How do I explain to my parents that competitive gaming is viable?

As a competitive gamer, you often have to go through many of the same challenges as would a traditional sports athlete. Getting to the top 1 to 5 percent of anything is always a struggle and is something that will require a lot of hard work and dedication. Competitive gaming is not different in that regard, becoming a professional gamer requires sacrifices and dedication. However, one major challenge that a competitive gamer will most likely face in today's day and age that someone in the traditional sports world might not, is having to convince people that it's a viable life path.

What does viable even mean?
Viable is something that is capable of becoming successful, in other words, something that has great potential. If anyone tells their parents they want to become a professional basketball player, their parents will most likely be up for it and will support them as much as they can because they know that there is a potential chance of major success. Not only that but they would also sort of know the process and procedures for the kid to go through in order to get to where that kid wants to be. On the other hand, competitive gaming is still in a fairly new stage. Because it's only really been a thing for the past couple of years, some of the older generation may not have been exposed to it yet, therefore can't even acknowledge that it's a possible life path. If they haven't seen it on TV, tey might just think you're talking about gambling or playing for fun which is not the case. 

The other thing is that they might think about Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, or Stephen Curry when you tell them about basketball because those are names they've heard of and know that are successful and can properly live off of playing the sport. When you tell them about gaming, they have no reference of such to soothe their minds to tell them that their kid is going to be okay and successful following this path. I guess Faker, Doublelift, or Bjergsen are not relevant enough yet, especially not in North America.... So what do?

Not much you can do on your own..sadly
Well, there's always talking and trying to make them understand what it is, and how the industry is going, developing and growing. If they can understand that, then that's really good, but I know that that didn't work for me. What worked for me was simply proving to them that it IS a viable path even sometimes on a smaller scale. I once moved out of my parents' house and in a completely new city where I was studying, I decided to try it out and dive fully into the competitive gaming world and try to live off of it. It wasn't pretty but I wasn't dying of hunger! I also wasn't the best in town so that played a role but the point is that I was able to do my groceries, put food on the table every day, and even go out from time to time even with the level I had which was nowhere near the top 100 of people who played that game. When my parents got to know that, they started having more respect for competitive gaming as a whole.

We believe that exposure and education is definitely what's missing in the competitive gaming community right now and that's one thing that we're trying to solve on the platform. We need to support the people who are going into it and who are in it at the moment so it can grow where it's on TV and other mainstream media. By making events that are not only gamer-friendly but anyone-friendly, we get to intertwine different worlds to make for more educated people.
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