Daniel “Shadow” Manso joins us for the next article in the Behind the Screen Series to define his famous, in-game callouts. Shadow also discusses how he started playing video games and what career (other than pro gaming) he would want to have. Read about Shadow’s excitement for LAN events to return, his secret love for cooking, and more about his offline life below.
Have you played any new games during quarantine?
I’ve been playing Call of Duty a lot. Some Warzone, but mainly the COD multiplayer. I haven’t played the new game VALORANT yet, but I want to.
What do you like to do in your free time besides play video games?
I enjoy playing baseball, football, and basketball. I like to spend time with my family as well. And when I’m not doing either of those, I go to the mall or the movies with my friends.
How did you choose your Username/Gamertag?
When I was on PS4, I noticed nobody had the name Shadow, and so I’ve used it ever since.
When did you start playing video games?
I started playing games when I was 6 or 7 years old. I played sports games on the Wii and the PS2. Then I got an Xbox and played some Minecraft and other sport games. I only played occasionally until I found Rocket League, and that’s when I became more of a gamer.
How did you decide to go pro in Rocket League?
I decided to go pro after I saw the competitive side of Rocket League. Seeing all the LAN Tournaments and all the fun people were having in the esports scene made me really want to go pro. I haven’t played in a LAN yet, but I’m super excited to.
Who do you look up to the most and why?
I look up to GarrettG because he is a very good player. He seems really chill, just a good person to be around. And he’s always giving 100%.
Do your friends think it’s cool that you’re a pro gamer?
My friends do, yes. They blurted out in the middle of class, “Oh this guy, his name is Shadow, and he’s a Rocket League pro!”
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of being able to compete with this team and see all our hard work pay off.
Do you watch traditional sports? If so, what is your favorite team?
I used to watch the Heat when they had LeBron James. Those games were really fun to watch.
Do you have any special talents?
I do like cooking. I wanted to take culinary class in school, but the school wanted me to take Army ROTC classes instead.
What is your favorite car to use in Rocket League and what is your favorite decal?
I like using Octane, and Stripes is the decal that I like most.
Do you have any inside jokes with your team? If so, can you describe one?
One time in scrims I was calling out my positioning when I accidently said, “little middle,” and now it’s an inside joke. My teammate was on the wall, and I didn’t want him to hit the ball across the field… I just wanted him to hit it right next to him, so I said, “I’m little middle!” It just felt right to say.
Karma said to ask what your other made-up callout “pause the ball” means.
When the ball is in the air, I stop its momentum so it drops straight down, so I say that I “pause the ball.” It’s just one of those in-the-moment comms; I don’t know where they come from.
What is your favorite movie and TV show?
Movie: I like action movies. All Jason Statham movies are bangers.
TV Show: The Office, (Karma told me to watch it!), and Sons of Anarchy.
What music do you listen to while streaming?
Chelsea Cutler because the music has good vibes for a game like Rocket League. It’s very chill and soothing.
If you could give advice to players looking to improve at Rocket League, what would your advice be?
Keep putting in hours, and outwork everyone around you.
What is your favorite stadium in Rocket League?
Definitely Mannfield (Night).
What is your favorite meal or snack?
Favorite meal: Pork chops with white rice and black beans
Favorite snack: Jalapeño chips
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Canada because I want to live in the cold, and a lot of pro players are from Canada. I live in Florida, and it’s super hot and humid down here, so it would be a nice change.
What is something you cannot live without?
If you could instantly become an expert at something, what would it be?
I would like to be an expert real estate agent. It seems like a smart move for a job in the future. Plus, you’d get to visit nice houses and appreciate them.
What’s something many people fear that doesn’t scare you at all?
What is the best advice you have ever received?
Keep your head down and grind, and don’t listen to the haters.