The #6 player of the Cold War season, brought to you by Elgato, is the Modern Warfare MVP Anthony “Shotzzy” Cuevas-Castro. Last year’s Rookie of the Year and MVP had a terrific sophomore campaign.
Shotzzy began his gaming career in Halo, becoming a World Champion and one of the best players in Halo history. He made the switch over to Call of Duty at the tail end of Black Ops 4 and got onto a professional roster to start Modern Warfare. Shotzzy had lofty expectations when he was signed over to Dallas Empire with World Champions James “Clayster” Eubanks and Ian “Crimsix” Porter. While his start was rough, Shotzzy learned quickly and improved into a superstar. By the middle of the Modern Warfare season, everyone knew that Shotzzy was going to be a future star. In the end of 2020, he helped Dallas Empire take down Atlanta FaZe to win the CDL Champs. They would have to defend the throne in Cold War.
Shotzzy did not slow down in Cold War, as he was just as flashy and extremely skilled as he showed in Modern Warfare. He was great across the board, finishing with positive KDs in all three modes. Ant showed this season that he isn’t just flashy movement and aim this year as well. There were countless plays in key series that showed that Shotzzy has a very high in-game IQ, making game winning flanks and plays. While the Empire were unable to win any championships during Cold War, they competed against the top teams and made it deep into each major. He certainly did not disappoint and showed that he will continue this form into the future. Here is his 2021 season review!
After winning the World Championship in Modern Warfare, Dallas were thought to be the top dog again in Cold War. They came into the Group Stage and proved that they are still on top, finishing with a 4-1 record and locking in the #1 seed in their group. This would lock them into the Upper Bracket at the Major with a bye. Their first match at the Major would be against rivials OpTic Chicago, but Dallas didn’t disappoint. In a wonderful 5 map series, Dallas came out on top. While they fell to Atlanta in the next series, they beat New York to go to the Finals. In a rematch of last year’s World Championship finals, Atlanta was able to come out on top 5-2 to win the first Major. It wasn’t a bad result to start the season.
Shotzzy wasn’t playing at his traditional high level during Stage 1, but he wasn’t performing poorly. The SMG wasn’t slaying or dealing damage at a high clip, but was playing the more supportive role to Cuyler “Huke” Garland. He ended with a 1.07 KD in Control and had good objective numbers in the other two modes. In Hardpoint he finished with 68.06 hill time per 10 minutes and had 21 opening duels won in SnD. He’d look to improve in Stage 2.
After making a Finals in the first stage, Dallas knew that they could make it there again and perform better. The Group Stage wouldn’t go as smoothly this time around, as they would drop series to Minnesota and Chicago. They would end up finishing 3-2 and just making the Upper Bracket. Their Bracket run would start off strong with a 3-0 victory over New York and 3-2 victory over Minnesota. This set up a rematch versus Atlanta. Sadly, Dallas couldn’t take them down and would drop 3-1. In the Lower Bracket Final against Toronto, Dallas would again fall 3-1 to be eliminated in 3rd.
Shotzzy improved greatly from Stage 1 to Stage 2. He continued playing that supportive role but started limiting his deaths and making a lot of smart plays on the map. Ant finished with positive KDs on all three modes, including a 1.09 in Control. His hill time per 10 minutes went up to 77.42 and he won 18 opening duels in SnD. Shotzzy was the glue for the team, making clutch plays to give them opportunites to win matches.
After failing to win in the first two tournaments of the season, Dallas made the decision to bench Huke and bring in Tyler “FeLo” Johnson. iLLeY stepped into the supportive SMG role and this allowed Shotzzy to be more aggressive. They would again finish 3-2 in the Group Stage and lock in an Upper Bracket start at Major 3. Unfortunatly, it’d be a very quick Major for the Empire. In their opening matchup against Atlanta, Dallas made it close at times but fell 3-0 to be knocked into the Lower Bracket. In their next match, they fell 3-0 to OpTic Chicago to be eliminated in 7th/8th. It would be a very disappointing result, even with a subsititute in the roster.
Shotzzy didn’t take another step forward in Stage 3, but a lot of that can be dealt to the changing team around him and his new SMG duo. He played very well in Hardpoint, having 22.82 kills and 4261 damage per 10 minutes with a 1.00 KD. While he did have crazy maps in both SnD and Control, his statistics didn’t leap off the page. A lot of what he was bringing to the table in those modes was his ellusiveness and smarts that allowed his team more space on the map. With a consistent team around him he’d surely improve in Stage 4.
Going into Stage 4, Dallas Empire were able to acquire Reece “Vivid” Drost from the LA Guerrillas. This finally gave Shotzzy a great SMG duo to pair with and a set squad for the rest of the season. The had their growing pains in the Group Stage, dropping to New York and Toronto, but finished 3-2 overall. This locked them into the Upper Bracket for the Major. The team started with a convincing 3-0 victory over Chicago but fell to Toronto 3-2 in the next round. Dallas was able to start a run though, beating New York, Chicago, and Toronto to make the Finals. It would be a Stage 1 Finals rematch against Atlanta FaZe. This series was extremely close, going back and fourth till they reached a map 9. Ultimately, FaZe clutched up to win the series 5-4 and won the Major. Still a great placement for the new look Dallas.
