On March 23rd, former Smash Bros pro Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios attempted to take his own life. Thankfully, the young gamer survived, and hopefully, he makes a holistic recovery,
ZeRo's former partner, Vanessa, took to Twitter to reveal that he had tried to commit suicide three days ago. According to her, after being treated in the hospital, he was sent in for further care.
The young Esports star was banned last year from Twitch after he admitted to sexual misconduct with minors. What makes matters worse is that Super Mario Smash Bros is rated E10+, which stands for kid-friendly and is even void of blood.
The Smash Bros community was outraged by the series of events, and many wanted ZeRo to be arrested for sexual misconduct with minors.
Following the incident and outrage, both his Twitter and Twitch accounts were purged, and "ZeRo" went back to a life of seclusion.
ZeRo also had a YouTube channel with over one million subscribers but stated that he would no longer be uploading content on the channel and sever all ties with sponsors.
While it's clear that this incident was responsible for the attempt on his own life, many of his fans and followers feel that the Smash Bros community's toxicity is to blame as well.
Is the Smash Bros community to blame?
According to most people, following his ban and subsequent fall from grace, the Smash Bros community celebrated ZeRo's demise into obscurity. Although he committed the heinous act years ago, the community called for him to be canceled, and some even suggested he should be imprisoned.
Despite all the odds, a large segment of people still believe that he deserves a second chance as people make mistakes. Many Twitter users came forward and offered their support while claiming that the Smash Bro community was the most toxic one.
Once an icon in Smash Bros's world, conquering the esports scene with his 56 tournament win streak back in Smash 4 on Wii U, ZeRo's rise to fame was instant.
It seems as if his past caught up to him and dragged him down. A Reddit user, u/ahipotion, wrote:
"Same thing happened with Reckful, he made a couple of tweets, people shat on him, he committed suicide, and they quickly deleted their tweets. They're brave hiding behind their anonymity until their toxicity becomes real and they realize what they've done, and then they pretend to care."
However, despite fans supporting ZeRo in his hour of need, many users still condemn his actions. According to some people, his actions led to the consequences and fallout within the community.
While former fans wish him a speedy recovery, they don't want him back in the Smash Bros community. Another Reddit user, u/MessySpaghettiCoder, noted:
"There is always going to be that elephant in the room if he ever tries to do anything with the smash community, no matter how reformed he is. It just sucks being as big as he was because now any background checks on him will show him as a pedo. He will be facing the consequences his entire life."
Hopefully, while former and current fans debate over the necessary course of action, Gonzalo makes a full recovery. While he may never have a second shot in the Smash Bros community, he now has a second chance at life, which is more than enough for now.