Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios, who most will agree is the world’s best Super Smash Bros. For Wii U player, is finally calling it quits.
Barrios posted the official announcement on his Twitter following the release of the latest Panda Global Rankings, which use tournament statistics to rank the best players. Four rankings have been released in the last two years, and Barrios has placed first in all of them. He has won dozens of tournaments, having an world record for most consecutive tournament wins in the game, at 53 wins in a row. Barrios is currently sponsored by Team Solomid, and tournament winnings comprise a large part of his income.
Despite this success, Barrios had fallen out of love with competing at the game which has brought him so much success. “I love this game, I really do,” Barrios posted on Twitter. “However, I just don’t have that ‘fire’ that I used to have for Smash 4. I used to be able to push myself so easily and without effort back in the day . . . but nowadays, I pretty much have to force myself to do it.”
His retirement doesn’t necessarily preclude him playing more Smash Bros. for his fans. “I anticipate I will want to participate once again in tournaments once the next iteration of Smash Bros. is on the horizon,” Barrios said. “I will stream Smash and make Youtube video [sic] and all that fun stuff. It’s strictly competing, like in highly stressful tournaments and super competitive rankings that I’m moving away from.”
Barrios also has several other plans for himself that don’t include playing Smash Bros. “I want to write that book I always dream about,” he said in his statement. “I want to learn a third language and allow myself to experience a different world. I want to take care of my body the way it deserves to be treated as I age more moving forward.”
It’s somewhat rare to see a pro go out at the height of their career, as opposed to simply failing to perform after a while or being sidelined due to an injury. Hopefully ZeRo is able to succeed at the challenges he’s set forth for himself.