After former Smash pro and content creator Gonzalo "ZeRo" Barrios attempted to take his own life this past March following, the 26-year-old gave an interview to caster EEVisu, opening up about his mental health struggles and PTSD caused by his past actions.
ZeRo, who admitted to sending suggestive messages to an underage girl, was banned from Twitch, dropped by his esports org Tempo Storm, and ultimately disowned by the Smash community at a time where multiple cases of sexual misconduct were being brought to light, broke the silence this 28th April.
In the 30-minute video posted on EE's YouTube channel which is now only available via reuploads, ZeRo revealed the reasons behind his suicide attempt, and how he has developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder stemming from the events that transpired this past summer.
"I didn't feel like I had any options to do anything," Barrios explains, detailing a time where a background check took away from him an important job opportunity that, in his words, would allow him to move on.
"They came to me and said 'we found out some stuff about you, we don't feel comfortable you working for us anymore, we retract our employment position', that got me really bad."
You can watch the reupload of the interview down below.
Smash community reacts to ZeRo interview
Important members within the Smash scene pointed out that the direction the interview took could sway impressionable fans into pleading for ZeRo's return to the community, even if Barrios explicitly mentioned he does not wish to return, criticizing EE for giving him a platform to speak about the aftermath of his sexual misconduct confession.
Jisu, who first brought the allegations against ZeRo to light, called it a "slap in the face" to her, but also "to Katie, to the other girls, and to the entire movement."
Current General Manager for CLG's League of Legends team tweeted out that while intentions behind the video might have been good, the execution was faulty, to say the least.
"I think a large part you're missing here is intent vs. reception / reaction to your audience. I'll reasonably give the benefit of the doubt that you had good intentions, but it's important to think of the reception here and what the implications are for having done the video."
In the end, EE took down the video after feedback received from the community, with his intent of donating part of the revenue to suicide prevention orgs still on foot.
If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or by emailing [email protected] or [email protected] in the UK and Ireland. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at befrienders.org.