Gonzalo “Zero” Barrios is on a hot streak. Since November 2014, he’s come in first for every Super Smash Bros. for Wii U tournament he’s participated in. That makes a whopping 34 consecutive first place wins for the 1v1 category. It’s absurd.
Things have got so ridiculous, that now even spectators are trying to see if they can influence things a bit. Earlier today, someone put out a call to arms:
Alex Jebailey is the founder of Community Effort Orlando, a fighting game tournament held in Florida. This year, in addition to offering thousands of dollars in prize money to the top competitors of various fighting games, Jebailey will also give out a prize to whoever can knock Barrios out of the CEO 2015 Smash Bros. tournament entirely. That’s right: a prize not for winning the tournament, but for making sure someone specific doesn’t take home the gold once again.
In response to this, Chris Brown, the owner of Smashboards.com — one of the leading Smash Bros. communities on the internet — has added more money to the pot:
That’s $US500 on the line, all to defeat one guy. The hope is to make things more interesting and fun, especially in light of how much Barrios has been trash talking lately:
the shots will never stop firing not even in a group chat pic.twitter.com/ijaUgzGXlV— Alpharad (@alpharadTV) May 20, 2015
My results? They've been alright. pic.twitter.com/sXoEJvMIeQ— 「ZeRo」 (@ZeRoSSB) May 17, 2015
Before Apex a lot of Diddy players thought my Diddy sucked. Then I won Apex. Then they asked me for tips. LMAO— 「ZeRo」 (@ZeRoSSB) May 17, 2015
“I have nothing but respect for [Barrios’] character and ability to dominate in the Smash Community,” Jebailey said over email. “I really don’t think anyone will claim the bounty but I would love to see it because I know he would be a good sport about the competition.
“I’ve actually done bounties before with games like Mortal Kombat or Marvel vs. Capcom 3 but have yet to lose one,” Jebailey said.
Barrios did not respond to our request for comment in time for publication, but he seems pretty confident that he’s not going to lose:
HELL NO. Not letting this happen. https://t.co/tthSo5YVLY— 「ZeRo」 (@ZeRoSSB) May 20, 2015
The hype around the bounty is nonetheless still growing:
“Melee has their ‘5 Gods‘ that are well know but I’d like Smash 4 to start establishing top players,” Jebailey said. “If I can use CEO to be a platform and help them accomplish setting tournament goals to achieve I’m all for it.”
To wit, Jebailey says that Smash 4 is currently leading in registration numbers for CEO 2015, a tournament which will go down on June 26-28th. In general, the game is smashing participation records left and right this year for just about every tournament that is held for it. While there are some growing pains that come with that — notably, some tension between Melee and Smash 4, as well as the ever-developing Smash 4 metagame — it seems clear that 2015 is the year of Smash Bros. Bounties like this are the natural result of all that growth and excitement.
My bet? Barrios is going to add one more tournament to his long list of first-place wins.