The ultimate gift guide for esports-obsessed dads and gaming grads

If your loved ones are as fixated on pixels as we are, they'll appreciate something from this list


The lucky gamer in your life deserves one of these, no? Photo by AlexLMX/iStock/Getty Images Plus

It’s June, and that means different things to different people. If you happen to live where we live, it means rain. Lots of rain. But with the promise of brighter days on the horizon.

For those who have dads or are dads themselves, June means Father’s Day, which falls on the 21st. For lots of folks attending a secondary school or a postsecondary institution, June means graduation is near.

Because everything is basically nuts right now, grad ceremonies and parties have gone the way of sporting events and moved online. And, depending on the scope of your own household bubble, you might only be seeing your dad on a screen this Father’s Day.

It’s a weird world, but one thing hasn’t changed: whether you have a dad or a grad in your life—or maybe even more than one of each—you’re still obligated to get them a gift. Because it’s June, you see.

If your particular loved ones are as fixated on pixels and frame rates as we are, they are likely to appreciate something from the following list, which we humbly offer as the ultimate gift guide for esports-obsessed dads and gaming grads.

Vancouver Titans home jersey

Vancouver-Titans-replica-home-jersey (1)
Vancouver Titans replica home jersey.

It’s been quite a year for the Vancouver Titans. Okay, fair enough—2020 has been a hell of a year for everyone on the planet. In the Overwatch League team’s case, though, it’s been downright topsy-turvy, with the organization parting ways with all of the players and coaches back in May.

All the personnel turmoil doesn’t take away from the fact that the Titans have arguably the coolest branding in all of esports, with that glaring green Sasquatch making this replica home jersey a must for fans. Fans of the Vancouver Titans, we mean, but also fans of Sasquatches in general. Sasquatches are cool. (Find it here.)

NETGEAR Nighthawk gaming switch

NETGEAR Nighthawk S8000 gaming switch.

According to the official description, this slick-looking piece of gear “includes a new gaming dashboard for real-time network insights, auto-diagnostics, and close-to-zero latency for fast responsiveness & high-resolution video”.

Don’t worry if you have no clue what any of that means—the gamer in your life will understand that it means every round of their next Spike Rush will unfold in crystal-clear definition, and that they’ll be able to appreciate the recoil pattern of their Odin as it was meant to be experienced, with no latency.

And if you have no idea what any of that means, you might be on the wrong website. (Find it here.)

Pac-Man ghost lamp

Paladone Pac-Man ghost lamp.

Perhaps your dad (or grad, we’re not ageist) is actually old enough to remember when the original Pac-Man hit arcades. That was in 1980, for the record; he might also recall that the game was initially called “Puck Man”. It’s a good thing Namco changed it, because “Puck Man” sounds like a hockey-based game, and just imagine how easy it would have been for some mischief-minded miscreant to deface the machine by turning the P into an F.

Paladone’s Pac-Man ghost lamp will bring back memories of those heady days. Switch it to “party mode” and it will cycle through 16 different colours—which is about a dozen more colours than the ghosts in the game came in. We’ve come a long way since 1980. (Find it here.)

Logitech G604 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse

Logitech G604 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse.

Let’s be honest here, gaming isn’t fully enjoyable until you have the best equipment. With 15 programmable controls, dual connectivity—Bluetooth and 1 mms light-speed—Hero 16K sensor, and a dual-mode hyper-fast scroll wheel, the G604 is one of the best mice available and is sure to help turn your dad or grad into one of the gaming elites. (Find it here.)

Toronto Defiant cap

New Era Toronto Defiant cap.

They say game recognizes game, but we could amend that to note that gamers recognize gamers. This is our way of saying that when the recipient of this sleekly designed black cap wears it on the street (or, more likely these days, on a Microsoft Teams meeting), some people won’t get it.

Esports fanatics, on the other hand, will instantly recognize the red insignia as the logo of the Overwatch League Atlantic North Division’s Toronto Defiant. Sure, the Defiant finished its inaugural season in 17th place and is currently 16th in the OWL standings. Look at it this way, though: everyone loves to root for the underdog. Especially when the underdog has really cool-looking merch. (Find it here.)

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Paper Mario: The Origami King for Nintendo Switch

Surprise! Princess Peach has been captured once again and Mario must rescue her.

Mario and Luigi were invited to an origami festival in Toad Town, but when they arrived, the town was deserted. They discover that the princess has been turned into origami by King Olly, who is hell-bent on folding the world.

Mario must find the princess’s castle, which was transported to a distant mountain, while unfolding the damage that the king has created. Even Bowser is no match for Olly’s folding rampage when his soldiers turn on him and become Olly’s folded troops. Mario must team up with Olly’s sister Olivia and King Koopa to complete the mission.

This game is one-player, and it’s the perfect gift for dads and grads who need to put in some digital-hero time. The official release is July 17, but you can pre-order it today so your giftee has their copy on lock. (Find it here.)

Lego Overwatch Bastion building kit

Lego Overwatch Bastion building kit

You can’t spend all your free time playing Overwatch. If you have someone in your life who seems determined to prove that the above statement is untrue, hit ’em with a brick. Or a box of bricks.

Overwatch isn’t Lego’s first video-game-based theme. The company has made Minecraft sets since 2012. That’s a natural fit, given that both Lego and Minecraft involve constructing things with blocks. Overwatch Lego might seem a little less intuitive, but this 602-piece buildable model of everyone’s favourite combat robot turned explorer looks like a lot of fun. You can also configure it from recon mode to sentry mode without any rebuilding. Think of how dope it will look set up next to your favourite gamer’s monitor. (Find it here.)

SEGA Genesis Mini

SEGA Genesis Mini.

This is the perfect gift for those grads who love retro gaming or dads who want to reminisce about the old consoles they got rid of at a garage sale. This mini version of the Sega Genesis is loaded with 40 games, including Ecco the Dolphin, Altered Beast, Sonic the Hedgehog, Golden Axe, Street Fighter II, Contra, and Tetris. The system is plug-and-play, so hook-up is easy, plus you get two controllers so all the dads can finally school their kids at games they dominated back in the day. (Find it here.)

Father and baby gamer shirts

Player 1 and Player 2 shirts for dad and baby.

This shirt-and-onesie combo is the perfect gift for new dads out there. It’s cute, funny, and affordable. Sure, the new gamer-in-training will be Player 2 on the sticks, but he or she will be No. 1 in their dad’s heart. The shirt-and-onesie set comes in black, grey, and navy blue. (Find it here.)

With files from Jon Cranny and Mike Usinger.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information see our disclosures here.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

Leave a Comment