In November of 2021, former Smash Ultimate icon Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios announced that he would be creating content again but was met with severe backlash due to an ongoing investigation into sexual misconduct with a minor. Now he’s returned to tell fans that the lawsuit is over and he’s ready to make a comeback in the gaming space.
ZeRo uploaded a video over the weekend that showed the fully concluded lawsuit. The screenshot announced that the dispute between himself and Jacqueline Choe is settled. Both have asked their followers to stop harassing each other over the past incidents.
In the lawsuit’s conclusion, it also stated that ZeRo understood that Choe felt “harassed and demeaned,” viewing what happened between them differently than how he had at the time. He “regrets the pain” he has caused her. On the other side, the statement says Choe has seen evidence that has led her to retract statements against ZeRo and his wife. The lawsuit has now been resolved; both to save ZeRo and Choe time and money and to allow them to “move forward with [their] respective goals.”
ZeRo added that there are further allegations made to his name by an anonymous girl named Katie. This included a 64-page document with screenshots and accusations made by an anonymous girl named Katie that has since been deleted. ZeRo said that the individual has been avoiding his legal team so the issue can’t be “fully resolved properly.” He added that he allegedly has evidence to defend himself but it’s being reserved for legal purposes.
“I don’t want my life to be held up by allegations made by an anonymous individual that I fully deny and that there is no evidence for,” ZeRo said.
What is ZeRo going to do next in Smash?
ZeRo said that he still plans to do Super Smash Bros. Ultimate content. He will make similar content to before as well as 10 hours-worth of tutorials and courses. Once he gets the Smash stuff “out of the way,” ZeRo wants to also focus on VALORANT. He created a new VALORANT channel after reaching Immortals 2.
He doesn’t plan on being a professional but enjoys the FPS and is “pretty good.” His first video is already out.
ZeRo said: “I hope this is truly the start of me being able to get back to something I truly enjoy; I have been able to find happiness again, I got married, I dedicated myself to become much more fit — [I’ve] lost over 165 pounds so far, I picked up boxing. I started a successful business outside of gaming that has been keeping me and my family afloat; but being able to create content has always been a passion of mine. ”
ZeRo also spent some of the announcement condemning the Smash community over their treatment of him over the years following the allegations. He felt that some prominent members of the community never liked him and he didn’t feel welcomed at events. Even if he’s able to attend events in the future, ZeRo said he has no plan to.
ZeRo added that the Smash community has seemed to forgive other problematic and controversial figures. Meanwhile, Smash players are allegedly not allowed to make content with him or acknowledge him or they risk getting banned or losing sponsors. ZeRo claimed a close friend of his was dropped by a sponsor after playing a game of VALORANT with him off-stream.
“It’s a clear case of bias,” ZeRo said.
He accused William “Leffen” Hjelte of being one of the main reasons his reputation was tarnished. The prominent Melee player created an abundance of content calling out ZeRo for his behavior. One of those videos now has over 1 million views. To this day, Leffen has apparently never offered an apology to ZeRo even after some of his accusations were proven false by the people involved.
The Smash community has been torn about ZeRo’s most recent update. Some feel that he may still be guilty, stating that just because he was legally proven innocent doesn’t mean nothing happened. But others have pointed out the inconsistencies in the Smash community, questioning why Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada has been allowed back at events and embraced by the community despite his allegations.