Tempo drops Smash Ultimate player ZeRo following sexual harassment confession

Tempo has severed all ties with Smash player Gonzalo “ZeRo” Barrios following his admission to various instances of sexual assault. The organization revealed the decision in a statement posted to Twitter on July 4.

ZeRo was previously a Super Smash Bros. Ultimate content creator and livestreamer for Tempo. He was notable for his 56-tournament win streak in Smash 4, lasting from Nov. 2014 – Oct. 2015. However, ZeRo recently came under scrutiny following many other sexual misconduct allegations in the Smash community.

The accusations began after ZeRo posted a TwitLonger describing his former relationships with some players who faced sexual misconduct allegations. Jacqueline “Jisu” Choe accused him of harassing her and showing her explicit images when she was 15 years old. Later, William “Leffen” Hjelte shared a similar story of ZeRo looking at explicit images in front of him and others.

Ultimately, a former Smash community member named Katie accused ZeRo of sharing inappropriate messages with her. She claimed she was 14 years old at the time, while ZeRo was 19. He posted three separate TwitLongers in response to the allegations, eventually confessing to all of them. In addition, he confessed to another inappropriate interaction with a girl named Laura in his final TwitLonger. Even before Tempo issued its response, ZeRo banned himself from Smash events and announced a break from producing content.

Tempo’s approach to ZeRo

Tempo noted that ZeRo confessed to all of these allegations during an internal investigation orchestrated by the organization. The statement read, “While we appreciate ZeRo’s transparency, we will be severing ties with him going forward.” Notably, the organization committed to providing professional support, not only for ZeRo but also his victims.

As ZeRo has parted ways with Tempo, more sexual misconduct allegations have continued to surface within the Smash community. More recently, accusations of varying severity have been levied against Jason “ANTi” Bates, Ryan “La Luna” Coker-Welch, Hendrick “DJ Nintendo” Pilar, and Weston “Westballz” Dennis. A full list of recent allegations is available on Reddit.

Dylan Tate
Dylan Tate is a student in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a gaming journalist with a love for Nintendo esports, including Smash Bros., Splatoon, ARMS, and Pokémon. Dylan also writes Nintendo news articles for Nintendo Enthusiast.