In January, top Super Smash Bros. for Wii U player Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios announced that he would be retiring from competitive Super Smash Bros. play, citing burnout, a lack of interest, and a feeling that he had already accomplished everything he had set out to do. Though he no longer participated in tournaments, he continued to stream and create videos on a regular basis, and maintained a relationship with his then-sponsor Team SoloMid.
On Wednesday, ZeRo announced his return to competitive play, excited by the new characters and unfamiliar metagame offered by the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch.
“When I go back to competing, I’m going to be doing it differently than I did last time,” ZeRo told ESPN.
Apparently, these differences go beyond the Chilean smasher’s gameplay and mindset: he’s got a new sponsor, as well. Alongside his return, ZeRo announced that he would be playing Smash Ultimate under the banner of Tempo Storm, a top-tier esports organization whose roster also features Super Smash Bros. Melee players Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson and Johnny “S2J” Kim. Though rumors have indicated that Axe and S2J may soon be released from the organization, ZeRo’s signing shows that Tempo Storm is still looking to pick up new talent; along with ZeRo, the team signed his longtime coach, Daniel “Pierce7d” Seraphin.
ZeRo was the most decorated competitor of Smash 4’s competitive scene, boasting a 56-tournament win streak at the beginning of the game’s competitive lifespan. He was ranked first on every single edition of Smash 4’s Panda Global Rankings. As he prepares for a second career in Smash Ultimate, one thing is clear: to defeat him, the rest of Ultimate’s contenders will certainly need to bring their A game.