How Not To Stop Your Nerdy Child From Becoming A Pro Gamer

How Not To Stop Your Nerdy Child From Becoming A Pro Gamer

Stefano “Verbo” Disalvo, center, now plays for the LA Valiant in Overwatch League… despite his parents’ reservations (image via Immortals)

Pro gaming has yet to become normalised enough for the parents of America to feel proud of their offspring for pursuing it professionally. At least, not until those children defy all expectations and start making hundreds of thousands of dollars in tournament winnings. Parents of pro gamers told the Wall Street Journal all the tactics they tried to get their kids to stop playing so many video games, and it’s an impressive list.

Matthew “Akaadian” Higginbotham, pro League of Legends jungler, had to contend with his father unplugging his PC from the wall and, failing that, unplugging the ethernet cable. The League pro’s dad admits that he now has some grudging respect for his son: “He makes more than me.”

The father of Dota 2 pro Peter “ppd” Dager went a step further than Akaadian’s dad, going so far as to crack open his son’s computer and remove hardware in order to stop the incessant gaming. The elder Dager had hoped to raise a jock: “If he was going out kicking field goals as much as he was playing video games, it wouldn’t have been a problem,” making him the first dad to want his son to be a meathead kicker.

Stefano “Verbo” Disalvo, Overwatch support player for the LA Valiant, had to contend with public humiliation. His mum dangled his underwear behind him during a live gaming stream in a misguided attempt to stop her son’s journey towards professional nerdery.

The craftiest rule breaker in the bunch, Call of Duty pro Cuyler “Huke” Garland, thwarted his father’s plan to take the Xbox away by storing a second secret Xbox in a closet. (Where this second Xbox came from, the Journal does not report.)

Whenever Huke said he had to stay home sick from school, his dad would take the Xbox with him to work. After discovering his son’s crafty plan, Huke’s dad took two Xboxes to work. The frazzled patriarch still seems dismayed at what he endured: “There was no direction, no help for this.”

One can hardly blame these parents for their scepticism: pro gaming still isn’t a stable career path. Their kids reflect a lucky and stubborn few. But, more importantly, any parent who wants to stop their child from becoming a pro gamer needs to come up with better tactics than these ones.

They didn’t stop this generation from becoming wealthy esports stars, but if we all work together, we can prevent the next one.


  • Parents: The harder you try to stop your kid from doing something, the more they’re going want to do it. And by the time they’re 15 or 16, they’re smarter than you. Fighting your kid’s desires is fighting a losing battle.

    • I definitely wasn’t smarter than my parents at 15-16, and 9/10 cases never is anyone else. My parents course being involved in IT were just more adept in restricting Computer related tasks.

      I’d argue a degree of success felt by these examples stems from the additional challenges while unintentionally causing them to be better.
      Left handed people on average aren’t smarter due to the brain being wired for left handed use, but because the world challenges them earlier.

    • Smarter than them? Riiiiiiiiiight. There’s a difference between intelligence and sly cunning. From your comment I gotta ask, have you experienced both roles yet? Teenager and parent/adult? I’m guessing no. I gotta admit tho, those years where you think you know everything were pretty fun.

  • I’d rather my kid try for a career in esports then a physical contact sport where a single injury can potentially end their future and their lives. But I understand the skepticism of today’s parents.

  • I wouldn’t want my kids to be pro gamers, they are pretty much all on drugs/stimulants that will ruin their health when they are older.

    • Do you have legitimate sources to say pretty much all run on drugs and such because I have seen and drug testing results posted en masse so feel free to prove me wrong but don’t make up crap about people you’re jealous of.

      That being said are you stating or insinuating that professional sports people DON’T take drugs because there is a lot of evidence to the contrary as well rampant sexual molestation and child endangerment from sports parents.

      • Plenty of articles on this site and others, multiple player admissions and “scandals” – just have a look.

        Oh and way to go off on a tangent btw – first of all its you that is “insinuating” I’m stating pro sports people don’t do drugs – never even mentioned them lol.
        Then you go into some random rant on molestation – seriously wtf

        • That’s not a tangent you don’t know what a tangent is that comment was completely along the same path as your previous statement of you thinking(but not knowing) it is unsafe for people to pursue an eSports career. Also if you don’t know what I’m talking about the molestation that means you’re not up on current affairs in the sports industry and this was literally worldwide news for several weeks so you’re very uninformed and you’re spreading misinformation and dangerous assumptions.

          You also provided absolutely zero evidence to back your claim so don’t be surprised when you get called out for baseless allegations you cretin.

          • Wow, you have some serious rage issues.

            I didn’t say I wasn’t aware about molestation issues in the (actual) sports industry (in fact you were the only person that brought up the topic) – I said that I didn’t mention it at all and it was a completely random thing to bring up when the discussion was about pro-gamers. Hence the “tangent” – which by definition is a completely different line of thought or action.

            Also why should i need to provide you with evidence of drug use in pro-gaming?, You’re obviously not up on current affairs in the e-sports industry and this was literally worldwide news for several years so you’re very uninformed and you’re spreading misinformation and dangerous assumptions? lol.

          • You made the claim of drug use first and I simply pointed out your hypocrisy that typical athletic sports have rampant drug use, sexual assault, DUI, & corruption and you have nothing to do but deflect. I mean that’s on your conscience so good luck mate.

          • Use some punctuation plz. If I’d read that out loud I’d have died from a lack of oxygen! Was the cretin comment really necessary? Switch to decaf or something mate. Chill.

  • He actually wanted to raise a jock? Disgusting. I certainly do understand the worry of your kids spending all their free time playing video games though, there has to be a balance.

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