginning of March. Both players eagerly await to hear if they will be making the trip to New York on April 4 for the official draft.

Kahl received a phone call later that week confirming he would be drafted. Lay, on the other hand, did not make the final 102 players. He says he will continue training and try again next year.