Sometimes parents really don’t understand.
This serious bummer of a tale comes from Marcus “BOXception” Kwak (via the Daily Dot), a college student who qualified for the ESL Legendary Series season two finals. The next stop on his sweet ride? California, where he’d have the chance to vie for his cut of a $25,000 prize purse. Oh, and the trip out there was all-expenses-paid.
The situation that played out, however, was much akin to words once spoken by a great modern poet: “I got in one little [large Hearthstone tournament] and my [dad] got scared, [he] said you’re [not] moving with [anybody] in a town called [here].” Or, as Kwak explained on Reddit:
“I knew I had to tell my parents eventually so yesterday on Memorial Day I told my mom at first. She was first concerned but then supported me saying good luck telling your dad. I told my dad and it was an immediate no and I got into a lot of trouble.”
“The decision that came down was I either give up my spot and not play in the LAN and stay under the support of my family, or I go and play but pack my things and leave home and I get all support cut off from my parents. I am a college student and I during the summer I have nowhere to go live except for home. And I also do not have enough money to support myself for the rest of my life while paying for school to finish it. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life.”
Many Hearthstone players—including pros like Nihilum captain Jakub “Lothar” Szygulski—advised Kwak to keep at it, but Kwak, while thankful, has already decided to put his Hearthstone dreams on the backburner. For now.
“I will take everything into consideration,” he wrote, “but in the end I do only have 1 more year [of college] left, so might as well finish it all the way through then decide what comes next. But don’t worry the dream is not completely dead and is currently put on hold. Thank you all.”
Kwak is hardly the first eSports hopeful to find his present as the best player on the block butting heads with his future doing Proper Adult Job 116-B. It’s an increasingly common clash for young pros, especially in a world that’s yet to put eSports on the same pedestal as physical sports. While promising athletes can get full rides through college and (let’s face it) easy degree paths that let them focus on their sport of choice, eSports players often have to juggle while handling the figurative chainsaw that is a lack of understanding from family and friends. It’s pretty discouraging, to say the least.
With any luck, time, hard work, and widespread recognition will change these things. For now, though, there is no easy way, no low road—only uphill battles.