Don't let his chiselled good looks fool you, Team Aze's Ay4la is pretty good at kicking your butt in-game.
Hailing from Mexico, Daniel Heriberto "Ay4la" Aayala Pérez and his teammates are battling for a share of the US$2 million prize pool at the Free Fire World Series 2021 taking place in Singapore this weekend.
A former model, 22-year-old Ay4la is now a full-time pro player and content creator for Garena's wildly popular survivor battle royale mobile game. While he said he still takes on ad hoc modelling projects, he's mainly focused on his new career as a gamer.
"My teammates think it’s interesting that I can work as a model as well as be a pro player full time. Often people think that as a gaming pro player, you’re only training your mental reflexes. However I like to advocate the importance of training both a healthy mind and body, which are key to the success of any pro player," said Ay4la.
Strangely enough, the Free Fire pro said he wasn't interested in being a pro gamer when he was working as a model in Puerto Vallarta, a resort town located in Mexico's Jalisco state.
He had been competing in local tournaments for fun when Team Aze's manager approached him after they had qualified for the Free Fire League Latinoamerica, and he became interested in a new career path.
"Team Aze’s manager contacted me directly when they qualified for the Free Fire League, and I was given the opportunity to provide my views on a working plan and strategy for the team. He liked it and that’s how I started working with them," said Ay4la.
Since then, he's continued with scouting and coaching new players for the squad in the last three seasons, and has helped the team do well in the Latinoamerica leagues and the Free Fire Continental Series 2020.
As a pro player, Ay4la is focused on being able to react to "adverse situations", because making mistakes as a pro is something that can't be avoided, adding that it's better to "acknowledge" these mistakes and work on them.
His favourite in-game weapon is currently the m1887, a shotgun type weapon that's good for closeup skirmishes. Ay4la added that when combined with good movements, the m1887 is key for short-distance duels.
As for newer players who want to get into the pro scene, Ay4la wants them to know that it's all about practising and not rushing to jump levels. Working from the bottom and participating in community scrims will help you improve, as well as getting familiar with the competitive environment, will help.
"If you find that you really enjoy playing the game, you have to commit your all and never quit. When a door closes on you, there are always opportunities out there and you have to find other doors to open for yourself," said Ay4la.
For now, Ay4la is focused on his gaming career, both as a pro player and a content creator. He hopes to score a lot of achievements and championships with his team.
"I’m proud of how far we’ve come as a team, especially as we represent Latin America on such a global stage at the World Series Finals this Sunday,"
Catch Team Aze battle it out this weekend at the Free Fire World Series 2021.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com
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