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Published: July 3, 2023

Written by: Stoyan Todorov

Being a parent is an immense responsibility. If the world is a mess, bringing life into the world suddenly makes this mess YOUR mess, and you are in charge of fixing things. Similarly, you want the best for your kids, but where do you draw the line between being an instructive figure of authority and a supportive friend whom your kids need and happily confide in. If you are reading this, you may be facing a dilemma that many parents in your position are right now – “my kid wants to be a pro gamer. What should I do?”

The fact is there is NOTHING scary about your kid becoming a pro gamer. As it turns out, playing video games can be an instructive and meaningful pastime that could be the basis of a successful career. With more than 500 million fans worldwide and a net valuation of over $1 billion, esports is developing rapidly.

Job opportunities are available by the thousands, and while a lot of them are based in North America, the rest of the world is opening up. Executives from serious companies are joining professional gaming organizations to support their quest to achieve a better ROI, and the truth is there is a place for professional gamers under the sun.

However, you will have to show a real understanding of what your kid is up to you and get more involved in their life, especially when it involves playing video games. Some parents will find themselves out of their depth, but by understanding, you are helping your kids make decisions that are no longer based on your objection or endorsement.

They are based on a weighed choice that they will understand and even seek your support with. You are no longer prioritizing a kid’s school over their passion or future career. You are working with your kid to understand and create a lifestyle that would allow them to test their potential in a safe and nurturing environment.

My Kid Wants to Be a Professional Gamer: What Should I Know?

The first thing you need to understand is what video games are. While they are one of the most popular hobbies on the planet, they are also an opportunity for talented pro gamers (this is what we call career professionals who play video games successfully) to make a living, be part of communities and follow their passion.

Video games are not just a “waste of time.” They allow your kids to develop hand-to-eye coordination, learn and develop the mindsets of winners and channel their energy and passion into something they are very likely to give their best to be successful at.

Image credit: Psquels

The career paths in front of a professional gamer are many, and they do not boil down to only playing video games. Even if your son or daughter doesn’t make it into the top echelons of competitive gaming, they need not have “wasted” their time.

Just to the contrary. They have still cultivated important knowledge about video gaming that stretches beyond individual games and can yet be successful beyond gaming. You should not also fear that your kid’s gaming is going to get in the way of their education. Pastimes are an important part of any learning process.

So, instead of reacting spontaneously to the idea that your kid is jumping to the wrong conclusions, you should support them in their choice and go the extra mile to familiarize yourself with what esports are and whether your kid really has the trappings to become a pro. Not everyone does, but many can be taught.

Where Does My Kid Start on Their Road to Pro Gaming?

In most cases, you will have your kids make their choice of a game for themselves. With the majority of esports titles completely free-to-play these days, kids have access to all popular gaming franchises out there. These different games will require different skill sets to truly excel at. Yet, your kid will be the one making the choice of what video game they want to become a pro at.

This usually comes from some natural aptitude that comes from their determination to simply be better at said game. Some kids will pick a real-time strategy such as Warcraft III, Age of Empires II, or StarCraft and expand no small degree of effort to cultivate the necessary skills to become a success.

Dota 2 and League of Legends require other skill sets, and so do Call of Duty and Fortnite, for example. There are numerous video games out there, and they will all make sense to some gamers. Your kid will first determine the game they want to play, and if they choose to go down the pro gaming road, you should be there to support them.

Let them choose the game they want to play, and you make sure to put in the hard work to understand this game and study its potential. This brings us to our next point: is there a future in this video game?

Video Games Accepted as Esports

As parents, you may be completely boggled by the specific language used in video gaming. That is alright, so are gamers who aren’t familiar with one game or another. The first thing to do is make sure that the game your kid has picked is actually competitive enough and supported by tournaments, funding, and player bases to secure a better future for your child as a pro gamer.

Whether it’s Overwatch or StarCraft II, you want to study the growth opportunities that any game presents. Understandably, some titles will be less represented, and they would command much smaller prize pools.

