Two Games, Two Rings: How Shotzzy became esports’ biggest success story

Anthony ‘Shotzzy’ Cuevas-Castro has experienced the most meteoric rise in esports today, after scooping World Championships in both Halo and Call of Duty before he turned 21 – but what makes him such a special player? Dexerto Originals partners with Totino’s™ Pizza Rolls™ for an exclusive episode with the 2020 Call of Duty League MVP.

The first-person shooter star rose to prominence in the Halo scene before going pro in Modern Warfare, earning the right of being named an HCS world champion in 2018.

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The 21-year-old plays for OpTic Texas in the Call of Duty League these days and was named to the CDL 2022 All-Star First Team along with Pred, Cellium, and Dashy.

Shotzzy’s meteoric rise to the top: “I’m not a Legend… Yet!”

In an exclusive episode of Dexerto Originals, sponsored by Totino’s™ Pizza Rolls™, he opened up on his journey to the top of the esports mountain – starting with his entrance into Halo tournaments.

“I played a week or two, and then I quit because I couldn’t compete… I realized I couldn’t compete, and then for whatever reason, they changed the age limit for me.” In the first event he competed in, his team placed Top 6. “We should have got Top 4,” he joked.

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At 16, Shotzzy signed his first pro Halo contract with Splyce, earning up to $2,400 per month and then $20,000 for his World Championship victory in 2018.

Watch the full episode of Dexerto Originals here or below, sponsored by Totino’s.

Turning point for CDL success

As Halo competitive tournaments stopped receiving as much support, Cuevas-Castro took on another challenge, switching to CoD and signing with the Dallas Empire for the 2020 season, playing alongside some high-profile players.

These included Crimsix, who has since retired, as well as legends like Clayster, iLLeY, and Huke. The buyout for his contract with Splyce was $300,000, and Anthony revealed Huke took a pay cut to help him join Dallas.

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It took a big turning point to get Cuevas-Castro into the groove of playing for his new team.

“I was decent, but I wasn’t like… anything crazy. Then, I would just try to get better every single day, and then honestly, the biggest turning point was when… Clay and Crim would always critique me a lot. It would kind of mess me up because like I would overthink.”

Call of Duty League
Shotzzy is one of the best players in the CDL today.

“For me, I was always second-guessing whether I should make a play or not. That was the biggest thing I struggled with, but then one thing that helped me was Cuyler (Huke) stepped to the side and said, ‘hey man, just do you. Play your game, you’re good, and do what you think is best for you.’ From there, that gave me confidence.”

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Beating everyone who stood in their way, Dallas reigned victorious in the 2020 CDL Championship and took the trophy home, elevating Shotzzy to another level of superstardom in esports. He was named Rookie of the Year and MVP.

Two games, two rings, a sensational success story, and a legacy to build in the years to come.

Dexerto Originals, which launched with its own YouTube channel in January this year, delivers compelling documentaries and gives fans the inside story on the world’s biggest gaming personalities. Previous productions have included TimTheTatman, SypherPK, FaZe Kay, and many more.

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You can watch the full episode above or click away to the Dexerto Originals YouTube channel – make sure you subscribe to never miss an episode.