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The Untold Truth Of ZexRow

ZexRow has taken the Fortnite universe by storm. Known in the real world as Anthony Colandro, this 19-year-old seems like many other teens in a lot of ways. He has a twin sister named Alise. He loves his cats and his dog. On the other hand, he also made a bargain with his parents that if he could make money playing Fortnite, he could become an esports pro rather than attending college. It might seem like he succeeded against all odds, but then again, he began streaming when he was only ten or eleven years old. In many ways, ZexRow has been preparing for a gaming career his entire life.

Even though he is a relative newcomer to the world of esports, his professional career has been one of highs and lows. How much do you really know about this teenage Fortnite phenom? Keep reading to discover the untold truth of ZexRow.

He prefers Chipotle to McDonalds

ZexRow is not lovin' it. During a Reddit AMA for Team SoloMid, ZexRow was asked about his go-to McDonald's order, and that's when he dropped a truth bomb in his fans' collective lap. The pro-gamer would rather head to Chipotle than McDonald's. And his go-to order there? "I'd usually just get a chicken burrito," he wrote.

The McDonald's corporation operates 40,000 restaurants worldwide, and in 2019, the company achieved systemwide sales of over $100 billion. By comparison, Chipotle Mexican Grill's sales are a relatively paltry $5.7 billion. But those may not be the only numbers that matter. McDonald's famously ranked dead last in customer satisfaction back in 2014, and according to the an ACSI Restaurant Report, the company has improved but is still in last place among limited service restaurants (like Subway and Dunkin'). However, ZexRow didn't elaborate on why he prefers Chipotle over Mickey D's, so perhaps he's simply a burrito man, even if the guacamole is extra.

He's won a ton of money in esports prizes

Most 19-year-olds are not known for having gobs of cash, but then again, most 19-year-olds don't turn pro in esports before even graduating from high school. ZexRow has won prize purses in amounts that seem the thing of dreams — very, very good dreams. But how much are we talking exactly?

Well, there was the $67,500 first place purse ZexRow split with partner VapeJesus after winning Week 1 of the 2018 Fortnite Fall Skirmish in the North American region. Then there was the $342,600 prize he split with yung calculator and MackWood1x from the Fortnite Championship Series – Season X in 2019. And don't forget the $225,000 prize that he and Vinny1x took home from the duos finals at the 2019 Fortnite World Cup. There are a lot more winnings that could be listed, but suffice to say, he probably won't have trouble paying for college should he ever decide to go.

He controls his tendonitis with caffeine pills

During Dreamhack Anaheim in early 2020, ZexRow spoke to ESR, who asked if the gamer was experiencing any nerves at the three-day tournament. ZexRow answered the question about nerves a little more literally, however. "I have tendonitis," he said, "so I take caffeine pills, and then a lot of the pain goes away in my hand." He went on to explain that his hand feels weak when he plays and that the caffeine makes him "a lot better."

ZexRow has struggled publicly with tendonitis of late, and it nearly prevented him from qualifying for the World Cup in 2019. Tendonitis is an overuse injury, and in PC gamers, it typically affects the tendons in the hand and wrist. It's also sometimes accompanied by compressed nerves in the area. However, by limiting the number of hours he plays each day, as well as using the caffeine pills, ZexRow was able to manage his symptoms. He not only qualified for the World Cup, he placed ninth with duos partner Vinny1x.

He started playing COD at six years old

So how does one become the next big esports pro? There are many potential paths to success, but one possible way is to look at how ZexRow's childhood prepared him for this career. "Growing up, I played Xbox 360," he explained. "When I was like six, my dad got me it for Christmas, and I played like COD 4 and COD 3 a lot." At 12, he moved on to computer games, such as Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. He praised his aim in Counter-Strike, but not his game sense, and admitted to being a poor teammate. However, over time, he says he began learning from his mistakes.

In a Reddit AMA, fans asked ZexRow to share some advice for budding gamers with dreams of esports glory. He said, "You either need to be really entertaining or really good [at] a game." He also recommended watching VODs and writing down specific things in your game that need to be improved upon.

Growing up, he was a big fan of TSM

Just because someone might grow up watching the Golden State Warriors, it doesn't mean they'll one day be sinking baskets next to Stephen Curry. Those kinds of childhood dreams rarely come true — unless your name is ZexRow, that is. As a kid, ZexRow was introduced to TSM through two friends who were big League of Legends fans. "They were really good. I was horrible, but they were also huge fans of TSM, so I became a fan of TSM," he explained.