Competitive gamers are paid around $25,000-$70,000 per annum as base salaries, but there are partnerships, tournament winnings, and merchandise that also come into play. Many of the top Dota 2 video gamers are already millionaires, and that is not surprising given that Dota 2’s The International awarded $40 million in total prize pools in 2021, not counting the money that was collected through qualifying tournaments throughout that year as well.

However, if your kid wants to be a competitive gamer in Dota 2, they may run into new trouble -competition. Dota 2 is no easy game, but then again, none of the esports is. As parents, though, you must help your kid by doing a bit of research and establishing which video games would be best for them to play. If your kid loves MOBAs, Heroes of the Storm is far easier to get into and succeed at.

Of course, you cannot really dissuade your kid from quitting a game because it doesn’t have a high ROI potential. Remember, your kid wants to become a gamer because they are PASSIONATE about a certain title. This dream is what drives them forward and makes them put the effort in. Trying to take this dream away from them would be counter-productive. The good news is that many skills are transferable.

How Old Does My Kid Need to Be to Start as a Pro Gamer

There is no specific age your kid needs to be before they start taking their video games more seriously. Generally, psychologists argue that young children should not be getting much screen time. Kids until ten should be limited to two hours a day. It’s hard to balance, and you need to understand that sometimes you won’t be the best parent and will let your kid play a bit more because you are tired.

Most successful pro gamers start playing seriously around the age of 14, which means that there is NO pressure for your kid to choose early. Make video gaming a family pastime if you enjoy spending time playing games with your sons or daughters, but never worry about pushing your kid into video gaming.

If they find it enjoyable, they will pick it as a hobby themselves. Most pro gamers begin forming and demonstrating their talent early on. You will be fairly certain if your kid can be a pro gamer and support them if their ELO or MMR is above average. Now, bear with us – these two terms are completely new to you, but they are important.

If your kid is showing above-average aptitude in the game (based on the ELO and MMR) ranking, you can rest assured that they have potential that will not go to waste were they to pursue a career as a professional gamer. However, as a parent, you need to find out what the video game’s current ranking system is.

Don’t worry. Reading on Wikipedia is usually how this works, and you should only take a few moments to figure it out. Asking your kid to check out their rating is also a good way to familiarize yourself, and there are the game’s community boards and Reddit forums where you can bring up your questions as well. In other words, you can always be INFORMED about the decisions you make that concern your kid’s future.

Will Gaming Interfere with My Kid’s Schooling?

As a good parent, you are naturally concerned about how far your kid’s gaming would bite into their schooling. This is understandably a sensible point, and it’s where you have to exert your authority not just as a friend but as a parent. Kids ought to understand that you are there for them, but pursuing one’s passion would have to come with your kid meeting certain obligations.

Good grades at school and a promise to pay attention to subjects are one. You should be supportive but firm with your kid as well. They may get to enjoy video gaming and chase the dream of becoming a pro gamer, but on the condition that they are prepared to work on their high school training and education, for example.

Image credit: Defiance College

That is why gaming would have to be complementing your kid’s school studies and only come after. If you and your kid can reach an understanding on this point, you will be a little more confident to support them in becoming pro gamers.

Hopefully, your kid will see that they are also benefiting from your support and that education is an important pillar of their future training like a pro gamer. Even if they don’t become an esports player, they would be able to be anything else in the video gaming industry, from visual artists to sound artists, to narrators, to developers.

So, in summary, your kid’s gaming need not interfere with their education, but parents will have to make sure that this stays the case.

Are There Educational Options for My Kid If They Are a Gamer?

One way to combine your kids’ love for esports and education is to send them to a school that focuses on combining video gaming with a good education. Yes, there are many such places where your kid won’t just learn how to be a professional gamer but also pick all important subjects that would provide them with a future in the industry and beyond it.

Training in esports high schools and colleges is becoming mainstream, and many educational bodies are expending no small amount of effort to turn their schools into appealing destinations for talented video gamers. However, video gaming is not all there is.

