So far in the 2021 Call of Duty League season, Dallas Empire have failed to reach the dizzying heights of their Modern Warfare year. Star player Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro says, though, that their issues require only a simple fix.
While Dallas haven’t exactly been being stomped, they’re very much playing second fiddle to an incredible Atlanta FaZe side. And that’s not where this team expects to be.
After an incredible Modern Warfare season, culminating in a dominant world championship win, the Empire should always be vying for top spot in the eyes of players, management and the fans.
Right now, though, they’re not quite there, and we spoke with Shotzzy to find out exactly what was going wrong with Dallas Empire, and how they can reach championship-winning form once again.
The first flaw that Shotzzy points out is how little he and his teammates — Ian ‘Crimsix’ Porter, Indervir ‘iLLeY’ Dhaliwal and Cuyler ‘Huke’ Garland — manage to find their A-game at the same time.
“For us, when we play the best, it’s just whenever everyone is having their little moment,” Shotzzy said. “If you look at the scoreboard, when we’re winning the most is when everyone has neutral stats and everyone’s doing the job.”
While often, especially in respawn modes, you’ll see teams win off the back of some insane individual performances, Shotzzy clearly feels that a more balanced approach with everyone mucking in is their key to victory.
That’s not all, though. The 19-year-old adds that there seems to be some discrepancy between scrims and their actual matches — which could prove to be a huge issue if they aren’t able to perform when the pressure’s on.
“For some reason, we can’t translate our scrims into matches,” he said. “I think it’s just because people play different in matches. Once we find that balance like we did in MW, I think we’ll be good.”
Of course, while Shotzzy clearly believes firmly in the abilities of his team to become championship-caliber again — and for good reason, too — the Empire have their critics. Some, like Reverse Sweep’s Jonathan ‘Pacman’ Tucker and Ian ‘Enable’ Wyatt have argued that iLLeY needs to step up to get the team on top again.
Whatever happens next, we expect Shotzzy to be on top of his game as always, and it’ll be interesting to see how Dallas improve going into Stage 3.