The Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour is well underway, having made stops at Daytona Beach, Mexico, and even Manila. With competition heating up across the globe, the Tour finally made its way to Paris, France, in one of the country’s premier fighting game tournaments – Ultimate Fighting Arena.
Ultimate Fighting Arena 2019 threw down at The Docks of Paris, featuring a slew of fighting game titles and five official competitive circuits – including the DBFZ World Tour. With legendary pro Goichi “Go1” Kishida having dominated the Tour thus far, names like Shouji “Fenritti” Sho and “Dekillsage” broke into the top standings with wins at REV Major and Thunderstruck – but they weren’t the only players to have breakout performances in the Tour, by far.
DBFZ boasts a hive of young talent
A wave of younger players have been making waves in the 2019 DBFZ World Tour, with the likes of nine-year-old “Tsuyoshi” dropping jaws on stream at this year’s Evolution Championship Series. Exceeding the expectations of fans, Tsuyoshi managed to take the win 2-0 over opponent “Killmonger” without losing a single character in his first-ever on-stream match – but he isn’t the only youngster to stir the proverbial pot.
Fifteen-year-old “Tako” likewise turned heads at REV Major in late September, making it all the way to Top 8 in Winners’ side. Although he hadn’t taken a single loss, Tako was eventually eliminated by champion Fenritti and later Tachikawa in the Losers’ quarter-final – but his efforts didn’t go unnoticed, with commentators Tyrant and Damascus left floored by his breakout performance.
France’s “Wawa” steals the spotlight
However, there is one other teen making a serious splash in the DBFZ World Tour, having already taken two major events ahead of the season’s official kickoff at CEO 2019. France’s eighteen-year-old “Wawa” stunned fans across Europe after winning Lyon’s “The Mixup” in April, later scoring a championship victory at “Stunfest” in May: but DBFZ isn’t even his breakout title, by far.
Wawa has shook up Europe’s fighting game scene at just ten years of age, making a name for himself in the King of Fighters XIII. Managing to take the Morocco vs France team championship at Cannes’ World Game Cup, Wawa was already known as a fighting game prodigy – and he’s living up to this title, as seen by his performance at Ultimate Fighting Arena years later.
Two young talents face off
Wawa wasn’t the only young player turning heads at UFA, either: America’s Dominique “SonicFox” McLean is known as one of the FGC’s greatest competitors, managing to take championship wins in a variety of games from a young age. At 21 years old, Sonic Fox is one of the most decorated players for their age – and their skill shone at Paris’s October tournament, with the pro making it to the Top 8 bracket following their second-place wins at EVO 2019 and Celtic Throwdown shortly thereafter.
Standing at third place in the DBFZ World Tour standings, Sonic Fox’s placements were nothing to sniff at, having been knocked down a single slot by Fenritti’s wins at the Melbourne Esports Open and REV Major. As America’s sole fighter in Paris’s top fighting game tournament, the country placed their hopes on a player was predicted to be a Grand Finalist – but two of France’s top competitors turned this prediction on its head.
Sonic Fox suffers defeat
In fact, it was Wawa who knocked SonicFox into the Loser’s bracket during their meeting in the Winners’ Semi-Final, the crowd’s energetic cheers quite literally powering up the Spirit Bomb for France’s young pro. Whittling Sonic Fox down to their final character, Wawa didn’t lose a single fighter during the final game, swapping in adult Gohan to finish off America’s prized player after scoring the reset in a solid 2-1 run.
Thus, Sonic Fox was sent to Loser’s side, set to face Spain’s “Shankz” in the Losers’ Quarter Final. It was a close battle between America’s hero and Spain’s last man standing: with a win on the board for each player, both fighters were on their final character for their last game, the crowd reeling with anticipation. Sonic Fox’s defense seemed on point, waiting to get the hit on Shanks, should he go on the offensive – but Shanks managed to score the deciding blow first, knocking his opponent out of the tournament for good.
An all-French Grand Finals
Wawa’s Winners’ side victory set him up to face fellow Frenchman “Kayne,” who he dispatched in a convincing 3-0 run to land in Grand Finals. However, that wouldn’t be their last meeting, as Kayne later took out Shanks – who’d won over the UK’s OBAssassin – to land in the Losers’ Final, with competitors Sonic Fox and Tachikawa praising him from the sidelines. Having already met with Wawa in Winners’ bracket, Kayne’s second battle against the young pro marked a major runback for the challenger in an all-French Grand Final.
With Kayne already knowing Wawa’s game plan, he managed to take a game off the eighteen-year-old pro – but Wawa’s dominating run wasn’t over yet, defeating his opponent in a solid 3-1 run to take the UFA championship. This massive victory for the teen – who’d already won two European DBFZ events this year – launched him to fifth place in the global rankings, awarding him 200 points for Paris’s Tenkaichi Event.
Gearing up for SEAM 2019
With Wawa’s victory marking a major win for France, the DBFZ World Tour standings are seeing pros from across the globe in its top five, with Sonic Fox and Dekillsage standing at third and second place, respectively. While GO1 continues to top the charts, these challengers show that they’re up for the task – and with SEAM just around the corner, there’s no telling who will come out on top on the Tour’s next Tenkaichi Event just one week later.