Shotzzy reached his MVP level form in Stage 4. He played wonderful in all three modes, having a positive KD in each. His best two modes were Control and SnD. In Search & Destroy, he finised with a 1.21 KD with 155 ADR and 22 opening duels won. He was finding his form and highly effective in the mode. In Control he’d be a star. Shotzzy had a 1.15 KD in the mode with the lowest deaths per 10 minutes for an SMG (17.51). If this form continued, he would certainly help Dallas back in another Finals.
With minimal practice with Vivid in Stage 4 they were able to reach a Finals. How would Stage 5 go with more time to come together as a unit. They would with a great Group Stage, finishing 4-1 and in 1st in their group. With key wins over Minnesota & Toronto, they locked in an Upper Bracket start with a bye. They wouldn’t be able to get started at the Major though, dropping their first series to Minnesota 3-1. Although they were able to bounce back against LAT with a 3-1 win, they fell to OpTic in the next round. The 3-1 loss was crushing and would eliminate the Empire in 4th place in the final Major of the year. This meant they weren’t able to lock in a top 2 seed for the CDL Playoffs.
Shotzzy had a good ending to the season, finding great form in SnD & Control. In SnD, the star SMG player finished with a 1.13 KD in the mode with 0.81 kills per round and 147 ADR. He was doing a great job of being a nuisance in the mid-round and finding damage late in the rounds. His sneaky gameplay in Control was what made Dallas so good in the mode. Shotzzy finished with the 2nd lowest deaths per 10 minutes for an SMG in the mode with 16.24. He was elusive but effective. He’d look to carry that form into the CDL Playoffs.
With Toronto finding success in Stage 5, Dallas was unable to work their way into the 2nd overall seed. This would mean that they wouldn’t have a bye but would start in the Upper Bracket. The squad did a fantastic job of gaining momentum with Vivid in the roster, having great results in Stages 4 and 5. The focal point of the team was having great teamwork and being elite in the respawns. They would have to continue this form if they were to make a deep run at Playoffs.
Dallas Empire vs Minnesota Rokkr
First up for the Empire was the Minnesota Rokkr. It was a tougher matchup for Dallas, as Minnesota’s strengths were SnD and Control, while Dallas had the advantage in Hardpoint. Dallas came into the series with the fire, starting off really strong. Shotzzy’s 25-10 (2.50 KD) on map 1 powered them to a convincing victory. They didn’t slow down after that, finishing Minnesota off 3-0. Shotzzy had an incredible series, finishing 52-31 (1.68 KD) and a 90.53 slayer rating. In this form, Dallas was a serious contender to win the tournament.
Dallas Empire vs Toronto Ultra
Dallas would move up the Bracket to face the waiting Toronto Ultra. Toronto was another top team that was elite in SnD and Control. It would be a battle of the titans early in the bracket to move onto the Upper bracket Finals. Dallas again started strong behind Shotzzy, winning the map 1 Raid Hardpoint with Shotzzy finishing 24-16 (1.60 KD) with 3872 damage. Toronto would fight back to win maps 2 and 3, but Dallas tied the series 2-2 with a map 4 win. This brought it all down to a map 5. Shotzzy & iLLeY would turn up in the crucial map 5, both finishing with 11 kills in the 6-5 victory. With two wins under their belts, Dallas would only need one more to make it to the Finals.
Dallas Empire vs Atlanta FaZe
In their hardest matchup of the tournament, Dallas had to go up against Atlanta for a spot in the Finals. Dallas and Atlanta had a lot of history within the two seasons of the CDL. Dallas won the Modern Warfare Finals over Atlanta, but FaZe had beaten the Empire in the two Major finals they met in. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t a series with a lot of back and forth action. Atlanta FaZe would come in and best the Empire 3-0 to punch their tickets to the Finals. Dallas would drop into the Lower Bracket, but would still have a chance to make the Finals with one more victory.
Dallas Empire vs Toronto Ultra
The Lower Bracket Final would be a rematch from earlier in the tournament. After beating Toronto 3-2 in the Upper Bracket Round 2 match, Dallas would have to beat them again to make it to the Finals. The series followed the same script as the first series. Dallas started strong by winning map 1 but Toronto fought back to win maps 2 and 3. They’d tied the series 2-2 after winning the Map 4 Raid Hardpoint in INSANE fashion. It would all come down to an Express SnD to find out who would move on. Sadly, Toronto was just too much for the Empire, as they took the map 6-3. This eliminated the Dallas Empire in 3rd place at the CDL Playoffs.
