families and esports

Families Supporting Esports — And Esports Supporting Families

The end of the year is a time when family comes to mind, and family support has long been a sensitive topic in esports. For many pioneering pros of the past, the reaction from parents and other relatives has been confusion or even hostility. We saw the tides change in this old narrative in 2019, with more and more relatives embracing the esports stardom of those near and dear to them.

For esports journalist Emily Rand, witnessing the story of another esports professional’s relationship with his mother helped heal her own wounded one. In a personal column for ESPN, Rand recounts her visit to South Korea during the 2018 League of Legends World Championship, including her experience at a restaurant called  Yumine. Yumine’s proprietor is  Kim Yoon-mi, the mother of legendary League of Legends jungler Han “Peanut” Wang-Ho, and she had built the establishment into a veritable shrine to her son, with photos and memorabilia on every wall. Rand traced the evolution of Mrs. Kim’s perspective on her son’s career from ire and disapproval to wholehearted support, paralleled by her relationship with her own mother and, perhaps, those of many others in esports.