“It’s Still Surreal”: Parent Reacts to High School Son’s Success as Pro eSports Player

Washington Post: “When Christine Yankel learned her son, Ethan, wanted to become a professional in esports, she said it required ‘some negotiations.’ For example, Ethan, then a 16-year-old honor roll student, still had to finish high school. There was also a loose monitoring of the late-night practice sessions with the semi-professional team he joined online. Finally, Christine and her husband needed to learn more about the pro gaming scene Ethan would enter two years later — the one that would allow him to earn a potential six-figure salary before he had a college degree or was old enough to rent a car.”

“It’s still surreal to us,” Christine said. “You hear about people becoming professional esports players and to us, it was one of those far-off dreams, like your kid being a pro soccer player or pro football player. It feels like that.”

“Ethan, now 18, is publicly known by his gamertag ‘Stratus,’ a name he chose to honor his dead cat. It’s a name Christine said she has grown used to, although hearing it applied to her son and not their deceased pet was ‘really odd’ at first. Stratus is now among a handful of elite gamers who have gone pro in Overwatch, a six-on-six, sci-fi, first-person-shooter (FPS) game. He signed last winter with the Washington Justice, one of the 20 teams in the professional Overwatch League (OWL).”

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