In fact, schools expend significant effort to make sure that they will equip your kids with the necessary skills to thrive in the highly developing sector that is esports. You will be sent to school to train how to do video editing, write good journalism, organize broadcasting for events, establish meaningful connections with leading brands, and more.

There are many colleges and universities across North America that will offer your kid scholarships and great opportunities to nurture their love for video gaming while not falling behind on the school curriculum. Players are very welcome to cultivate their talents in a safe and nurturing environment, with parents no longer having to worry about their kid choosing to be a professional gamer.

Should I Get My Kid a Coach to Help Out?

A growing number of parents are acknowledging their kids’ aspirations, and instead of dismissing those as the frolicking of youth, they seek to build upon that enthusiasm. Playing video games is no easy task, and benefiting from a coach might be better for the long-term development of your child as a gamer. There are several good reasons to consider this.

First, you can introduce your kid to structure. The structure is crucial when you play video games because becoming a pro gamer should be a concentrated effort. After all, any professional path requires dedication, and online gaming is pretty much the same. Structure means that you need to stop worrying whether your child is missing up on social life, falling behind on grades at school, or mixing with the wrong crowd (that is because your kid will follow a fixed routine towards the end-goal).

Image credit: Pixabay

In fact, a coach can help you understand the world of competitive gaming. As a parent, you may not have time to keep up with all the latest trends in video gaming, even if you were born in the 90s and embrace competitive video gaming. A coach can quickly give you a breakdown of your kid’s performance and whether he has any real chances of success in the industry.

Even if your kid cannot become a pro gamer because of lack of aptitude (for want of a better word), you can let them chase their dreams, but explain that there are other duties that need to be met beforehand. In fact, even the most promising professional gamers in the making need to understand that schooling will play a big part in who they are whether they only want to keep playing video games.

With the help of a coach, you will be able to have a real insight into what is going up with your child and how far their career has come along.

Creating a Balanced and Healthy Lifestyle

Esports organizations these days are hardly just about obsessive gaming. In fact, they all insist on professional gamers having a good work-life balance. While hardcore gamers of earlier days would spend as much as they can gaming, these days, gaming is all about promoting a healthy attitude towards the hobby (and winning, of course).

However, once your kid makes it into a professional organization, you can expect your offspring to be treated as professional athletes are. This means tests, proper nutrition, a good exercise regiment (away from the keyboard), and more. But since there is no guarantee if the nippers are actually going to make it to the highest tiers of competitive play, it’s good to develop these habits even earlier.

You must explain and show to your child why a 15-minute walk and some time away from the screen is good. It’s important to disconnect an hour earlier prior to going to bed, too, as this would guarantee better sleep and overall performance during the day. The best players and athletes do focus on being the best versions of themselves, and you have some of the best League of Legends and Dota 2 players keeping strict schedules if they want to be the best versions of themselves and succeed.

Teaching these habits is a challenge in itself, and to an overly-eager computer gamer in their teens, this may seem like the oppression of a parent unit in power who acts so to undoubtedly punish them. Yet, as a parent, you must be a center of authority and create an environment where your kids can thrive, whether they make it to the Fortnite World Cup finals or not.

Training Is Important and So Is Coping with It

Speaking of the “right environment,” there is more to gaming than just gaming. Training is important, and establishing a regime that your child can follow is an important part of their career development and even life itself. Routine is the key to success, and while creativity, grit, and determination always play a decisive role, building the right habits can help.

That is why it’s important to build an environment where your child can truly exert themselves all with the goal of becoming better. Training sessions must be kept almost religiously, and they must be alternated with relaxation sessions and time away from the screen.

Nevertheless, playing video games seriously and with understanding with be part of the way your kid forms themselves as a gamer. Setting deadlines and short-term goals are important, and they give structure. Without those, your kid may feel lost. Achieving or missing goals also feeds back important information to you and your child.

They may opt out of activities they are not making much progress in but still pursue their dream of being involved with video games. Structure, though, will help produce results that can be assessed against time frames and provide you with a good way to read into your kid’s performance.

