Bucks’ team of video gamers moving to MKE, will make $30,000+ salary
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Bucks are branching out from the basketball court and moving into the world of competitive video gaming.
Bucks Gaming, the franchise's entry into the new NBA 2K League, drafted their squad of players Wednesday who will vie for $1 million in prize money.
Seventeen teams will participate in the league where players compete at the popular NBA 2K video game.
"We conducted 102 interviews of 102 players," said Colin Hayes, a co-managing director of the team. "We really wanted to get to know them. We really wanted to know what culture did they fit in."
The fit is important because the six teammates are now moving to Milwaukee where they will live and practice together for the next six months.
Each player will be paid more than $30,000 plus have their medical insurance and housing covered.
The only player from Wisconsin to be drafted, Nate Kahl, will be moving to New York to play for Knicks Gaming.
"Ten years ago you wouldn't believe this was a thing," said Cayle Drabinsky, the team's director of business operations. "I grew up playing NBA 2K and I never imagined this would be a realistic opportunity."
E-sports has surged in popularity in recent years and has become a legitimate career, as the best players draw wide audiences.
"[Viewers] are choosing to watch excellence, they're choosing to be entertained and they're choosing to be a part of a community," Hayes said.
The NBA 2K season will run from May to August. The league is currently in talks to get the games broadcasted.
The Bucks full roster includes PG Aaron Rookwood from New York picked in the first round, C Timothy Anselimo from Florida picked in the second, SG Jacob Walls from Illinois picked in the third, SF Mark Hampton Jr. picked in the fourth, PF Matthew Hofmann from New York in the 5th and SF Jovan Tenner from Texas picked in the sixth round.