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Smash Bros. legend ZeRo returns to major leagues for Ultimate



Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios is one of the most successful Super Smash Bros. players of all time, but he left the legacy behind as he retired from competition in January after over 10 years of serious play. With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate out now, however, Barrios is ready to come back and start taking names again.

Barrios first started playing fighting games competitively as a "very bad child in a third world country" with Super Smash Bros. Melee and traveled abroad for Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournaments with help from Los Angeles-based sponsor vVv Gaming. But it was the 201

4 release of Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U which made him a legend. Barrios plunged into a long competition and won a staggering 56 consecutive tournaments before finally placing others on the Major League Gaming World Finals in 2015. His success led to sponsorship with the team sport team SoloMid.

Few competitors achieve this level of success without sacrificing, and Barrios burned out by 2015. Constant travel, harassment, and physical damage took a twelve to the Chilean player, who had just turned 20, and his results began to fall. Where before it was rare to see Barrios outside the two peaks of a tournament he attended, he began to slide further and further down the squares. The worst view of his career came in 2017 at 2GGC: Bears War, where he bent at 49.

"I wanted to quit back in 2015 when I was at the top of my game," Barrios Red Bull told eSports soon after retirement this year. "And I've forced myself to play more than ever, and I've realized there's something wrong here; I don't have fun."

Barrios has been very public about the difficulties he experienced and tried to do Smash – his livelihood competition, which made his time particularly important.

"The most important thing I got out of [my hiatus] is my health," he told Polygon. "It is much more important than most players realize to get the extra hours of sleep, solid food and training to play well on the competition day, [rather] than squeezing the extra hours of games at night."


  ZeRo stands in front of a brick wall that carries the jersey to its new team, Tempo Storm.

ZeRo repping for his new team, Tempo Storm.
Tempo Storm

Although Barrios did some of a resurgence in 2017, a break from competition began in early 2018 to focus on his streaming career. He found new success in playing Super Smash Bros. matches live on Twitch after stepping away from the competition community, averaging over 120,000 new supporters a month. But Nintendo's Surprise Super Smash Bros. The Ultimate announcement changed everything. The developer hosted a special invitation tournament shortly after the full disclosure of the game at E3 2018, and invites Barrios to participate in his first public event for months. He won that tournament, and in November, Barrios announced his return to serious competition with the esports group Tempo Storm. Pro team has sponsored success Melee players Jeffrey "Ax" Williamson and Johnny "S2J" Kim since 2015 and 2016.

Despite the slight indication from the developers that they are planning to continue supporting the community, Barrios is optimistic that there will be a symbiotic relationship between Nintendo and the competitive stage. Where the developer used to just ignore the deadliest fans, it has taken steps to become more involved in the scene in recent years, for better or worse. Although it has supported a number of major tournaments, Nintendo has also focused its attention on broadcasting rights and even the types of controls that can be applied to community events it collaborates with. Competitive games thrive on developer support, and as someone who wants to make Smash a career again, Barrios will need Nintendo to play ball so that he returns to be fertile.

Barrios says he can't skip Super Smash Bros. Ultimate competition, and it's easy to see why. Ultimate is the biggest Smash game to date, and as one of the best players in the last two, Barrios is sure to have a professional play leg.

"[ Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ] is shaping the most ambitious and greatest Smash title to date, Barrios explained. for Polygon. "Just because of the scope of the game and the success of the Nintendo switch, this will be a hell of a trip. I felt it was simply not a wise decision to skip this one. "

He is excited to jump back to the competition but will not go as hard as he did in the early days of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U . continued to focus on his burgeoning Twitch career.When asked what his overall goal was for Ultimate during a Reddit AMA, Barrios said he should be the best "on my own terms". Travel to big events but also make sure he's not home away from a tournament every weekend Barrios is very focused on keeping things "chill" and competing in a way that doesn't "destroy any other aspect of life mine. "

" I managed to be the biggest [ Super Smash Bros. for Wii U ] plays all the time while just focusing on it, "he told us." Now I handle the top Twitch and YouTube channels and take care of my brand at a new level. Can I still be the best when I do all that? Let us see. It's going to be a lot harder, but I think I'm busy. "


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