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Overwatch League franchise Boston Uprising announced it would make changes to its coaching staff during the offseason. With the Boston team placing second to dead last in Season 2 of the Overwatch League, this was probably a step in a good direction. Now, the Uprising has parted ways with assistant coaches Jordan “Gunba” Graham and Jackson “Shake” Kaplan. The team has also brought on Ilias “iLka” Kaskanetas as their newest assistant coach.
In addition to new Head Coach Mineral, our coaching staff will look a little different in 2020.
— Boston Uprising (@BostonUprising) October 4, 2019
Assistant coach change
The two previous assistant coaches had experience competing in a player role. Jackson “Shake” Kaplan started his competitive Overwatch career in 2016 on Gale Force Esports. He later competed under Code 7, Team SoloMid, Complexity Gaming, and Counter Logic Gaming. However, with the start of the franchised Overwatch League, CLG disbanded its entire Overwatch team. Shake left for the Boston Uprising while other teammates left for teams like the Los Angeles Gladiators and Contenders team EnVision Esports.
Jordan “Gunba” Graham also had his start in 2016, but he had previous coaching experience before joining the Boston Uprising. He competed under teams like Untitled Spreadsheet, Tempo Storm AUS, JAM Gaming, Fusion Girls, and Blank Esports. He later transitioned to a role as a coach on the Los Angeles Valiant but was released before the start of Season 2. While the Uprising competed under the direction of the two assistant coaches, it managed to obtain 5 – 8th during the Stage 1 Playoffs. However, in the grand scheme of things, the team only achieved 8 wins throughout the entire season.
“My goal for the new year is to dedicate myself into turning this all around and to help the team climb up the ranks,” said Ilias T. “iLka” Kaskanetas in a press release. “I’m also very keen on self-improvement, so I think being a part of the Overwatch League will help me grow a lot as a coach and as a person. I am certain we can achieve big things with hard work and head coach Mineral’s leadership.”
The Boston Uprising’s newest coach in Ilias T. “iLka” Kaskanetas seems like a better choice. iLka has a vast amount of experience in coaching roles. The Greek coach and former support player first started competing in 2018. After playing on Wind and Ran and Freefall, he went back to his first organization in a coaching role. He has since coached for teams like CIS Hope, Winstrike, One PoinT, Atlanta Reign’s academy team, and Contenders team Angry Titans.
While the results of the Contenders teams aren’t the best, the Uprising recently acquired Vytis “Mineral” Lasaitis as the head coach. The former Florida Mayhem head coach will fill the head coach role as the team looks to reestablish themselves in Season 3.
The Boston Uprising is also in the middle of moving to their home city, where the new league will require teams to host home and away games. Will you be checking out any of the two home games that the Uprising will host? Let us know if you are, and keep up with Daily Esports for all of your Overwatch coverage.
Ethan Chen is a writer with over 3 years of experience covering esports, gaming, and business.