Sep 18 2014

Dad Concerned Son’s E-Gaming Career May Not Last Forever

The headline “Dad Concerned Son’s E-Gaming Career May Not Last Forever” may sound like it belongs on The Onion, but it’s real. Here are some quotes from an article that was on the FRONT PAGE of the New York Times a few weeks back.

(Note: the photo below is from a a DOTA Championship back in 2005. Remember 2005? Good times, good times. OK, not really.)

English: The top three finalists in DotA Allst...

English: The top three finalists in DotA Allstars, from WCG 2005 (a computer gaming championship). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His obsession with video games was a sore point with Mr. Dager’s parents during his teenage years, as it was for the parents of many top gamers.

“I, and many players like me, sacrificed everything,” said Mr. Dager, who is almost a senior in college but is not attending school now. “We gave up on sports and friends and school just so we can play more.”

Mr. Dager’s income was meager last year, amounting to less than $20,000. But he estimates his income so far this year at more than $200,000.

He recently looked at a condominium to buy in Fort Wayne. His father, Joe Dager, said he was proud of his son’s success but uncertain about the longevity of his son’s career.

“There’s hardly a week that goes by when we don’t reiterate the fact that that’s all fine and good, but at some point you do have to make provisions to finish school,” his father said. “We say that, but I don’t know if Bill Gates’s parents are still saying that to him.”

(Note: emphasis added above.)

Quick comment: making money playing video games does not mean you are Bill Gates. It doesn’t even mean you’re a programmer, or know a thing about how to start a successful business, much less the multibillion dollar Microsoft. So let’s not get too crazy.

What I say to kids who tell me they want an e-gaming/e-sports career is the following: start really young, keep your expectations realistic, and don’t skip college unless you’ve got something tangible happening where you are making actual money. Not potential money. Actual money. And any money you make? Save it. Put it in the bank. Invest it in something low-risk. (Unless you have a trust fund or something. In that case, be a mensch and donate your winnings. That would be a nice thing to do.) Because the game that you happen to be a master of could easily disappear as quickly as it became popular. Maybe even faster.

In E-Sports, Video Gamers Draw Real Crowds and Big Money –