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How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Play Esports?

How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Play Esports?

Esports has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and it's not just adults getting in on the action. Kids and teens are also eager to compete, but how old do they actually need to be to participate in esports leagues, join teams, win prizes, or even attend tournaments? This article aims to answer these burning questions, diving deep into the age requirements set by various esports leagues and what parents should know before letting their kids venture into the competitive gaming world.

  • CSGO News
  • November 3, 2023
How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Play Esports?

General Esports Age Regulations

Before we move on to other aspects like joining esports teams or participating in CSGO tournaments, let’s take a moment to discuss general age guidelines in the esports industry.

Game Ratings and Age Limits

First, you need to understand that video games come with ratings, similar to movies. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is the organization responsible for these ratings in the United States. Games can be rated ‘E’ for Everyone, ‘T’ for Teens, or ‘M’ for Mature, among other ratings. 

These ratings serve as a general guideline for what age group should be playing video games.

For instance, games like League of Legends are rated ‘T,’ making them acceptable for players who are 13 years old and above. On the other hand, games like Call of Duty are rated ‘M,’ which means they’re intended for mature audiences and usually require players to be 17 or older.

Protecting Young Gamers

The age restrictions are not just arbitrary numbers; they serve a purpose. They’re designed to both protect children and younger esports players from exposure to violent or inappropriate content. And they aim to prevent children from being exploited through activities such as esports betting or gambling.

How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Play Esports in a League?

esports league

When it comes to age requirements for esports, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Different leagues have their own set of rules, often influenced by the type of game and its content. Let’s break down some of the most popular esports leagues and their age requirements.

When it comes to age requirements for esports, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Different leagues have their own set of rules, often influenced by the type of game and its content. 

So if you’re wondering how old do kids need to be to play esports, let’s break down some of the most popular esports leagues and their age requirements.

League of Legends

Anyone playing games regularly knows that League of Legends (LoL) is a behemoth. The game itself is rated 12 by the PEGI system, but you’ll need to be at least 13 years old to compete and play. The chat feature in the game is one reason for this age limit. Young talents like Lee “Clozer” Ju-hyeon have made their mark in LoL tournaments as early as 17.


DOTA 2 is another major player in the esports circuit. The game has a PEGI rating of 12, but its graphic violence involving fantasy characters warrants caution for younger players. Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan was just shy of 16 when he won a Valve event, making him one of the youngest in DOTA 2 history. And for the adults, there’s a thriving Dota 2 gambling community to explore.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) is not for the faint of heart. With an ‘M’ rating, this game is generally reserved for players who are at least 17 or 18, can last through multiple rounds, and has many formal leagues that use CSGO terminology and slang to learn to play effectively.


PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has a more flexible age limit, but most formal leagues set the bar at 16 or 18 due to the game’s violent nature.


Fortnite stands out because it lacks a formal esports league. This gives teams more leeway to sign younger players, like Kyle ‘Mongraal’ Jackson, who joined Team Secret at just 13.


Valorant, a newcomer to the esports scene, is rated ‘T’ for teens. While the game itself is suitable for players 13 and up, most formal leagues set the minimum age of requirement at 16 or 17.

Honor of Kings

Honor of Kings, a mobile sensation in China, doesn’t have a clear age requirement. However, Tencent has imposed time restrictions on players under 18.

Call of Duty

With its ‘M’ rating, Call of Duty is generally off-limits to players under 17 in formal leagues.


Overwatch League mandates players to be at least 18, but younger players can compete in the Super League, a gaming league that accepts gamers as young as 6 to 16.

Heroes of the Storm

Heroes of the Storm (HotS) is generally open to players 13 and up, but formal leagues often have stricter age requirements.

So, as you can see, the age requirements for esports leagues can vary widely depending on the game and the level of competition. Parents and young gamers need to be aware of these rules to ensure a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience.

How Old Do Kids Need to Be to Join an Esports Team?

The esports world is constantly growing, with teams as diverse as the games themselves. This offers a range of opportunities for young talents. But if you’re unsure where to start, let’s take a look at the options kids have plus the age requirements attached to them.

