Professional Super Smash Bros. player and streamer, Gonzalo ‘ZeRo’ Barrios, has responded to allegations that he was inappropriate with underage girls, banned himself from future events, and been cut from Tempo Storm.
In his initial response to the accusations, ZeRo responded in detail to the various statements, including one from fellow pro player, William Peter ‘Leffen’ Hjelte.
“I want to start by taking ownership and apologize to Jisu, Katie, and Leffen for my actions,” he said. “While the intent was not malicious on my end, I understand that the impact my actions had on others caused pain that I did not intend.”
He admitted to sending “horrendous” messages to girls as young as 14 when he was 19, which he says were due to his “social awkwardness” and lack of judgment at the time.
In another Twitlonger on July 4, Barrios said that he was tired of the “back and forth” and wanted to “come clean.”
He admits that the spoke to another underage girl, who had originally told him that she was older. “Years later she contacted me and said she was actually underage. I apologized to her privately recently and told her I feel absolutely terrible about it. There’s no graphic pictures or anything either that were exchanged and she’s from another country.”
“I really want to atone, and I just want this discussion to stop,” Barrios continued. “I’m not a good person, and it doesn’t matter how terrible my life was, I did terrible things and that’s the end of it. I don’t deserve for people to defend me.
He explained that he was “working” to lose his sponsorships “or any type of thing like that” and that he would no longer be making videos for his 1.14 million subscriber YouTube channel.
ZeRo concluded his statement by telling fans not to forgive him, and that he would not forgive himself either.
After his ‘coming clean’ post however, Jacqueline ‘Jisu’ Choe, who made some of the initial allegations, claimed that “this isn’t all of it. I’ll be releasing my statement and everyone’s accounts soon.”
After 2 twitlongers, blatant lying, and several attempts of damage control via messaging figureheads and victims only for you to realize you're finally screwed– you finally fess up
Except this isn't all of it. I'll be releasing my statement and everyone's accounts soon. https://t.co/JTA3bZlKnV
— Jisu @ Hiatus (@JisuArtist) July 4, 2020
She also said that just because ZeRo had confessed, didn’t mean it was over, and that more information would be forthcoming from herself and other women.
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Jisu also said that she had received death threats after making her statements, and another woman who made accusations against ZeRo, known only as Katie, chose to remain anonymous.
ZeRo has stated that he will not be attending any Smash events in future: “I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and I don’t deserve to be there ever again after all this.”
I want to mention that I’ll also be permanently banning myself from Smash Bros events in any capacity. I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable and I don’t deserve to be there ever again after all this.
— ZeRo (@zerowondering) July 4, 2020
Barrios did refuse one point though; that he was five years older than his girlfriend, and that he started dating her when she was 15. ZeRo says there is only 2 years difference in their age, and “we did not have sexual interactions until after she was 18.”
In addition to his self-imposed ban from events, Barrios’ organization, Tempo Storm, released a statement in which they confirmed that he was transparent in their investigation and that the esports organization will be “severing ties with him moving forward.”
As a step further, Tempo Storm has also committed to providing “professional support” for any of Barrios’ victims and both “professional counsel” and “rehabilitation resources” for the former player as well.