Q&A: New Raptors Uprising GC coach ready for the challenge

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New Raptors Uprising head coach Roy Krishnan is looking to get the team back to the top of the NBA 2K League.

SAN ANTONIO — Not so long ago the GC Raptors Revolt of the NBA 2K League were the best of the best.

In 2020, the team went unbeaten all season at 16-0 and won the league’s mid-season tournaments (THE TIPOFF and THE TURN). The team was also crowned the 2020 league champions.

But in recent seasons, the franchise has struggled. They haven’t made any money and winning isn’t as easy as it used to be for the team.

But new head coach Roy Krishnan is looking to get the Raptors GC back to the top of the mountain.

In this Q&A session, we chat with Krishan about his new role as head coach, what fans can expect for the 2023 season and more.

Jeff: Are you up for the challenge? Do you feel pressure to deliver?

Roy: No, and I know it’s easy to say, but we’ve got our front office great from day one.

I was the assistant coach and assistant general manager at Dallas last year and had some initial conversations about rosters and acquisitions with the Raptors last year.

I was a bit struck by the professionalism in the way they do things. So, from a delivery perspective, is there pressure to outperform another team? No, I think we have a great front office. They’ve cemented a lot of confidence in me and I mean I couldn’t ask for more in terms of resource confidence, just the synergy we’ve had so far. If you play a professional sport, you like the pressure, don’t you? So I don’t necessarily see it as a bad thing. Is there pressure? I guess a little, but I love it. I think it makes me perform.

Jeff: How do you think things will change again to get the team back on top?

Roy: I’ve always prided myself on being transparent and if you look at earnings rankings last year, Raptors GC came in last with $0 for the first time in recorded history.

And this is the first stage of change. I went to a stream the other day and they were like, ‘What can you guarantee Uprising fans?’ I said I guarantee Uprising fans that we won’t make $0 this year.

And that being said, what is different? Nothing in the end, I think it’s a popular sport like in esports and sports, we sometimes confuse the two, but at the end of the day we’re trying to kind of shape the same paradigm.

I worked in several front offices, not all in esports in Dallas, I worked a little in Oakland for the A’s, the Guardians in their back office and the Cubs in their back office. I have consulted many MLB teams in their offices.

Jeff: You mentioned you work in the front office, but now you’re at the NBA 2K League level. Is that changing or is it just still full steam ahead?

Roy: I think full steam ahead, it’s a year from now. I started this esports process about a year and a half ago and went from an amateur coach, if you will, to a head coach and general manager of a 2K League team about a year and a half .

I started this when I was 21. I’m 23 now. Basically I’ve used objective analysis my whole life to make decisions and I think I’m really the first in the 2K League to push that to a new paradigm with Raptors GC we use machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence to make our decisions.

We don’t have a first-round pick this year. We are going to do things differently. I’m a big believer in how we’re going to shake things up in the league because everyone in the league follows a set plan and we’re not going to follow that because we don’t have a first choice and we made $0 here.

Jeff: How excited is the team for next season?

Roy: It was just amazing. I had the chance to contact each guy after my job announcement, I phoned and called each of my players, and the big thing they told me was that they loved the way from which I earned my stripes.

In the end, I was coming from the amateur scene, I was doing this for free when no one was paying me for it. I have an amateur trainer, I rarely have, who is now the amateur of the year, the reigning amateur of the year. Yes, I started teams like Liquid ProAm through my startup which went out and won the inaugural 5v5 world championship, then went out and won the inaugural 3v3 championship.

Jeff: What can Raptors GC fans expect from you, the team, the franchise next season?

Roy: You absolutely hate talking as a coach, but they tell you not to overdo it in your media training. But we’re not going to make $0 next year. First of all, I strongly believe that if you go in and establish the culture from day one, you can go out and beat half the teams in the league. Anyone can win.

It’s harder to lose. If we can come out with a good solid base and win or lose, it doesn’t matter, just a good solid base that we improve on.

We’re going in and we’re going to make money next year. We are the only team not making money. Last year, these guys took it personally.

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There’s a chip on Raptors GC’s shoulder to prove to the League that we’re as good as we were in season three when we went 19 and 0. There’s a chip on everyone’s shoulder of these guys to prove themselves as the best player in this league. And there’s a chip on my shoulder to prove that at 23, I have the ability to lead a team.

So that being said, okay, we’re super hungry, super motivated. I guarantee Raptors Uprising fans this year that we are not making $0. Expect us to be here to compete for all the 2K League has to offer.

NBA 2K League and San Antonio Spurs fans can follow Raptors GC by visiting the official team Twitter.

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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