A Parent's Journey Through eSports

A Whole New World

Davina Rose - eSports Journalist

Watching parents supporting their children is a wonderful thing. For many years, it’s been no surprise to see a father shouting words of encouragement to his son from the stands of a football stadium, or a mother running a fresh water bottle out to her daughter on the volleyball court in between sets. On the other hand, it’s been assumed that many adults don’t quite grasp the concept of eSports, or understand that it presents as much value to their children as loving soccer, for example.

This is what made the Vainglory Summer 2017 Live Championship so special; every now and then, relatives of the Nova eSports players would excitedly dash in front of the stage, waving the Nova flag proudly as they passed by. The crowd let out a cheer every time, and even fans from opposing teams couldn’t help but smile.  

I had the pleasure of getting in touch with parents from the team; LoneDelphi’s father, Paul, and Starboi’s mother, Nancy. Both of their sons took different routes, but ultimately met up on the same path to continue to where they are now. When LoneDelphi took the news to his father that he was going to get paid for playing a game on his iPad, Paul’s response was spot on - “WOW!” After getting situated in the professional scene, LoneDelphi’s team was invited to an Invitational in San Francisco to which both he and his mother went. “It was a great event enjoyed by both, and very well organized and run. Yet, the journey that seemed so promising started to tumble downhill. The Spring Season came, and with it came losses. Everything began to deteriorate and before you know it, the team had been dumped. “Delphi was out of the job he loved and had worked so hard to get, and we were crushed for our son.” Still, his parents were there for him through the worst of it. After talking to more organizations, LoneDelphi ultimately chose the players he felt most comfortable taking the stage with, the Nova players Starboi and Truth. “It wasn't about money or anything else material. It was about our son's comfort and happiness. That was it, done deal as far as our family was concerned.

Showing their family support and love for their dreams! #NovaFam #NovaStrong #TeamDads

(Left to right: Tony (Truth's Uncle), Paul (Lonedelphi's Dad), Fan

"We are a Vg Family that supports our son 100%, no questions asked."

During the Summer Split 1, his parents were able to watch him get down to business and begin to dominate. Leading up to the Summer Live Championship, Paul recalled the night he and LoneDelphi’s mom watched Nova’s team take it one step further while they dined at their favorite restaurant. “We had a great dinner, both wearing our VG t-shirts (the waiter took our picture), and watched our son's team win their Saturday match, virtually guaranteeing them a spot in Unified.” That weekend, they would qualify. “We have watched every match our son's teams have played (except the ones that were played off stream). We are a VG FAMILY that supports our son 100%, no questions asked.”

Just as with LoneDelphi, Starboi has had his parents by his side during this ride as well. After attending a live event in Los Angeles as a Junior in High School, he came home inspired. “He told us he wanted to devote himself to the sport and to someday compete in a live event,” said Nancy. They agreed to a limited amount of time for practicing, in order to still have time for schoolwork. “Over the next year and a half, we saw Nathan discipline and dedicate himself to the sport. The character qualities we saw develop in his life included determination, dedication, sustained focus, sacrifice and leadership qualities.” Even though his father wasn’t entirely on board with him pursuing gaming, Starboi kept with it, for which both of his parents respected his discipline. “We watched him play online and were amazed and intrigued by how complicated the game was. Fast forward… he began competition and we wouldn’t miss a game!” They were ecstatic watching him move from Challengers to the Vainglory8.

As far as this last live event went, Nancy said being there brought things to another level. “It was crazy amazing to watch our son experience what he had worked so hard for. Words fail.” It also helped her and Starboi’s father to understand eSports better, a phenomenon that they were only exposed to because of their son’s passion for it. The same was said about their understanding of the team he played for. “Starboi was always positive about Nova. Greg [his father] went online to read about Nova and he was impressed with their vision. We seriously loved and respected when they hired an excellent coach for the team! Nova has been good to our son.”

After the event, the feelings seemed to blossom even more. “We were impressed with how personally involved and interested Nova is in the players. We were inspired by the dedication to succeed and excel in eSports.” Nancy admits that while they were not always as supportive, things have definitely changed as they’ve come to understand the scene better. “That is thanks to Nathan patiently answering our many questions over this journey!

All I can say is that I hope we’re able to see these parents at the next live event! While that’s up in the air, one thing is for certain; their love and support has been seen and even felt by many, and they serve as a true inspiration for the future of eSports, in the hopes that one day all eSports athletes can be supported by their parents in this way. 

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Saint Mary's College of California '18
Aspiring eSports journalist