Apr 11, 2023
Coach Spotlight - Curtis Rose
Curtis Rose (he/him), is the Head Esports Coach at Barton Community College (BCC) and has been for the last three years. Before his role in esports, Rose was the Multimedia and Instructional Designer at BCC for six years. He explained that he got sucked into the esports community by seeing the amount of coordination and teamwork it took to compete at the highest level in Overwatch.
Currently, the BCC esports team consists of 20-30 competitive players. The Cougars also assist with running tournaments on campus for the general student body, attracting many other people looking for a friendlier atmosphere.
How long have you had esports on your campus?
“Barton CC started the exploratory process in mid-2018 to examine the viability of adding esports to our athletic offerings. I joined the committee in early 2019 and we made our proposal to the Board of Trustees in October and November 2019. In November 2019, they voted unanimously to add esports for the Fall 2020 season,” said Rose.
What has been the most challenging part about being an esports coach?
“The most challenging part, which also makes it the most rewarding, is getting players to realize they now belong to a team that’s bigger than just themselves,” said Rose, “Each game has its own set of challenges with this. For larger team games such as Overwatch and R6 Siege, it’s getting everyone to completely buy into their role on the team. Not everyone can be the star DPS. Someone must take up the seemingly ‘thankless’ support role that allows others to shine. But at the same time, those that are shining must acknowledge it can’t be done without the supporting cast. Once everyone is completely in on their position within the team and feels that regardless of stat lines and highlights they are a part of the success, they become a threat to every other team regardless of skill level.”
Rose went on to explain that within his time as coach, there have been many great success stories on his team. However, one player this year really stood out to him: Caden.
“Caden’s improvement in Madden year over year is amazing. Last year, he was playing behind two players that have a combined one National Championship, one National Runner Up, and two 3rd Place finishes. He was able to come into that environment for the Spring semester of 2022 and soak up all the knowledge they had to give. Although he finished the season at 4-4 that season, he came back determined for the Fall and went undefeated in the regular season,” said Rose.
How do your players prepare for the NJCAAE Championships?
“It’s important to mentally recharge before going into the playoffs. For the last 9-10 weeks, all the players have been focused on making the playoffs with the eventual goal of competing for a National Championship. Taking that week off before the playoffs allows for reflection on how the season went, any potential changes that need to be made, and to clear their minds from the bombardment of information (patch notes, meta changes, innovative strategies and tech, etc.). As a coach, you must realize when you are receiving diminishing returns on the hours of practice and put your players’ well-being first,” said Rose, “The NJCAAE is an integral part of the esports ecosystem. As the esports space expands, the NJCAAE will be, like in many other sports, a place of opportunity. The NJCAAE provides student-athletes with the opportunity to both enhance their skills and increase their opportunities to continue their education. Without the NJCAAE, many students wouldn’t have the confidence to pursue esports at the collegiate level.”
Outside of being an esports coach, Rose makes replicas of weapons and props from video games. In the BCC Esports arena, they have replicas of Soldier 76’s Pulse Rifle, Junkrat’s Grenade Launcher, and Cassidy’s Pistol from Overwatch, as well as Sledge’s Sledgehammer from R6 Siege.
“They are great conversation starters, and nothing gets a player hyped up to play more than being able to hold the weapon they are about to use in game,” said Rose.