Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios is the greatest Smash player of all time. There are no other words to use when describing someone of his caliber. The Chilean started the game on top, winning the Smash 4 Invitational as well as ending the game number 1 on the Panda Global Ranking.
ZeRo was number 1 for the entirety of Smash 4. ZeRo is most well-known for his Guinness World Record of winning 53 straight tournament matches. This streak lasted from November 2014 to October 2015. That is something that will most likely not be beat out unless it is by ZeRo himself. ZeRo’s legacy in Smash 4 is quite simple, he is the greatest player to ever play the game. ZeRo helped bring attention to Smash 4 by just attending an event. During his streak, if someone took a single game off of him it would almost break smash twitter. When people finally started taking sets off of him it became the major story of the event. That is a legacy that no one will ever be able to compete with.
Early stages of Smash 4
The first Smash 4 major was Apex 2015. At the time, Apex was one of the biggest tournaments of the year. If you wanted to make a name for yourself, you had to be at Apex. ZeRo did not need to make a name for himself since he was already an accomplished Brawl player. This was the event where his legacy started. He showed the world that he was the best Smash 4 player. ZeRo, using his main Diddy, won the tournament from the winners bracket beating Dabuz in Grand Finals to take the title.
ZeRo dominated the rest of the year without losing a single tournament. In the Summer of Smash 2015, ZeRo won Community Effort Orlando, the Evolution Championship Series 2015 without losing a single game throughout the entire tournament, and Smash Con 2015. Smash Con 2015 winners finals was one of the first sets where we found out that ZeRo could be defeated. ZeRo barely defeated ESAM 3-2 in winners finals on his way to his victory. ZeRo’s win at EVO 2015 lead to him joining TSM as a Smash 4 player.
Big House 2015 was one of the first shocks of Smash 4. Seagull Joe, a sonic main from MDVA, took out ZeRo early in bracket. This was probably the biggest upset at the time for all of Smash 4. This did not stop him. ZeRo went on a tear through losers bracket beating many of the high ranked players at the event, then Nario twice in Grand Finals. This was one of the best losers run in the entire length of the game. The tournament streak ended at the Major League Games 2015. At the tournament after ZeRo made the greatest losers run, ZeRo falls to rival Nairo in winners finals and Grand Finals. This loser bracket run shook the entire smash scene.
As ZeRo was dominating Smash 4 in the United States, Ranai was conquering Japan. Ranai was a Villager player from Japan. At the time, no one had heard of him despite his unreal Villager game play. Genesis 3 was the first time that Ranai would be competing in the United States. This was a tournament to determine who was the best player in the world. In Winners Finals, ZeRo and Ranai met and it was a great set. ZeRo went up 2-0 and Ranai came all the way back to make it game 5. ZeRo outlasted Ranai and beat Dabuz in Grand Finals to win Genesis 3.
Shortly after Genesis, ZeRo ended up suffering an injury that would sideline him for multiple months. During this time, there were multiple patches that included the nerf of Sheik as well as the release of Bayonetta. ZeRo would have to relearn the game with his original character Diddy Kong which came with some turbulence. ZeRo’s first tourney back was at Get On My Level 2016. ZeRo got upset by Mew2King 3-0 in Winners Quarterfinals. But ZeRo made another spectacular losers run before losing to Ally in Grand Finals.
In his second major tournament after his injury, ZeRo placed second at 2GGT: Mexico Saga. ZeRo and Larry Lurr played 3 times at this tournament, all of which went game 5. After this tournament, people thought that ZeRo would not be able to maintain his place as the best player in the world. These thoughts were not disproven as ZeRo failed to top 8 at CEO 2016. This was his one of the lowest placing in his Smash 4 career. He finished 3rd at WTFox 2 and 3rd at Evo 2016. Finally, he ended The Summer of smash placing 13th at Super Smash Con 2016. The talks of him not regaining is number 1 spot had reached its peak.
Shortly after Super Smash Con 2016, ZeRo was back to his winning ways beating Mew2king at Endgame. This was significant because the last game of Grand Finals he JV3’d Mew2king. This is basically a perfect, where ZeRo did not take any damage for the entire game. The weekend after that ZeRo won Shine 2016. ZeRo won multiple tournaments after that including The Big House 6. The final tournament of the year, 2GGT: ZeRo Saga, was one of the biggest tournaments of the year. The 2GGT Saga curse had been going on for the entire year. The curse was the fact that anybody that the saga was named/themed after did not win the tournament. They made the saga ZeRo saga since he would have the best shot of breaking the curse being the best in the world. At the saga, they had ZeRo’s gauntlet. This is where they brought in every person that ZeRo has ever lost to in Smash 4 to face ZeRo again on the big stage. ZeRo beat every single person in the gauntlet. ZeRo did not end up winning the tournament, he got 4th losing to Ally, who he had beaten in the gauntlet, and MKleo.
Late stages of Zero’s Career
ZeRo has played in the most of the memorable smash 4 sets. The finals of Frostbite 2017 was one of these sets. ZeRo played in one of the most intense grand finals against hidden boss Tsu, a Lucario player from Japan. To say the set was exciting was an understatement. The total set lasted 46 minutes which is one of the longest tournament sets in the history of Smash 4.
ZeRo’s rivalry with Ally led to the biggest tournament of the entirety of Smash 4. 2GGT Civil War was announced in 2016. The two players had sets going back and forth. Ally was one of the major players who had a consistent shot at beating ZeRo. This tournament had the longest build up. This was the tournament that brought everyone together. 47 of the top 50 players in the world were at the tournament. The main event at 2GGC: Civil War was a 10v10 Crew battle. This is where players have a combined total of stocks and fight until the opponent is out of their stocks. Using the hashtags, #TeamZeRo and #TeamAlly, players would choose which side of the war they wanted to be on.
This tournament ended up being ZeRo’s lowest placing tournament ever. The tournament a lot of upsets where the two players the tournament was build around did not place well. ZeRo ended the tournament at 49th place.
After 2GGC:Civil War, ZeRo proved once more, that his position was to be the best player in the world. ZeRo would win almost every tournament except for a few to close out 2017. The final major tournament of the year was the 2GG championship. The way to qualify for this tournament was to earn circuit points throughout the year at the 2GG tournaments. This would be the last major Smash 4 tournament that ZeRo would enter where he finished in 2nd place losing to MKleo. The invitational Smash 4 Boot Camp was the final event for ZeRo, before he announced his retirement from Smash 4 to become a content creator. ZeRo had maintained the number 1 position for the entirety of his career.
ZeRo helped to create Smash 4. He was the storyline throughout the entire game. Every tournament was about what was happening with ZeRo. There are players in many sports that have not had the dominance that ZeRo has had. You think of players like Tom Brady and Michael Jordan who will forever be remembered. ZeRo is one of those players. His tournament win streak will most likely never be broken.
ZeRo endured a lot of hate throughout the game. People would send a lot of negativity his way, and some just ask him to not participate. ZeRo found a way to continually push through all of this and maintain his number 1 position. ZeRo will forever be known as the greatest Smash 4 player of all time.
Written by: KayohBee