An interview recently published by The Washington Post with Christine Yankel, the mother of Overwatch League player Stratus, has shed some light onto the unique complexities of being the parent of a teenager-turned-pro-gamer in the present day esports industry.
Stratus—who was a member of the Washington Justice during this past year's Overwatch League season and has already been confirmed to be playing for the Justice for at least two years to come—first moved out of his parents' home when he was 17 to live at the team house for NRG Esports' Contenders team. Just prior to that, Stratus had expressed to his parents his desire to become a pro gamer, and together they established some ground rules.
First, he had to finish high school, even though at 16 years old, he was already playing in Open Division league, and likely could have focused solely on his esports career at that point in time. His parents also monitored some of his practice sessions, which could last until late at night, both in order to ensure that professional gaming was the right path for him, and so that they could learn more about the activity to which he had decided to dedicate his career.
Yankel expressed having to educate both herself and others about professional gaming. While friends of hers would often have never even heard of esports as a career path, she notes a shift in public perception just in the past two years, during which time the esports industry has grown immensely. Additionally, in order to understand just what their son was doing with so much of his time, Stratus' parents watched professional gameplay so that they could reach the point of making sense of how Overawatch even works (anyone who has introduced Overwatch League to friends or family will understand just how Herculean a task this is).
Following a disappointing opening, the Washington Justice ultimately ended the 2019 Overwatch League season strong, going from nearly-winless to being considered a top-three team. This was thanks in part to the skill of Stratus, who alongside fellow damage player Corey, pushed the team to new heights. From the sounds of it, this came with the full support of his parents, who not only understand what esports are, but even know how to get the payload to Point C, which is about as much parental support as any professional gamer could ask for.
Source: The Washington Post