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Milwaukee natives playing in NBA 2K League Finals

(CBS 58) – Two Milwaukee-area natives, Nate Kahl and Eric Ward, were drafted by the New York Knicks' gaming team for the first year of the NBA’s venture into e-sports.

Now, Kahl and Ward are playing in the 2K league championship against the Miami Heat on Friday.

The two men were paid $32,000 plus housing and health insurance for a six-month contract. Their team won a “play-in” tournament earlier this year for an additional $75,000 and a guaranteed spot in the playoffs.

As the lowest seed in the tournament, they played as the underdog all the way to the championship round and a shot at winning $300,000 in prize money.

Kahl and Ward say the league is much more than just a video game.

“It’s been a lot of work,” Kahl said. “We don’t just wake up and futz around and play video games. It’s a serious thing.”

As Ward explains, there’s planning that goes into each game.

“We have to implement strategies and draw up plays and kind of game plan for each team,” he said. “It’s almost like real NBA or real basketball in itself.”

You can watch the championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. It will be streamed on Twitch.tv.

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