Shotzzy interview: MVP gas, big stats, and Empire’s rivals at CDL Champs

Theo Salaun
shotzzy dallas empire cdl
Call of Duty League

The Dallas Empire’s Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro is a Call of Duty League MVP candidate and a major reason behind his team’s No. 2 seed heading into CDL Champs 2020. We interviewed the SMG Slayer about his play, his team, and their competition this postseason. 

MVP Race

The Call of Duty League MVP candidates are you, Cellium, Envoy, Simp, and Skyz. Do you think you’re the best of that list?

“If you don’t think you’re the best, then you’re obviously not. So I’m going to say yeah. But CoD is just so day to day. It can be hard to have a ‘best player in the league’ because one day you’re the best, the next day someone else is.”

Apart from you, do you think one of them stands out as the best candidate?

“They are really good players, but they’re all really different roles. Simp and Envoy are that main slayer, do-it-all kind of guy, and Skyz is a main AR. If I had to go with one, I’d go with Cell because he can do the dirty work and basically do whatever is needed based on the situation. Teams need players like that.”

You’ve obviously put up nasty numbers for much of the season, but people rightfully talk about your movement as the biggest key to your success. Do you think you have the best movement in the league?

“I would probably say yeah, just because I get gassed a lot for it—that’s about it to be honest. But it’s the same as Halo 5, everyone said I had the best movement but I didn’t know that until I stopped playing the game and rewatched some of my matches. It’s kind of the same way this game.”

The Dallas Empire heading into CDL Champs

Fans obviously recognize that you’re out there being a weirdo on the map just frying people and doing whatever you want, but it feels like iLLeY and Huke get slept on sometimes. Do you think that’s the case?

“Everyone on my team does, just because when they watch my perspective it’s just movement, movement, you know? But I play with these players every single day and I know how much impact they put on the map. They honestly allow me to do whatever I do. And they’re not like “why are you doing this, why are you doing that?” They kind of just let me roam freely and that’s why you see the stats I put up.”

How specifically do they enable you to roam freely, are Clay and Crim holding down lanes while iLLeY and Huke hit angles or bring pinches when needed?

“So, basically, the main ARs are holding angles and they’re like “do whatever you want, you’re f**king disgusting, like do literally whatever you want.” So I do, but every movement that I make isn’t a dumb move, like I’m always thinking about where I’m gonna go next to open the map for my teammates. Then, Huke is a Smoke player so he’s basically taking consistent routes and has to die sometimes just so he gets another Smoke. He’s kind of throwing his life out there, but gets kills and there’s a lot that’s strategic to it. And iLLeY’s kind of a dirty work player, one of the masterminds that knows every move he makes is really impactful, trying to get us spawns and rotating really early.”

The meta has shifted around in the past events due to the 10mm and Merc Foregrip GA’s. But teams are still running two AR’s with 10mm back and your team looks especially comfortable now that Crimsix is on the M4. Do you think you guys improved with the meta change?

“Yeah, I think so honestly. Crim had trouble trying to play with the MP5 and the M4 at the same time and felt that it was messing up his shot. Once he was able to switch to M4 full-time, that’s when you started to see his stats increase. And us as well, we were just dominating around the map for the most part and the subs were just doing their thing. Our pacing is really good with this new meta.”

So what I’m gathering here is that Crim getting to swap off of the MP5 is the biggest reason for improvement?

“He always jokes about it, saying the M4 saved his career. But genuinely, he was a good sub.”

…was he though?

“I mean, maybe not in the matches [laughs], but in scrims he would drop 30-bombs, sometimes 40-bombs with the sub. It was just one of those things where he couldn’t transition from scrims into the league matches. Which happens sometimes. But you know, the M4, he f**king loves it.”

One thing that really stands out, especially from Clayster, is your team’s comms. How would you describe the impact that Crim and Clayster’s leadership have in-game?

“In scrims it’s different because we’re all talking and small talking, but when it comes to match time, Clay and Crim are just steering the ship and we’re just waiting for the calls. It’s cool when you have teammates that are able to do that because I can just rely on my gunshots, listen to them, and talk when I need to.”

The Champs 2020 competition

Does any team stand out as the biggest competition you might face in the league this postseason?

“In practice we do really well against literally every single team. I think we’re the most consistent team in the league right now, but obviously our matches against FaZe are like 1-4, 1-3 or something like that. For some reason every single time we play them it’s either really close or we get blown out.

So we always look forward to playing against them and I guess you could say they’re our toughest competition right now.”

Looking at the playoffs, you play in Winners Round 2, so that would be against London, Toronto, or Florida. Are you hoping for any of those to make it out in particular?

“Toronto. I really wanna get some revenge. We fell short last Home Series and we want to play them again.”