by Zach Avery, Editor-in-Chief
After two years of leading Aquinas’ newly established Esports program, former Head Coach Adam Antor has now made arrangements with Florida Southern University to move cross country and develop yet another future success story in this blossoming collegiate sport. At FSU, Antor has been hired on as their Head Coach, where he will be managing and recruiting players who specialize in numerous competitive online video games, such as League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and others. For Antor and his crew of players, coaches, and fans, this sudden change has caused a newfound appreciation for these genesis years of the program.
Antor was brought on to the Aquinas Esports program as their Head Coach in March of 2019, and, as he put it, “I was hired, and we built it all.”
This rapid building of a collegiate esports program included some necessary growing pains, such as Antor’s sudden immersion into the world of recruitment and collegiate level athletics. This was also during a time when collegiate esports was only becoming a topic of discussion amongst big name schools.
“As for the country, (Esports) has absolutely exploded. Last year, there were 5 varsity teams at the college level in Michigan. This year, there are 25 teams.”
Over the past two years, Aquinas has managed to compete at the premier level, and under Antor’s leadership, we have cemented ourselves as a force in the state, the region, and the country at large.
Perhaps the most crucial component of that force are the players themselves. One such player is Paul Reiss, a dual-athlete in his third-year at Aquinas.
“I had the opportunity to play esports in the spring, and it was such a blessing,” Reiss said, “Being able to go into the lab, sit down, and play one of my favorite video games offered so much relief, and I attribute it to being one of the biggest reasons for getting me through my first year here and having such a good experience at Aquinas.”
As Reiss nears the end of his collegiate career with the Aquinas Saints, Antor and the rest of the Esports program has already seen many former players move through the seasons and graduate from AQ.
“Every time I see a kid graduate who was a part of the program, that is a really impactful moment for me,” Antor said, “I wouldn’t be where I am today, and the program wouldn’t be what it is today without the amazing students we had in the program.”
Thank you, Coach Antor!