My Child Wants to Be a Professional Gamer: Help! (A Parent’s view)

When my child told me that he wanted to be a professional gamer, I admit, I had a mini-heart attack. I was thinking, what kind of future did he think he would have a gamer? Was that even a legitimate profession? I had all these preconceived notions that I wasn’t able to see things from his perspective.

My child wants to be a professional gamer, what should I do? Like any decent parent, your child needs support more than your baseless judgment. It’s not an easy pill to swallow, but if you keep an open mind, you’ll see that this is a viable career for your child.

Fortunately, I was able to educate myself and support my child’s gaming passions and dreams. That’s why I want to share this knowledge in the hope that other parents will find this useful. By reading this article you’ll know you’re making the right decision in supporting your kid on his journey to becoming a pro-gamer.

What should I know about the games my child is playing?

There are a lot of online games with different requirements and specifications. You need to know the kind of games that your child is into. There are Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) like DOTA 2 and League of Legends. There are also Real Time Strategy games such as Starcraft 2. And lastly, First Person Shooters (FPS) like Call of Duty and Overwatch.

You need to understand the goals of the game, the strategies involved, and how your Child fits into the game. Is he the leader-type who can carry his team in a fight? Or maybe a great assassin with speed and strategy? He can also be a support player such as a medic who saves his teammates from doom.

At this point, you should find out how good he is in his chosen game. There are leaderboards for most online games. If your Child is really serious, he should be at the top especially if he’s already devoted a lot of time to playing. A great number of pro-players reach a very high-level in a game while working during the day or studying. They only went pro when they realized that they had the potential to make it big.

For example, your child needs to have a rank of 3500+ in Overwatch. IN CS:GO, he should be at least Supreme Master or Global Elite. In League of Legends, he should be playing in Master or Challenger Leagues.

Remember that commitment is not the only thing needed to succeed in this field. Just like regular sports, he needs to have discipline in training, critical thinking when coming up with strategies, good reflexes, and the ability to work in a team.

In team-based games, he should already have a close circle of mates who will play with him in online tournaments. Playing in a regular team says a lot about his ability to work in a professional capacity.

Why do I need to understand my child’s competitive mindset?

Consistent improvement should be etched in his mindset. In team games, there are two types of players – the one who always blames others, and the one who reflects on how to make his game better.

The first one always finds faults about other players, without taking any responsibility for their mistakes. There will be times that your child might be upset with a particular player. But you need to check whether this is happening regularly. Constantly blaming others will keep your child from seeing his own improvements.

The next type of player is the one who accepts their team’s defeat and acknowledges the mistakes he made. In his mind, he is thinking about how he could improve his game style. He’ll take the time to review the opponents’ moves, plus taking notes of the things that work in their favour.

This type of player is the one that ends up successful in the gaming industry. He always focuses on solutions and not on excuses. He keeps on improving his gameplay even if everything is going wrong on his side.

Remember that this is the type of mindset that your child needs to have in order to be successful in this field. If your child is showing the former, try to help him process everything so he can be more introspective with his game style.

Do I have to set a deadline for my child?

This is an important deal that you should make with your child. As a parent, I know that you want your child to succeed. But you also need to have a plan B. With my child, I gave him one year to create a professional gaming portfolio, if he didn’t achieve this in time, he would have to go back to finishing his degree as he hadn’t made the required commitments.

With this time frame, your child will have a definite goal in mind. This will give him more focus and discipline to achieve what he wants to achieve, as soon as possible. In case he’s not able to achieve his goals, he has a fallback. Once he graduates and you are no longer supporting him financially, he can choose his own path whether to pursue this path again or not.

Most of the former professional gamers went back to school after a great run in the gaming industry. These players understand that they will not be able to stay on top forever. Great gaming teams are formed every day. For a lot of these ex-pros, they went back to university after earning a lot of prizes and sponsorships and pursued their own careers.

Competitive players in online games are also competitive in their daily lives. They love to win at everything. It means, they do not easily give up. Even if they suffer from major setbacks, they do not just abandon their dreams but instead, work harder to achieve what they want.

This is the kind of lifestyle your child should start to emulate. By having a winner’s mindset, it will be easier for him to transition into a professional gaming life.

Why is it important to balance my support?

If your child is already starting his professional gaming career, it is important that you show him your full support. Starting a professional gaming career can be exhausting and challenging for your child and he will need all the support he can get.

Online games are very competitive. Nowadays, almost everyone has access to online games making the competition larger in number. Your child needs to be at the top – he will be against millions of other players online and it is not an easy feat.

Therefore, you need to understand that even though your child practices hard, it might not result in a successful outcome. Winning in online game tournaments is a combination of having the skills, finding the perfect team, and just being lucky. Lacking one might lead to his loss.

That’s why it is your job to inspire him to do better and to not give up easily. But you also need to balance your support. You should know when it is the perfect time for your child to think about other career options.

The time will come when you’ll have to sit down with your child to discuss his other options. This might be painful but you have to be ready in case this happens.

Why is it important for my child to fully understand the life of a gamer?

Being a professional gamer is not just a walk in the park. It means that your child will have to deal with a manager and a coach. He will also have tight schedules, including long hours of practice. He will face a lot of stress along the way while reaching his goal.

It is a far cry from being a casual player where you just play whenever you want to. Transitioning to a professional gaming career means your child will have to work.

He should understand that since this is a career, he doesn’t hold his time anymore. Even if he is not in the mood to play, he has to keep on playing. He will be asked to learn multiple roles. Even if he’s not used to a particular role, he has to reach an acceptable level. If he won’t be able to keep up, teams will ditch him easily.

The pressure is high when you’re a professional player. Your child will have to travel to different countries to compete. He will be a public figure and he will have worldwide fans. All of this will be going on while he maintains his rank and his spot in the team, it can be hard.

Other professional teams require all their players to live in a flat. For most of them, it works because it means their schedules are synchronized. But it also comes with a lot of pressure because there is no excuse not to improve. Also, your child’s routines in terms of family and social life will be affected. Make sure that your child is willing to make these sacrifices.

In Conclusion

Being a professional gamer does not mean your child doesn’t have huge ambition. This is one of the most competitive up-and-coming sports in the world. That’s why as a parent, he will need all your support and understanding. It is crucial that you do your homework too so you can guide him to success.

If you want to know more about this industry, there are a lot of websites talking about various tournaments, games, and strategies. You can also follow his favourite players and teams. Doing this, will give you a better idea of how people are playing online.

The most important thing is your presence. It is a huge boost of morale to your kid if you are always there to support him. Try to be there during his games. Try to have a conversation with him regarding his game. This will contribute to the success of your child in this field.

Related Questions:

How much does an online professional gamer earn? Those who are on the top of their career can earn up to $60,000 per year.

What are the side effects of playing video games for too long? There are a number of side-effects that you might get when playing video games for a long time. It includes but not limited to: obesity, heart problem, posture problem, headache, and poor eyesight.
How can I earn money playing online games? You can sell some of your valuable loots that you get online. Therefore, the higher level you are, the better loot you can get. You can also sell your account, or write guides so you can earn extra bucks.

Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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