Tempo Storm make smart move with signing of Smash god ZeRo


The release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch is on the horizon and the world of Smash esports is gearing up. Adapters are being purchased, moves are being broken down into their frame data, and Tempo Storm have signed the greatest player ever to touch a Smash game released after 2001, Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios.

Known originally as a top Super Smash Bros Brawl player, ZeRo has been around the scene since he moved to the states as a teenager, but really came into his own just prior to the release of Smash 4, while playing the fan-made Project M. That game was a modification of Brawl that added the more complex, competitive mechanics that make Melee such an enticing title for players, and ZeRo quickly became one of the world’s best at it.

When Nintendo and elements of the scene conspired to kill PM, ZeRo moved over to Smash 4, a title more similar to Brawl than the competitive titles like Melee and PM, and was instantly a success.

The man who started as a shy kid best known for his scarf has evolved into an edgy yet entertaining persona

In his time playing that game he accumulated a record number of wins, weeks at number one and titles, proving his ability to not only exploit certain mechanics designed for casual play, but also play neutral at an incredible level, often hard outplaying his opponents over and over again.

Evolution of a star

Equally, he quit the Smash 4 scene earlier than most other players, citing burnout and boredom of the increasingly stale meta dominated by broken DLC characters and took the time to build his stream over the past few months. The man who started as a shy kid best known for his scarf has evolved into an edgy yet entertaining persona on Twitch, and brings all the prerequisite skill too, making him the total package in that respect.

This, along with his persona online and the occasional glimpse of the human behind it, all seem to have been intelligently constructed and timed to allow him to earn the maximum and build a personal brand, and the rumours are that his contract with Tempo Storm is a record-breaking one, with some reporting it is worth five figures a month, an unheard of amount for Smash pros.

To ZeRo’s credit, if any player in the scene is worth that, it is him, as he combines top tier play with a personality you can actually sell, unlike some of the top Melee talent.

As for Tempo, they have signed the most recognisable face in Smash, and a player with room to grow, at what appears to be just the right time following his release from TSM in the summer.

As an org they haven’t always featured at the top of the top games but if you wanted to move into Smash and potentially grab some of the massive Nintendo fanbase, there is no better player they could have added to a roster that already includes Johnny ‘S2J’ Kim and Jeffrey ‘Axe’ Williamson - two beloved Melee pros already under the Tempo banner.

Now, all that remains is for ZeRo to prove the move was a good one by dominating Ultimate in the same way he did Smash 4, and his performance at the Nintendo Invitational shows he is more than capable of doing so. In many ways, ZeRo is a perfect example to esports pros of how to evolve and grow into a brand, and this could prove one of the best signings of 2018 for Tempo.

Tim MastersTim joined Luckbox as an editor this year, having previously spent time at GosuGamers, EsportsHeaven and other sites. He currently is not at his desk.

Related Articles

23 days ago
a month ago
a month ago
2 months ago
The world of esports doesn't move as fast as you might expect, given the way it developed and how advanced it is from a technological point of view. For some time now, there have been three dominant games and one main platform, as CSGO, Dota and League of Legends on PC have led the way and created the scene we know today, which is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. However, the latter part of this year is going to give us not one, but two games with the potential to change the way...
Immortals have dropped both of their representatives in the Super Smash Bros series, following the news that Dajuan Shroomed McDaniel would be leaving the organisation after two years with them. This comes on the back of Jason ANTi Bates leaving the organisation at the end of his contract, with neither player having achieved what they aimed to in their time with IMT. My 2 years with Immortals was amazing and I am thankful for them giving me this opportunity. I wish the organization nothing ...
The power of esports is often highlighted in boardrooms and meetings, where people with expensive watches work out how to divide up the world between their personal bank accounts, but human stories about the positive side of the scene are less common. Recently, though, a community with a long history of philanthropy stepped up, not for the first time, with the assistance of one of the worlds biggest game developers. Super Smash Bros Ultimate is the newest game in the Smash Bros franchise,...
Yesterday, one of the all time greats of Super Smash Bros Melee announced his retirement from the competitive scene, for the second time. Adam Armada Lindgren stepped away from singles competition, although in his announcement he did confirm he would continue to play doubles with his brother, Andreas Android Lindgren, as he still has motivation for that part of the game. The moment he shared his decision, the online debate started about his place in the pantheon of great players, and many were...
PC Master Race watch out - console esports are coming for you
Immortals end interest in Smash with release of Shroomed
Chris 'SpookyWoobler' Taylor and the power of gamers
Armada: the battle for motivation
Evo highlights true value of esports