Call of Duty pro Shotzzy opens up on his “humbling” rise to fame

Ryan Lemay
ShotzzyCDL / Shotzzy

Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro marks the rare case of an esports player dominating across multiple games. In an exclusive Dexerto interview to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month, he told us more about his rise in esports.

Less than a month after turning 16, Shotzzy won his first Halo event. The phenom went on to win the 2018 Halo World Championship. After Halo 5’s last tournament, he leaped to Call of Duty, making a name for himself on Black Ops 4 Search and Destroy wager matches.

Shotzzy seamlessly transitioned, winning two Major titles in the Call of Duty League with Envy’s Dallas Empire, capping off his rookie season with a World Championship. The blossoming superstar became the first ever multi-FPS World Champion at just 19 years old.

OpTic Gaming merged with Envy and added Shotzzy into the fold for CoD Vanguard, joining a superstar lineup of Indervir “iLLeY” Dhaliwal, Seth “Scump” Abner, and Brandon “Dashy” Otell. After winning Major 1, The Green Wall failed to win another major in 2022, falling short of expectations.

Rumors swirled, and many assumed Optic Texas would shake up its roster heading into Modern Warfare 2. However, the organization decided to give its star-studded roster another go, keeping Shotzzy.

The Call of Duty star shared the story of his rise to fame and credited his mom for helping him achieve his dream.

Shotzzy on inspiring the next generation of Hispanic gamers

shotzzy dallas empire cdl 2021Call of Duty League
Shotzzy won his Call of Duty world championship ring in 2020 with Dallas Empire, in his first year in the esport.

Shotzzy grew up in a household with five brothers and a single mother for a period of his childhood.

He spoke about other Hispanic families being strict or not understanding video games, but his mom allowed him the freedom to pursue his passion. Shotzzy’s stepdad didn’t understand gaming initially, but he eventually came around.

“It’s cool to see people come in my chat and say I come from a Hispanic family, and they don’t really understand because of their background,” Shotzzy said. “So I kind of relate to that in a way, and it’s cool for kids to see if he can do it, why can’t I do it.”

Shotzzy recalled playing with Hispanic friends online as a child and how they would get spanked by a chankla sandal or get yelled at to get offline.

“I never experienced that or the really strict stuff they experienced. If my mom was strict and I couldn’t game, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

His proudest moment as a content creator

Streaming from an Xbox One with nothing more than a Kinect camera and microphone, Shotzzy humbly began his streaming career playing Halo 2 Anniversary. He recalled watching his uncle play 10 hours of Halo a day as a semi-pro player, inspiring him.

Following his uncle’s footsteps, Shotzzy slowly built up a community before eventually making a name for himself playing Black Ops 4 wager matches against current CDL pros such as fellow OptTic Texas teammate iLLeY.

“Having people come in my chat and say I’m glad you stream because it helps me with whatever I am going through, and I get that pretty often,” Shotzzy said. “So the fact that I can do that is really humbling to me.”

If he had to advise aspiring streamers, it would be to “stream with whatever you have in front of you.” His rise to fame proves you don’t need an expensive PC or microphone to make it.

Shotzzy carrying on CoD’s legacy

Scump and Shotzzy OpTic TexasOpTic Texas
Scump and Shotzzy form one of the best SMG duos in the league.

Shotzzy has already teamed with the biggest names in CoD. He won a World Championship with Ian “Crimsix” Porter and James “Clayster” Eubanks and currently forms an SMG duo with Scump. He is not scared of carrying on their legacy after they hang up their boots.

“No, just because what they have done is really good for the community, and I want to do the same thing they have done, producing content,” Shotzzy said. “I want to be a good example to the CoD community, and I look forward to creating content and getting some wins along the way.”

Whether or not Shotzzy reaches the pinnacle again in CoD, he has already established himself as one of the most exciting players in FPS history.

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