It feels like the world has stopped due to the coronavirus pandemic and in many ways, it has; tournaments and events have been cancelled all over the place, and some video game releases have been delayed due to a multitude of factors owing to the virus.
But in the world of esports, exciting things have been happening despite the worldwide crisis; streamers are more active than ever and to make up for offline tournaments being cancelled, a slew of online tournaments have popped up, some of them with major crash prizes.
The Quarantine Series in particular has drawn thousands of attendees for both the prizes and the large streams for both Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Smash Bros. Melee. Sure, it’s online play, but during this time, it’s all we’ve got. In fact, this type of tournament is unique in that it’s brought a beloved player out of retirement for another go.
TempoStorm ZeRo will be making his competitive return on April 18th in The Quarantine Series.
The event is perfect for ZeRo, as it doesn’t require the several days away from streaming and content creation that are required to attend major tournaments, and online play, not being taken as seriously as offline tournaments, allows for a more relaxed and fun environment.
That’s not to say ZeRo won’t be aiming for first place; he’s looking for pro players to practice with, and he plans on putting in time with his best characters to really make a statement at his return tournament.
Recently, ZeRo had connected himself with the competitive Smash scene again through Team Zero, an organisation which seeks to sponsor players and prop them up so that they can connect with larger esports teams and secure a bigger contract. Team Zero will also be looking into other avenues in which they help grow Smash as an esport, as a way of ZeRo giving back to the community where he first made his name.
While it’s unlikely that ZeRo will return to offline competitive play, this tournament will be a fascinating way to see him stack up against the current meta; lots of pros, who are limited to only streaming instead of competing, are entering these online tournaments. We’re seeing players such as Nairo, Maister, MKLeo and many, many more at these bigger online events.
And the prize pools for some of them make it a hard chance to pass up; the Quarantine Series is co-hosted by Alpharad and Cr1tikal, both of whom are pouring thousands of dollars into prize pools on top of streaming the event, and it’s paying off, with their streams drawing in tens of thousands of viewers. It’s also paying off for certain players, with Smash Ultimate player Kola winning thousands of dollars between the Soaked and Quarantine tournament series.