“Let me see the contract” – Valorant eSports

Zachary “zekken“Patrone (17) recently started his career as a professional e-sportsman in the online shooter Valorant (PC). Parents are his biggest supporters. They told how zekken played his way up from Wii in the living room to professional e-sports. Who is zekken? Zekken is an American e-sports player who currently plays professionally Valorant in Team XSet.

How zekken got into e-sports:

  • At the age of 13: zekken participated in a local Super Smash Bros tournament, but was destroyed there
  • At the same time there was an Overwatch tournament, zekken watched and his interest in e-sports was aroused
  • zekken first played privately
  • He picked up Valorant on the first day of release, trained privately with friends, and then got into it professionally
  • A first big success came in early 2021 in the Super League Arena, in the Valorant team Phoenix1 zekken won first place
  • Since then it’s gone steeply uphill and zekken achieved several times 1st place with his teams

Father always pulled boy, did not begrudge him a victory

That was his entry into the world of video games: In his youth, zekken often played Wii Sports with his father and lost many games. Often the boy reacted frustrated to his defeats. Sometimes he even cried, his father told.Still, his father would not let zekken win, saying, “In life, no one will let you win.” Over time, zekken developed a great ambition in the games. This is explained by zekken’s father in an interview with the e-sports site. (via dotesports) His mother also supported the boy playing so much: but only when his school grades were right and he did his homework. His father enjoyed playing with the boy, even when he regularly lost to him on the Wii. Zekken initially gambled a lot with friends and his parents: gaming became an activity that strengthened family bonds. At first, zekken played a lot of CS:GO, then on release day, June 2, 2020, he picked up Valorant and was part of the first teams. In the end, he managed to get started professionally.

Did you get that checked out by consumer protection?

What was it like when he turned pro? When the professional contract from XSET came, the mother at first thought it was a scam. It was unimaginable for her at first that her son would be paid for gaming:

My first reaction was, “This is a scam. How is anyone supposed to pay you? As a mother, you wonder, you know? I’m old. I don’t play video games – I said, “Did you have Consumer Protection check that out? Fake News! That was my first reaction. He was still a minor, of course as a mother you want to protect your child.”

Zaida (Zekken’s mother) via dotesports.com

Zekken’s father took a closer look at the contract. The parents’ concerns were eventually allayed. The cooperation between XSET and zekken came about.

What do parents say about zekken’s career? Many parents would like to see their children in “stable and secure” jobs. The field of e-sports is often seen as an “insecure job” and is viewed rather critically.

Not so with zekken’s parents. They are fully behind their son and support his decision.

“We only have this one life. We must [zekken] make his life. I want him to be happy, successful, safe and healthy.”

Zaida (Zekken’s mother) via dotesports.com

They accompany zekken on his competitions and stand by their son with support. A support that encourages zekken to take off as an e-sportsman, as he stated in the interview.

What is zekken’s plan B? Even though zekken’s e-sports career is currently on a steep uphill climb, the 17-year-old has a Plan B. If things don’t work out with e-sports, he wants to go to college. A 15-year-old Fortnite player also had dreams of becoming a professional gamer. His mother took him out of school because of it. Now, however, he is quitting. What do you think about being an e-athlete? Feel free to write it in the comments


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