However, it’s important to alternate training with relaxing activities and make sure that the entire process is not too stressful for your kid but still conveys the urgency of developing a mindset that allows them to succeed.

Downsides of Professional Video Gaming

There are bound to be some downsides here as well. Professional video gaming does invite sacrifices. Your kids would need to dramatically increase their screen time at computers or consoles to develop the skills that may one day make them successful in the game they want to play. This should be alternated with sessions of relaxation and with managing daily life.

Not only that but there should be a meaningful balance where your kid doesn’t feel pressured to perform. There are risks that children may start skipping schooling to prioritize their gaming or not paying enough attention to their classes that worry some parents, and justly so.

These are unique situations that each parent is going to face on their own, but the best way to address them is not to ignore or impose restrictions but to face them head-on. Discover ways to connect with your kids and spot the unique challenges they face to work on them.

Professional Gaming Is Not All About Gaming

Any parent who entertained the idea of their child becoming a professional gamer must have asked themselves – what if they fail? This is an understandable question, and believe us, and many children do fail. However, this doesn’t mean that the skills picked while video gaming is useless. Not at all, video games have a cultural significance, and understanding games and how they have evolved, where they started, and where they are headed next will definitely be useful knowledge.

There are many professions that your kid can explore beyond purely cramming League of Legends or Valorant strategies or training their muscle memory. Your kid can gain knowledge about titles such as Overwatch and Dota 2 to write informative and entertaining pieces of journalism. We live at a time when companies are increasingly mistreating their employees and hiding it under a veneer of cliches.

That is where a trained, knowledgeable gamer who truly cares about what happens at Blizzard, Activision, or Riot Games can have an impact. Your kid can go ahead and become a team coach for all its worth or teach real-world athletes about the benefits of gaming. There is nothing stopping your child from becoming a health expert that focuses on helping esports athletes achieve more and live well.

There seem to be countless opportunities for esports-savvy gamers today. Even executives from the MLB, NBA, and NFL are leaving their well-paid positions with these organizations to get a job in esports instead. Is there a life for your kid after gaming? There most certainly is, and your child’s passion for video games will give them a significant leg-up in the big game of life.

What you need to do is be supportive as parents and remind yourself that anything else is you butting heads with your offspring rather than trying to help them on a journey that they are very likely to endeavor with or without you. Would you not rather be there to help and guide them instead?

Why Do Kids Want to Be Pro Gamers Anyway?

There seem to be so many reasons why a child would want to make a pro gamer. Playing games is a basic human nature, and even as grown-ups, we often find ourselves willing to take some time off just to enjoy ourselves, often with a hobby that appeals to us. We want to be amazed and passionate about something, and a video game is often that.

There are no rights or wrongs in the big game of life as long as you have a purpose and move towards it. As parents, you would need to understand that life is not just about piling on responsibilities on your kid but introducing them to new and exciting experiences that will either make an impression on them or just strike them as “not their thing.” It’s up to you as parents to know what is what, and there is no easy answer.

Professional gamer or not, you are bound to love your children no matter what. Helping them pursue their dreams is one of those manifestations of love.

My Kid Wants to Be a Pro Gamer: FAQs

Should I stop my kid from becoming a pro gamer?

No. You should educate yourself on what this means and how you can be of help. It’s far more productive to communicate with your kids rather than outright shutting down options for them.

Does my child have to drop everything else to excel at competitive gaming?

No. You must only allow your child to pursue gaming when they are well-rested, and all other duties have been met. There is no need to rush into professional gaming, and your child should experience other things until their mid to late teens.

At what point will I know if my child has potential?

Contacting a coach is always a good way to find out if your kid can make it as a professional gamer. If you understand esports a little better, you will spot the signs of a “pro” early on, maybe even before your kid does.

Can my kid retire as a pro gamer?

Yes, there are many career opportunities in video gaming, and your kids may actually end up millionaires in their early 20s. It’s all about what games they play and how good they are.

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