Oct 24, 2023
Coach Spotlight - Adam Little
Adam Little (he/him), is the current Network/System Administrator and Esports Head Coach at Gogebic Community College (GCC).
Competitive gaming has been a long-standing part of Little’s life and when the previous GCC coaches were stepping out of their respective roles, the opportunity presented itself for him to step in.
The esports team has 24 enrolled players and 12 teams competing within the NJCAAE. The GCC esports team has been around for six years and was one of the first teams to join the NJCAAE.
“We’re part of the way through the Fall season now, and off to a decent start. There are some opportunities for improvement because we have shifted up to the Premiere Series (T1) from the Contender (T2). However, I suspect our Spring Season will be very strong as teams settle back into the rhythm. In other words, we are in our upswing now,” said Little.
How do your players prepare for the NJCAAE Championship?
“Most of the players love the games they’ve been able to compete in. This gives them ample reason to build on skills and practice. When preparing for championships we take a relatively standard approach: study our games and our opponents, keep up with practice, and acknowledge the hard work and progress we’ve made during the season that got us there,” said Little, “Seeing the NJCAAE transformation over the past year has been cool. I think the work the team has put in with Matt as chair has been significant. Launching the website has provided a great resource for current and potential athletes, as well as providing good insight for those looking to learn more about esports in general.”
Have any of your players' growth or stories stood out to you as a coach? Why?
“I’ve had some amazing players in a short time. I’ve seen players from last year step into leadership roles to guide, build, and even form brand-new teams. Our remaining CoD player from last year has been extremely helpful in showing the new players the top-level competitive setups and callouts that are required for that type of competition. It’s really encouraging seeing players get hands-on to see the continued success of the program,” said Little.
What are some of the challenges that come with college esports?
“2-year institutions have a very quick turnover in players. It makes team building a challenge and a priority because athletes must take so much onto themselves to remain competitive in short order,” said Little, “Building skills can cost an entire season for teams without huge rosters and resources. There is also a lot of variance in our opponents’ resources that we work to compete against.”
Little explained that the most challenging part of being an esports coach is the amount of games out. He has been working to fill a team for each game offered by the NJCAAE as an effort for team building, retention and recruitment.
“It doesn’t feel as effective as I had hoped because the broad interest simply isn’t there for many players. That also translates to games every single night, occasionally overlapping, and reducing time in the schedule for other important aspects of the program,” said Little.
What advice do you have for people who are thinking of getting into esports?
“There is a lot of positive impact for players, coaches, and community. My advice, though, would be to prepare to explain what esports are to some demographics. Despite its global popularity, there are many pocket populations that don’t understand competitive gaming,” said Little, “Additionally, make yourself a schedule that you can stick to and be consistent with your players. Even if you don’t know the ins and outs of every game, your players will appreciate the constant support.”
Growing up, Little loved fighting games, Tekken specifically.
“If I could be a game character, I’d probably choose Snake from the Metal Gear Solid franchise, another all-time favorite series. Lastly, want to shout out The Legend of Dragoon for those that know,” said Little.
Outside of esports, Little loves music and regularly plays at Open Mics when he can find the time. He also has two cats at home, with “very big personalities”.
Make sure to check out GCC on social media!
YouTube (NEW!): youtube.com/@SamsonsEsports
Twitter (X): @gogebicsamsons