To all the teenagers who were told 'you'll never get a job by just sitting around playing games all day'; who were berated for running to the PlayStation instead of doing your homework, and who were criticised for not going outside and 'playing real football' - your time has come.
You can finally shove it back in your parents' face, because 23-year-old Alex Shaw has proven that you can earn up to £50,000 by doing all of those things. You just have to be able to do them very, very well.
“I think if my 13 or 14-year-old self could see what I do now and what I had achieved they would be amazed," he said, looking back.
“It is definitely something I know I will look back on when I’m older and be proud of and young lads are definitely jealous of what I do for a living.
“When I first bought FIFA and played with my friends, I wasn’t very good at all, but over the years and hours of practice I started to get better and began to beat professional players."
His ability to hold his own against the pros meant that Alex was invited to compete in an online football tournament in 2018, and though he wasn't able to secure a top prize, he did establish himself as an official FIFA eSports player.
Alex is now one of only around 40 people in the UK playing FIFA professionally for a living, spending up to eight hours playing the game on his PlayStation 5 in his bedroom with a £5,000 monitor and controller set up.
“I have played against some of the best players in the world and this is where you really learn how to get better at the game," he said.
In the years since his first tournament, Alex has entered loads of other competitions and managed to win himself some prize money totalling £15,000.
He's qualified for the ePremiere League four out of the five times it has been held, and through working full time on the game has earned himself £150,000 in the last five years.
Not only has he been living the dream and earning the big bucks while the rest of us begrudgingly followed our parents' instructions, but Alex has also been travelling across the world to represent Leicester City, Fulham and Watford in competitions.
When he isn’t travelling, Alex takes part in online tournaments from his bedroom playing against other professionals one-on-one, which can last up to two days. He's explained he always selects FIFA Ultimate Team mode during tournaments as he says it allows him to add the best players to his team.
The player has to take breaks from the screen every now and again while practising to ensure he doesn't 'become a robot' and lose his gaming rhythm, but he explained he still has a 'good social life outside of the game' and sees his friends a lot.
“My career is also very sociable as I’m always talking to and playing people online," he said.
Thankfully, Alex's parents have always been 'very supportive', even when he wasn't earning.
“I think at the start they were in a bit of disbelief when they found out I was becoming a professional FIFA player," he said. "But, I think when I started to fly around the globe and get put up in fancy hotels for free with my flights paid for, they definitely got on board.
“My dream goal is to win a tournament, but this is a very big ambition as some of the players are amazing and undefeated. But I am proud of myself for where I have got to so far and with more practice who know how good I can be in the future."
Looking ahead, Alex plans to continue his career for another five or ten years before hopefully becoming a host at the eSports tournaments.
"I am happy to be in front of a camera and enjoy watching the competitions as well as playing in them," he said.
Alex is now playing for Horizon Union, who he signed for last September.Featured Image Credit: SWNS