If you follow Super Smash Bros in any capacity, you will be aware of the recent hubbub that consumed the Sm4sh community for the last few days. For those of you who don’t know, the best Sm4sh player in the world right now, Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios, called out a bunch of people in a post-match interview, after winning his 37th consecutive tournament, before firing a whole bunch of shots at fellow Sm4sh players on Twitter. This caused a shoot out of epic proportions, with Smashers of all skill levels throwing their two pence in at ZeRo’s callouts. While it may have seemed destructive at the time, it turns out that ZeRo’s actions are exactly what the Sm4sh scene really needed.
Up until this point, the Sm4sh scene was getting pretty stagnant. There have been no big majors for the game since Apex back in January, people are still arguing over tier lists and rulesets and no-one seems to be able to defeat ZeRo in tournament. This is completely unlike Melee, where there have been several majors across the world, with many upsets, exciting sets and general commotion all over Twitter. You have Smashers like Leffen calling people out and causing friction, which in turn causes people to step their game up, while you have the usual Gods of Melee being knocked out by non-Gods. Melee is going from strength to strength while Sm4sh was just trundling along. So, ZeRo acting as a sort of villain for Sm4sh, getting people riled up and ready to compete is exactly what the scene needed, as Smashers from across the world are now putting in work to take him down. It has even caused a bounty to be put on ZeRo’s head at CEO, with one player receiving $100 if they knock ZeRo into losers, and another $400 if they knock him out completely. This has even had ripples into the wider Smash community, with people in regional groups commenting that the bounty system should be transferred to their respective game and tournaments, which makes the overall scene more exciting.
Ultimately, this commotion has inspired Sm4sh fans to actually play the game, rather than worry about if Sheik or Rosalina is top tier, or if customs should be selectively banned. It seems a problem with the American meta, being too focused on theorycrafting for a game that is still in its infancy, rather than just playing the game and mastering it. It seems like left over guilt from Brawl in a way, that some Sm4sh players are determined to make sure that this installment does not fall into obscurity like Brawl, that they are too eager to define global rulesets or play with customs without giving the base game enough time to be properly researched and mastered.