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Mia White

Feb 1, 2024

Coach Spotlight - Alex Grossman

Alex Grossman (he/him), is the Head Esports Coach at the College of DuPage and has been for the past four months. The college itself, however, has had esports on campus for the past year and a half.

Grossman got involved with esports during his senior year of high school in 2019 when he joined a diamond Overwatch team for fun. He kept playing into his first year of college, but when COVID-19 hit in 2020, it prevented him from doing any of his other hobbies, so he got heavily involved with esports. 

“During the pandemic, I hit Grandmaster and top 500, which increased my motivation to improve at the game tenfold. At the same time, I got involved with esports coaching and management through my alma mater Elmhurst University. I probably played a little too much Overwatch during the entirety of 2020,” said Grossman.

Currently, the College of DuPage has around 300 casual members on the esports team, and 50 competitive players, according to Grossman. The team expressed excitement for the Spring semester. ​​

“With Overwatch and League of Legends we’re looking to defend our Division III championship titles, and with Valorant and Rocket League we are looking to claim the championship for this season,” said Grossman.

How does your team prepare for the NJCAAE Championships?

“I was somehow blessed with one of the most incredible [Overwatch] rosters that the NJCAAE has ever seen in my opinion. Our tank Zhungy is the most impressive tank player that I’ve had the honor of coaching during my esports career. He did an incredible job of leading our team to the championship. The team came with a disadvantage from the start, with our roster being solidified in October while most other team’s rosters were presumably together since August. We scrimmed around 4.2 with a mixed roster and had even been able to take a round off of a college team graced by an Overwatch League player, so there wasn’t much anxiety headed into the championships. Shoutout to Zach, Dawn, Aowyn, David, and Nate for being an incredible roster to work with last season,” said Grossman.

“For League, our players upped the frequency and intensity of our scrims and the results showed in their gameplay. While our Valorant squad wasn’t able to pull off the win this semester against Brookdale, I am still extremely proud of the perseverance they displayed in the championship game,” said Grossman.

He went on to explain some of the challenges that can come with esports; more specifically, being an esports coach. From his experience, the most challenging part has been trying to juggle all of the different responsibilities that come with being an esports coach. Whether it be researching the meta after a balance update, conducting VOD reviews, attending meetings with the institution, meeting with prospective students, creating marketing materials, or visiting a high school, it can be difficult to know how much time should be devoted to each piece of the esports puzzle. 

“Player turnover is extremely quick compared to a four-year institution, so it can be a struggle to keep our leadership positions filled and assist students to achieve their full potential as a leader in two years or less,” said Grossman, “At the end of the day, I love what I do, and I’m grateful to work at such a great institution.”

What advice do you have for those who are thinking of joining an esports program?

“I could talk for hours on this one,” said Grossman, “If you’re thinking about getting into college esports to pursue a career I would highly recommend that you talk to as many current directors or coaches as you can. Since it’s a relatively new field, there isn’t a set path that you would follow to secure a head coaching job. There are currently very few schools that offer esports degrees, and the strength of the degree can be questionable in some cases. Talk to various directors to learn their stories, learn how they adapted their degree for use in esports, and learn how they went from student to director. It can be a daunting thing to reach out to them, but I assure you most of them would love to chat with you.”

What has your experience been like as a member of the NJCAAE?

“The NJCAAE has been great to participate in so far. I appreciate the several different tiers of play that they offer, and it’s great that you can slide in and out of a tier throughout your time in the community,” said Grossman, “Esports is important to me because it has the potential to enhance a students education, social life, and career by providing the students with wonderful opportunities and connections that they wouldn’t have made otherwise.”

While his love for esports is strong, Grossman also enjoys singing. In fact, he is the former Acapella President at Elmhurst University. Whether it be singing or esports, Grossman takes the passion wherever he goes.

NJCAA Esports Alternate Logo

National Junior College Athletic

Association Esports

8801 J.M. Keynes Drive - Suite 450.

Charlotte, NC 28262

(719) 590-9788

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