ZexRow joined TSM in December 2018, and in the group's official announcement, he was praised as "one of the most successful competitive Fortnite players, having consistently high placements in many of the Skirmish tournaments he attended in the past year." ZexRow says of the opportunity, "I was such a huge fan of TSM Chaox and I watched him all the time. It's crazy to think that I'm joining the same org he played for! This move completely changes my future, and I can't believe that I'll actually be playing for TSM now!"

Somebody started a petition to go on a date with ZexRow

ZexRow is not currently dating anyone, at least not officially. In fact, the person he's most frequently seen with is probably his Poised Playmaker Fortnite avatar. The 19-year-old has described how much effort goes into being an esports pro. "It's really hard when you can't play all day every day," ZexRow stated, and he described his daily routine as a 30-to-60-minute warm-up followed by playing "all day." With those kinds of demands on his time, it's understandable why he might not have space for a dating life.

This didn't stop a fan known as meyce 1x from starting a Change.org petition to go on a date with ZexRow. Meyce 1x, who started the petition six months ago, wrote, "Ever since I saw ZexRow ( Aka Alpha Male ). I feel in love... WITH HIS SKILL AND his aim ( DO IT FOR THE BOYS THE BOYS )." As of the time of this writing, the petition only has eight signatures. However, it's possible the petition was created by @meyceftw, Fortnite pro and Twitter mutual with ZexRow, as a joke.

He's been previously banned for self-harm

On Jan. 7, 2020, ZexRow was in the middle of a routine stream on Twitch. He'd already consumed two Monster Energy drinks and asked his viewers if he should drink more. As ZexRow explained to Dexerto, however, "...everyone [said] yes, but I knew it was bad for you so instead I filled the cans with water and then kept drinking them with water." With a friend in the background helping sell the joke to viewers, ZexRow downed a total of nine cans. So much liquid made him sick, which frightened viewers who never knew he was only drinking water out of the Monster cans and feared he had overdosed on caffeine.

The next day, Twitch banned ZexRow for self-harm, and he shared the announcement on Twitter, stating, "I knew 2020 was going to be interesting but not this interesting to where I get banned from twitch." He managed to appeal his seven-day sentence and was banned for only three days. However, the whole ordeal cost him 150,000 of his Twitch followers.

He hates coffee

If you can't start your day without a java jolt, you're not alone. According to the Global Consumer Survey via Statista, 44% of Americans drink 2-3 cups of coffee daily. Drip coffee, that reliable standby, is the most commonly consumed coffee, followed by iced coffee and instant coffee. On the other hand, 26% of Americans drink only one cup per day or drink no coffee at all. This means that for a full two-thirds of the country, coffee seems to be a love it or hate it situation.

ZexRow is in the "hate it" camp. Back in April, the gamer tweeted, "Coffee is disgusting." And no, it wasn't on the first of the month, so it wasn't an April Fool's Day joke. However, his dad replied the next day, "You get that from your mom, me and Alise love coffee." For the record, ZexRow didn't give his dad's reply a like or reply back. Who knew that love or hate of the brew was a family affair?

He (inadvertently) contributed a lot of money to charity

The year 2020 has continued to be professionally tumultuous for ZexRow. In May, Ninja debuted Ninja Battles, his online Fortnite invitational series airing on Mixer. ZexRow snagged an invite and won the first of the series' six events. However, in the live post-event interview, everything went very, very wrong. ZexRow stated, "Everyone that didn't place in top ten can suck my d***. They're f***ing s****ers. I don't know why they talk s***, they're actually also dogs*** and braindead."

The interview was immediately cut short, but the damage was done. ZexRow tweeted a quick apology, to which Ninja replied, "Congrats on your first and last Ninja battles placement!" ZexRow later penned a longer apology, but that didn't stop him from being punished by TSM. In CEO Andy Dinh's official statement, he declared, "Effective immediately, he has been fined one month's salary. His behavior was absolutely inappropriate, and does not represent the values of TSM or our brand partners." The statement went on to say that the fine would be donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, "an organization that does amazing work for young people all over the country."

He admits he's "toxic"

Despite all ZexRow's wins, his massive monetary gains, and his dream team placement, his profanity-laden rants and poor sportsmanship have earned him a reputation among esports fans for being toxic. However, people may be surprised to learn that he's not only aware of the behavior, he's seemingly okay with it.

He explained, "The main reason I'm toxic is because when you go into a game with 99 other players and they're not nearly as good and you die to them from something stupid ... so obviously you're going to get angry for a little bit, but it's like not gonna matter later on." The idea that it won't matter later is debatable, considering the negative response from the esports community following ZexRow's now-infamous interview after the Ninja Battles tournament. Taking into account that he still spoke in such a manner even after winning (and not solely when upset by dying "from something stupid"), it's fair to question what will become of ZexRow's esports career if he burns too many bridges with his toxic behavior.