The top professional, who was previously part of Empire Arcadia, has left amid a dispute over payments, Zimmerman said in a post today on /r/smashbros.
Mew2King has declined any resolution options with @EmpireArcadia and has left the team. We wish him success in his future endeavors.
— Empire Arcadia (@EmpireArcadia) January 27, 2015
EMP’s owner, Isaiah “Triforce” Johnson allegedly delayed payment to Zimmerman, and then ultimately gave out “much less than promised.” Zimmerman, who said he considers himself a “nice person,” said he nevertheless has limits on his “patience and fairness.”
If Johnson’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s a really big Nintendo fan. So big that he’s willing to wait in line for days in front of the Nintendo World Store in New York to be the first to snag its latest console. Zimmerman stated that he stayed as long as he did with Johnson and EMP because he “did not want to do anything that would harm his life negatively,” adding that “he doesn’t have anything else.”
Since 2009, Zimmerman has allegedly only been paid “$5k total more/less” and has lent Johnson more than $1,000.
Zimmerman also cited “periodic depression” as one of various reasons for leaving EMP. He said that “looking forward to things that never happen” was only making his depression worse.
What does this mean for Zimmerman now that he has effectively become a free agent? The competitive Smash Bros. scene continues to grow at a rapid rate. With the popularity of the recent Smash Bros. for Wii U, Nintendo has been throwing its substantial weight behind the scene. The company will be sponsoring this weekends APEX 2015, a tournament hosting Super Smash Bros. Melee, Brawl, and Wii U.
There are quite a few esports teams that lack a star Smash Bros. player, and that are probably looking for one now that the game has been growing so fast. Teams such as Dignitas, SoloMid, and Mousesports could really use a star player. Other teams could also try and expand their reach by adding Zimmerman to their roster—like Cloud9, which currently sponsor Joseph “Mango” Marquez, or Evil Geniuses, which sponsor Kevin “PPMD” Nanney. Considering the sheer number of tournaments Zimmerman attends, adding him would bring immediate dominance to those rosters.
Zimmerman will still be with Pastime Legends (PL) and MVG League (MVG) on a volunteer basis to help “grow their brand.” He’s friends with the owners of those teams and wants to see them succeed.
So, if you own a major esports team and need a Smash Bros. player, Zimmerman is the only player in the top five not sponsored. We would recommend you pick up a phone immediately.