Last night, Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios took to Twitter to defend himself against criticism from fans claiming he was a “coward” for prioritizing his Super Smash Bros. Ultimate streaming career over his tournament attendance.
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ZeRo, who spent years as the undeniable world best player in Smash 4, retired from competitive play in January 2018. Upon the release of Ultimate, he expressed interest in a return to competition alongside the announcement of his lucrative Tempo Storm sponsorship. While retired, the Chilean Smash legend stepped up his streaming and content creation game considerably, gaining thousands of subscribers on both Twitch and YouTube. But ZeRo’s taxing stream schedule has impacted his ability to make deep bracket runs in tournament. At his one Ultimate tournament so far, Smash Conference United in early January, he failed to make top eight.
Last night, ZeRo fired back at his critics, pointing at his Smash 4 success as evidence that he has nothing left to prove within the world of competitive Smash. Tournament results notwithstanding, this is the most monetarily successful period of ZeRo’s life.
Though this success is difficult to balance with a high-level competitive career, the Tempo Storm member is not obliged to enter tournaments as he continues to make a name for himself in Ultimate.