While the 2019 Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour has seen ferocious competition from across the globe, one name stands out above the rest: Goichi “Go1” Kishida, who has taken a total of five tournaments at the time of writing. However, he’s not the only killer in the ranks, as another fighter rose up in a major way at Mexico’s premier fighting game tournament – the only other competitor to have won an event on the 2019 Tour aside from Shoji “Fenritti” Sho.
While Go1 is currently on one of the wildest tears in fighting game history, he wouldn’t be the first pro to have solidified a serious win streak during the DBFZ World Tour. Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue shocked fans and fellow competitors alike after securing four out of seven Dragon Balls during the 2018 Tour – victories that resulted in a last-minute amendment to the Tour’s last-chance-qualifier, splitting it into four separate, single-elimination tournaments to determine the remaining qualifiers.
Go1’s steamroll season
However, Kazunoko’s reign wasn’t a one-time trend: instead, a new king of Dragon Ball FighterZ emerged, and he’s taking heads at every turn. Having won CEO, VSFighting, Celtic Throwdown, and even the 2019 Evolution Championship Series, Go1 had an impressive stack of four championships under his belt ahead of the fall months – but he wasn’t finished, by far.
EVO 2019 saw the addition of two new characters and a slew of new events to the Tour’s calendar, including Malaysia’s Penang Esports Festival in early September. Coming fresh off a win at Ireland’s Celtic Throwdown, Penang’s stop on the World Tour marked another Tenkaichi Event for Go1 – an event tier that awards players by points, depending on their placement in tournament. While both Saga and Tenkaichi Events dole out points to competitors, Saga Events earn first place victors an automatic ticket to the DBFZ Finals in France – and while Go1 already secured his spot with his EVO victory, he was still leading the pack by a whopping 1,150 points.
Penang packs a punch
The Penang Esports Festival featured appearances from some of Dragon Ball FighterZ’s top killers, including the likes of Kei “BNBBN” Komada, Tachikawa Toru, and Maddo, who threw down with Fenritti at the Melbourne Esports Open just last month to take second place. However, an interesting development occurred at Penang’s Tenkaichi Event a month later: Kazunoko, who has been steadily securing Top 8 placements throughout the season, landed in Losers’ side of the Grand Final against none other than Go1 – marking Kazunoko’s first Grand Finals placement in the 2019 World Tour.
This development marked a significant battle between two of DBFZ’s most decorated competitors, with Kazunoko standing as the 2018 World Tour champion and Go1 having won a vast majority of events in the 2019 season. Although Go1 has been channeling his Super Saiyan form for almost every tournament this year, it seemed like Kazuoko was ripe for a bracket reset, taking two wins right off the bat in a stunning display of momentum – but Go1 wasn’t one to lose his winning streak, turning the tables to take another two games for a final, final match that left fans on the edges of their seats.
Kazunoko’s performance during this final game seemed like it could overturn Go1’s reign of terror: but despite getting a head start after taking out Go1’s Super Saiyan Goku, his dominating opponent answered by eliminating Kazunoko’s last two characters in quick succession, taking out his GT Goku with a well-timed side switch.
From the East to the Americas
Thus, Go1 added yet another jewel to his crown of victories, having secured five out of six tournaments on the 2019 Tour – but a new addition to the circuit saw a different champion arise outside of Go1’s storyline of fierce rivalries.
Thunderstruck 2019 stood as the fifth Tenkaichi Event of the 2019 season, bringing with it a slew of talent from the West. With such names as Stephen “Lord Knight” Barthelemy, Christopher “Chris G” Gonzales, and the esteemed Eduardo “HookGangGod” Deno in attendance, it came as no surprise that the competition was a veritable blood bath, allowing some of America’s finest fighters to chance to shine in wake of Go1’s steamroll victories.
Mexico’s Super Saiyan Showdown
Throwing down in Monterrey, Mexico, Thunderstruck stands as one of the country’s premier fighting game tournaments, witnessing a jaw-dropping performance from New York’s Jon “dekillsage” Coello. A major name in the Dragon Ball FighterZ scene, dekillsage has already brought the pain this season, just barely missing Top 8 at the Evolution Championship Series in ninth place – a major statement, considering the unpredictable competition EVO brings.
Despite being a month out, Dekillsage showed that EVO wasn’t his last big showing, managing to stay in Winners’ side throughout the tournament despite going up against other huge names in the scene – with Chris G being one of them. In fact, dekillsage took out Chris G in Winners’ Quarter Finals of the Top 16 – but that wouldn’t be their last meeting, by far.
Chris G is one of the fighting game community’s most varied players, being skilled at a wide variety of titles including DBFZ. This skill showed in his run in Losers’ bracket, during which he took out HookGangGod in a nail-biting 2-1 run, with both players down to their final character. With Chris G down on health and just five seconds left in the match, he managed to stop the clock using a level 3 super, dealing some serious damage before hitting his opponent with a wakeup super dash to seal the deal.
Popoffs and championship points
That wasn’t the only hype moment of Thunderstruck, by far: player and commentator “Kuba” likewise brought some hilarious moments to the Top 8 bracket, talking smack against his opponent Vineeth “ApologyMan” Meka in the Winners’ Semi-Final after taking a game. His trash talk wasn’t in vain, either: he went on to defeat ApologyMan without losing a single character in their final match, giving audiences a celebratory popoff at his momentous victory.
Despite his victory, Dekillsage took the win over Kuba 3-0 in the Winners’ Final shortly thereafter, securing a spot in the Grand Final against Chris G – the very fighter he’d taken out ahead of the Top 8 bracket. This time, however, Chris G had momentum on his side, after making it all the way to Grand Finals from Losers’ bracket. Chris even appeared to have a bracket reset in the bag, taking two back-to-back victories against dekillsage – but dekillsage didn’t take the beating laying down, quickly whittling Chris down to his final character before turning the tide of battle.
It was New Yorker vs New Yorker at Mexico’s Tenkaichi Event – a battle that saw a thrilling final game, with dekillsage bringing Chris G down to his final character, Yamcha. As usual, Chris G isn’t one to go quietly, taking out dekillsage’s Broly before starting in on the rest of the cast – but dekillsage ultimately emerged the victor, taking the Thunderstruck championship despite claiming that he would “never win a tournament” – nor 440 points, for that matter!
Next time on Dragon Ball FighterZ…
With both Thunderstruck and the Penang Esports Festival in the bag, Dragon Ball FighterZ fans have even more competition to look forward to as the season continues. REV Major marks the last of an action-packed September for the World Tour, taking place in the capital of the Philippines, Manila, bringing more fighting game goodness to SouthEast Asia. With deskillsage and Fenritti having taken the only two championships not won by Go1, there’s no telling how this next Event will pan out: Only time will tell, and it’s quickly counting down to yet another massive competition in just two week’s time!