Kicking off at the sunny beaches of Daytona, Florida, the 2019 Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour sparked a slew of intense storylines among the game’s top talent — but only one player would end up on top, and his story leaves a trail of rivalries and numerous victories in his wake.
After an entire season of global travel, intense competition, and struggles to score qualifying points, the DBFZ World Tour’s top 15 ranked competitors gathered in Paris, France to determine the game’s greatest player in the world. However, they weren’t alone: a last-chance qualifier was also held to decide the final competitor for the Top 16 bracket out of 235 other fighters.
One player takes a stand
With names like Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean, Goichi “GO1” Kishida, and Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue making the cut, there was one player who surprised fans by being left out of the Top 15 standings: Tachikawa Toru, who just barely missed the mark, being tied with Nicholas “SEO” Choo for 270 points.
Having traveled to nearly every stop on the DBFZ World Tour, Tachikawa’s absence from the Top 15 came as a shocking development to fans — but he wasn’t going to let the issue stop him from taking part in the competition, and showed up to the Red Bull World Tour Finals with the singular goal of taking the LCQ.
Tachikawa stuns fans by taking the LCQ
Against a slew of hopeful competitors, Tachikawa managed to make his way to the Top 8 bracket in Winners’ side, going on to face such names as France’s own “Alioune” and the UK’s “Kayne.” His close battle with Kayne ended in a 3-2 win for the Japanese pro, but that wasn’t the last time the two would meet: Kayne’s subsequent victory against Kyden in the Losers’ Final sat him in Grand Finals, where he would battle Tachikawa, yet again.
This runback meant everything to both fighters — one, who’d barely missed out on making the Top 15, and another who sat just beneath his opponent in the global standings by a 20-point margin. Their close rankings and proximity to the qualifying pros was no coincidence, and this fact showed in their final battle, which Tachikawa took in a convincing 3-0 run that saw him shed tears over a hard-fought victory.
Despite the overwhelming relief of fighting tooth and nail to make Top 16, that wasn’t the end of Tachikawa’s battle for the championship. The Top 16 round robin brackets kicked off shortly thereafter, tasking the LCQ winner with fighting out of Pool 1 against names like Chris G, “Maddo,” and even French favorite “Wawa.”
Tachikawa’s momentum was off the charts, and in spite of his grueling struggle in the LCQ, he managed to break into the Top 8 bracket in Winners’ side. His inspirational performance captured the hearts and minds of fans and fellow players alike, proving that in spite of his setback, he was able to overcome momentous odds to score a spot in one of fighting games’ greatest competitions to date.
American pros steal the show
Tachikawa isn’t the only player with a massive story to tell, either: NYC’s “Dekillsage” likewise stunned viewers with a no-loss run through his Top 16 round robin pool, while “Supernoon” and “Apologyman” turned heads by defeating the one and only Sonic Fox and “B” to make it out of their group.
However, the ultimate plot point to arise from the weekend had been brewing for an entire season. GO1, who notably won the majority of Events on the DBFZ World Tour and stood as the top-ranked player with 1750 points, marked a major demon for any fighter trying to take the championship. Hailed as Season 2’s greatest talent, GO1 famously came head to head with such storied rivals as Sonic Fox and Fenritti — a rivalry that played out for the final time on DBFZ’s greatest stage.
Fenritti vs GO1: a historic rivalry between teammates
Fenritti, a specialist in multiple fighting game titles, notably took second place against GO1 in a number of tournaments during the 2019 World Tour. Having fought with Kishida at CEO and VSFighting, he struggled to overcome the top-ranked pro, despite racking up an impressive 1500 points.
In fact, Fenritti notably came second against Kazunoko in the very first World Tour Finals: but with such a legacy behind him, and his rivalry with GO1 firmly in place, it seemed fated that the two ended up squaring off in the 2019 Grand Finals.
Dekillsage vs Fenritti: who would ascend to Grand Finals?
However, Fenritti wouldn’t have scored his bout with GO1 if not for Dekillsage, who took out the pro in Winner’s side in a shocking 2-0 victory. This knocked Fenritti into the Losers’ bracket, who defeated “maddo” and LCQ winner Tachikawa for an electrifying runback with Dekillsage in the Losers’ Final.
It was this battle that would determine the last two fighters in the Grand Final. With an American player giving an entire Top 8 a run for their money, fans were thrilled to see a potentially huge upset to the GO1/Fenritti rivalry. This possibility was not to be, though, as Fenritti caught the scent of blood and defeated his opponent in a solid 3-0 run.
The time was nigh: would GO1 secure his dominance as the strongest DBFZ player in the world, or would Fenritti finally break his second-place curse and score the victory for himself? Fans and commentators were glued to the screen as the game’s top two players duked it out for the title of champion, jaws dropping as GO1 ended their very first game with a perfect. As if in carefully-crafted retaliation, Fenritti returned the favor with a perfect of his own, taking out all three of his opponent’s characters in swift succession without receiving an ounce of damage.
GO1 finishes a season of domination and takes the World Tour Finals
It was down to the wire between these two pros, with Fenritti appearing ripe for a bracket reset — but GO1 knew his teammate well, and was able to bring him down to his final fighter, Vegeta, for their last showdown. After taking a barrage of Dragon Rushes, Fenritti attempted to turn the tide of battle. Instead, he was met with a well-timed punish from GO1’s GT Goku, sealing the deal in what commentators deemed a “fated” result for the Tour.
Having solidified himself as the world’s greatest DBFZ player and the “strongest man in the universe,” GO1 ended his dominating reign with the ultimate honor, much like Kazunoko before him. With a new season, new characters, and new mechanics on the way, fans are left with a single, burning question ahead of the 2020 World Tour: who will be next to take the championship?