Informal Teams

Informal teams often serve as the gateway for young pro gamers, to get a taste of competitive play. These teams can be formed in various settings:

  • High schools
  • Gaming lounges
  • Scholastic organizations
  • Youth sports organizations
  • Online communities

These venues provide a safe space for young people to bond with others their age and develop both gaming and cognitive skills. The Super League, for example, is a great starting point for kids to understand what professional tournaments feel like. 

Super League gamers get to enjoy strictly playing games rated ‘E’ for everyone and ‘T’ for teens, avoiding games rated 18 or higher.

Formal Teams

When it comes to formal teams, the age requirements can be a bit more stringent. These teams often participate in professional leagues and tournaments, which means they have to adhere to the age restrictions set by those events. For instance, games like CS:GO, DOTA 2, and LoL usually set their age requirements at 17 or 18 years. They are targeted to those with pro gamer aspirations.

However, there are exceptions. Kyle ‘Mongraal’ Jackson, a Fortnite phenomenon, was the youngest person signed to Team Secret’s professional squad at just 13 years old. As we mentioned earlier, Fortnite doesn’t have a formal esports league, which gives teams more flexibility in signing younger athletes.

Whether your child is looking to join an informal team or has aspirations for the big leagues, there’s likely a place for them in the esports world. Just make sure to check the specific age requirements for the game and league they’re interested in.

Age Requirements for Esports Tournaments

Before you jump into the world of esports tournaments, take a moment to understand that tournaments often have their own set of their own age restrictions and regulations. These can be influenced by the game being played, the difficulty of gameplay, the length of the ranking up process, the location of the tournament, and even the audience they’re targeting.

Age Variability Across Tournaments

Tournaments can be as small as a local LAN party or as big as an international championship. Because of this diversity, the age requirements can be quite fluid. For example, some tournaments might allow younger players to compete if they’re accompanied by an adult, while others might have strict age floors that align with the game’s content rating.

Audience Age Considerations

But it’s not just the competitors in fighting games who need to mind their age — spectators do too. Some tournaments, particularly those featuring ‘M’-rated games, have age restrictions for the audience. This is to ensure that younger viewers aren’t exposed to content that’s not suitable for their age group.

Parental Guidance and Industry Responsibility

For the parents of young players out there, know that the esports industry is taking steps to ensure a safe environment for young gamers. Age restrictions in tournaments are not just arbitrary. They’re often in place to align with content ratings and to protect younger players from various forms of exploitation.

Who is the Youngest Esports Player?

Counterstrike 2 gameplay

Let’s take a moment to spotlight some young esports prodigies who’ve made a name for themselves.

  • Victor De Leon III, aka “Lil Poison,” holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest professional gamer, entering his first Halo tournament at just four years old.
  • Then there’s Kyle ‘Mongraal’ Jackson, who was only 13 when he signed with Team Secret to play Fortnite.
  • Benedict Ward, known as MrKcool, also started his esports career at 13, focusing on the mobile game Vainglory.
  • Another young Fortnite player, H1ghSky1, stirred controversy for streaming on Twitch below the platform’s age limit.
  • Last but not least, South Korean StarCraft 2 player Maru debuted in a professional league at the age of 13.

These young talents and esports athletes have not only shattered age barriers but have also set new benchmarks in the esports world.

CSGO Gambling is for Grownups

A lot of people that get involved in esports games like CSGO, wind up exploring CSGO gambling. However, that’s a realm strictly for adults. While the esports arena is open to all ages, CSGO gambling is a different ball game.

You’ve got to be at least 18 to play, and it’s not just a suggestion — it’s the law. The focus here is on real money, and the stakes can be high, both financially and ethically. There is a risk of gambling addiction and that’s not something any child should be near.

Now, if you’re of age and want to dip your toes into CSGO gambling, platforms like CSGORoll are a great option because you can try out a bunch of games including skin gambling and esports betting and you can get 3 free cases and 5% extra when you make a deposit.

Farmskins is another great choice, where you can participate in CSGO case battles and get a $.90 welcome bonus when you sign up. There are plenty of options for adults who want to explore the world of CSGO gambling and add some extra excitement to their gaming experience. But again, not for kids!

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