While he didn’t repeat as MVP or win back-to-back Championship, Shotzzy still had an incredible season on the SMG. He was a force in all three modes over the season, helping Dallas reach multiple Grand Finals. Control is where he had multiple highlight-reel plays. He was sneaky and would find lanes open in the map that led to multi-kills and would make round-winning plays. Overall, he’d end the year with a 1.04 overall KD and have a positive KD in all three modes. He was a major factor in keeping Dallas as the 3rd best team in the CDL and was an MVP candidate. It will certainly be exciting to watch Shotzzy again in Vanguard.
How good was Shotzzy in 2021?
Shotzzy was very consistent in Hardpoint over the course of the season. He’d finish with a 1.02 KD overall, but had four out of six maps over a 1.00 KD. Shotzzy also ended with a positive KD in Majors (1.01), LAN (1.04), and against the top 3 teams (1.04). His best map was Apocalypse in Cold War. Ant had a 1.08 KD on the map with 24.82 kills per 10 minutes and 4387 damage per 10 minutes. His consistency helped create a great system within the Empire and helped them become a top respawn team.
Overall, the Dallas Empire ended with a 48-32 record in Hardpoint. They continued to get better as the season went along and ended the season with one of the best records in the CDL. It was their best mode, as they had a very deep map pool. Their best two maps were Garrison (15-7) and Moscow (12-6), but were also great on Raid (8-4) and Crossroads (2-1). They matched up great against anyone and was favored in most of their Hardpoint matchups.
Search & Destory
SnD was arguably Shotzzy weakest mode of the season, but he still had his highlights in the mode. His best map in Cold War was Miami. Shotzzy had a 1.23 KD on the map with 0.81 kills per round and a 66.7% opening duel win percentage. He also improved on LAN as well, having a 1.05 KD on LAN compared to 1.01 online. Ant didn’t have the flashiest statistics but he did play an important part in the Empire’s game plan. While Huke or Vivid would entry, Shotzzy was crucial in the mid-round and late-round.
In the end, Dallas was hovering around a .500 win percentage over the course of the season. They’d end with a 35-34 record but had a deceptively deep map pool. Their best map was Miami (9-5), but had multiple maps around 50% win percentage. That included Checkmate (5-4), Express (8-8), Moscow (3-5), Raid (6-5), and Standoff (4-5). If they could’ve improved on one or two of these maps then they could’ve developed into a top SnD team.
The final mode we’ll dive into is Control. Shotzzy played great in the mode, finishing the year with a 1.09 KD in the mode. His playstyle was aggravating to play against, as he was constantly sneaking around the map and had perfect flank timings. He again improved on LAN (1.13 KD) compared to playing online (1.08 KD). Shotzzy also had positive KDs on all three maps and against the top 3 teams in the CDL (1.05 KD). He was a model of consistency in both respawn modes.
Over the course of the season, the Empire finished 24-26 in Control. With the success that they found in Hardpoint, you’d expect a slightly better record in Control. They played well on Checkmate (6-5) and Garrison (9-7) but struggled on Raid (9-14). At times, it felt like they were extremely dangerous in Control but just couldn’t put it all together.
A look ahead to Vanguard
Going into Call of Duty Vanguard, we still haven’t had an official announcement for Shotzzy’s new team. He is confirmed to be staying with the Dallas franchise with his teammate iLLeY, but they will be without both Crimsix and Vivid. The current rumor is that the Dallas franchise will be merging with OpTic to create OpTic Dallas. The starting roster would be Shotzzy, iLLeY, Seth “Scump” Abner, and Brandon “Dallas” Otell. They will be a star-studded roster with high expectations to win championships. The rumored SMG duo of Shotzzy and Scump would be one of the best in the CDL and able to match up with any other duo. This team will certainly be a lot of fun to watch in Vanguard.
TES – True Engagement Success: (Kills+Assists)/(Kills+Assists+Deaths)
Slayer Rating –
Average Engagements: (Total Kills+Total Deaths+Total Assists)/Total Game Time(or Rounds for SnD)
Kp10M – Kills per 10 Minutes: (Total Kills/Total Game Time)*10
Dp10M – Deaths per 10 Minutes: (Total Deaths/Total Game Time)*10
DMGp10M – Damage per 10 Minutes: (Total Damage/Total Game Time)*10
HTp10M – Hill Time per 10 Minutes: (Total Hill Time/Total Game Time)*10
Sp10M – Score per 10 Minutes: (Total Score/Total Game Time)*10
ADR – Average Damage per Round: (Total Damage/Total Rounds Played)
OpDuel Won or Lost – First Blood or First Blooded
OpDuel W% – Opening Duel Win Percentage: (Total OpDuels Won)/(Total OpDuels Won+Total OpDuels Lost)
KpR, DpR – Kills per Round & Deaths per Round
K% – The % of rounds the player had at least 1 kill
MK% – The % of rounds the player had at least 2 kills
0K% – The % of rounds the player had 0 kills
Stats versus the top 3 teams in the league are the summed stats vs Atlanta, Dallas, & Toronto. If the player is on one of those teams, the stat is summed from the remaining two teams on the list.