I recently sat down and led a quick Q&A with each of the members of HEAT Check Gaming, covering a range of topics including some of their favorite experiences over the last five months, both on and off the sticks. This week features Carlos Zayas-Diaz, also known as SharpShooterLos.
Alex Granado: Outside of 2K, what was your most memorable experience living in Miami these past five months?
SharpShooterLos: My most memorable experience outside of 2K was probably just hanging out with the guys day in and day out. We went to Bayside, got food there, hung out by the ocean on South Beach. We went parasailing, we went jet skiing. We did a bunch of activities down here in Miami so that’s definitely the most memorable experience down here.
How we blow off a little steam in South Florida before tomorrow’s doubleheader! pic.twitter.com/U71XR86hyQ
— HEAT Check Gaming (@HeatCheckGaming) June 23, 2018
AG: What was your favorite build/archetype to play in the 2K League?
Los: My favorite build to play in the league was the sharpshooting playmaker. I liked playing the point guard sometimes, like when we were scrimmaging. It was a pretty fun build to play on. It’s pretty much an all-around build with good handles, so you could get creative with it.
AG: Who was the one opponent you looked most forward to facing this season?
Los: The one opponent I looked forward to facing the most was Wolf (Wolf 74) from Pacers Gaming. We go way back. He’s my boy on Playstation 4. I was definitely looking forward to matching up against him this year, but I had no idea he’d end up as a point guard since we were both drafted at the small forward position.
AG: What was your favorite pair of kicks to wear to the NBA 2K Studio on game days?
Los: My favorite kicks to wear were the ones we lost in unfortunately, the South Beach LeBron 8s. I don’t think there’s a close second.
— Carlos Zayas (@Sharpshooterlos) May 21, 2018
AG: Name the top three tracks or artists that hyped you up before a match this season.
Los: I don’t really listen to hype music before the games. It gives me nerves really. I like to listen to more peaceful music, like Nas, J.Cole, or Kendrick Lamar – something you really have to listen to that just eases your mind.
AG: As a player, what do you feel was your ‘defining moment’ in season one?
Los: My defining moments were my playoff performances. I did pretty good on offense and defense, I locked up one of the best point guards in the league, I locked up two others as well. I think I performed pretty well in the playoffs.
AG: Sure it wasn’t when you jumped on stage after the win over the Celtics?
Los: Haha, if it’s outside of the game that was definitely one of my favorite moments, yeah.
— HEAT Check Gaming (@HeatCheckGaming) September 10, 2018
AG: If there was one thing the NBA 2K League could do differently for season two, what would it be?
Los: I think all the teams, each of the players should have their own living quarters. I don’t think we should be forced to live with a roommate, or have roommates. I feel like everyone should have a place to go to after a day of work and just fall back, relax and not have to deal with people at all. They’re in a room playing with people for who knows how many hours. I think that situation with living quarters plays a huge part in the League.
AG: So that’s what you guys had here, where everyone had their own apartments, right?
Los: Yeah, other teams were all roommates or were split in threes, so when they got back to their apartments at the end of the day they were still frustrated with each other and that caused bad chemistry throughout the season and there was just a lot of turmoil on other teams.
AG: Besides NBA 2K, what other games do you play?
Los: I like playing Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, and Call of Duty. Huge Call of Duty fan. Those are pretty much the main games I play.
AG: [CoD] Zombies or no?
Los: Yeah I play Zombies, haha. I used to be a Zombie addict, doing all the easter eggs. There wasn’t a Call of Duty I didn’t play. I played with a team and each year we’d do all the easter eggs. You’d be in there like five, six hours straight doing one easter egg. It’s definitely time consuming.
AG: Based on your experience as a professional NBA 2K League athlete, what advice would you give to aspiring gamers aiming to get drafted in season two?
Los: I would say that gaming, no matter how frustrating it gets, you have to put in long hours without pay. A lot of people don’t ever get to see the light at the end of the tunnel with that, and you just have to stay positive and keep working hard at it.
You can’t forget about the real world either though. You can’t forget about your priorities while chasing the dream of becoming a professional gamer. This life, honestly, isn’t for everyone.
AG: How has the experience of being a professional gamer helped you grow as a person over these last few months?
Los: My experience being a professional gamer has helped me learn how to work with people. I realized after being around my teammates for such long periods of time, that you have to be empathetic sometimes and see situations from other points of view.
You need to understand when they’re frustrated and it helped me really become more of a people person.