Header photo by N.Studios.
The 2019 Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour kicked off on the sunny beaches of Daytona, Florida at CEO, ultimately crowning fighting game pro Goichi “GO1” Kishida the victor: but that wasn’t the end of his reign by far, as evidenced by the results of the season’s second Tenkaichi Event at VSFighting nearly a month later.
Wawa the “Wonder Kid”
VSFighting IX threw down in Birmingham, UK, bringing with it a slew of major fighting game titles and decorated fighting game champions alike: more than a few of whom showed up to knock heads in Dragon Ball FighterZ. As Europe’s premiere fighting game tournament, it comes as no surprise that the competition was hot and heavy the weekend of July 20, with such names as American hero “HookGangGod,” Japanese pro “Maddo,” and even last year’s DBFZ World Tour champ Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue in the mix.
In fact, this particular tournament brought out talent from across Europe, with names like Spain’s “Shanks” and France’s “Kayne” also making a showing in the fray, including yet another French fighting game star who had already made waves earlier in the year – even having a storied history in other fighting game titles throughout his childhood.
France’s “Wawa” is a relatively young fighting game star, who made a name for himself at just ten years of age in The King of Fighters XIII. The then-ten year old prodigy shocked the fighting game community at Cannes’ World Game Cup in 2013, during a heated match between Morocco and France in the Grand Final – ultimately leading his country to victory.
Talk about the upset of the season!
That certainly wasn’t the end of Wawa’s gaming career: instead, it was merely the beginning, as he went on to shake up the competition in DragonBall FighterZ with his stellar use of Base Goku. While the 2019 season hadn’t yet begun, Wawa took Lyon’s The Mixup in April, even scoring a victory at Stunfest in May – two important wins that had many players eyeing him for a knockout performance in the upcoming Tour.
With these major tournament victories under his belt, it comes as no surprise that Wawa knocked heads at the second Tenkaichi Event in the 2019 World Tour, an Event tier that rewards points based on tournament placement. With up to 200 points on the line, neither Wawa nor his top EU comrades were going to let this chance slip through their fingers – leading to more than a few tense moments in bracket.
In fact, Wawa even knocked Kazunoko into the Losers’ bracket in a clutch play during Top 16, scoring a sneaky overhead mixup that resulted in one of the tournament’s biggest upsets. With last year’s World Tour champion thrown into the lower bracket, thanks to Wawa’s convincing 2-0 run, it truly looked like the former champ had run out of steam – but Wawa wasn’t the only European killer on the prowl.
Europe’s strongest players make their mark
UK fighting game pro “OBAssassin” faced off with France’s “Kasuga” in Top 16, making for a nail-biting series of matches that had viewers on the edges of their seats. Although OBAssassin convincingly secured game one over his opponent (only losing a single character in the fray), their second game wasn’t so smooth, with Britain’s hometown hero knocked down to his last legs by Kasuga, who was likewise down to his final character – but with significantly greater health. With things looking grim for OBAssassin, it seemed that their brawl would go to game three: but the UK Assassin clutched out the win with a skillful backdash, despite not being able to finish his initial combo.
While OBAssassin’s win was met with raucous applause, he wasn’t on top for long: Spains’ very own Shanks threw down just after his victory against Kasuga, and he brought the pain with him. Just as OBAssassin had finished off Kasuga 2-0, the “Padre” himself proved that Spain is nothing to sneeze at, knocking OBAssassin out of the runnings 2-0 in spite of Assassin’s deadly Goku Black – all without losing a single fighter in both games.
Wawa wreaks havoc in Birmingham
With these battles in mind, Top 8 saw three European players in the mix, with Shanks and Kayne in the lower bracket and Wawa on Winners’ side, who was set to face off against CEO and 2019 World Tour runner-up, Fenritti. The crowd roared in favor for the young French pro as he faced off against his enemy, taking the first game without suffering a single character loss. Although Fenritti clutched out a win in game two, Wawa made a brutal comeback in their final match, finishing off Fenritti’s Cell with a stunning touch of death combo.
This set up the young pro to face off against GO1 in the Winners’ Final. With GO1 standing as the 2019 season’s very first champion, it was life or death on the line for Wawa, who, despite his impressive run in Winners’ side thus far, couldn’t hold up against his enemy, with GO1 knocking the French fighting game connoisseur soundly into Losers’.
A nail-biting CEO runback
Thus, GO1 was set for the Grand Final – a veritable flashback to CEO 2019, where he’d similarly found himself in the Grand Final on Winners’ side. However, this also meant that Wawa had one more chance to secure the victory from his place in the Losers’ Final – a Final that saw Fenritti make yet another appearance, after taking out America’s own HookGangGod to get there.
It was the perfect opportunity for a no-holds-barred runback from their bout in Winners’ Semis, with Fenritti going all out against France’s young favorite. While Wawa put up a jaw-dropping fight, taking the first two games, Fenritti ultimately made a killer comeback, with their battle going down to the wire in a thrilling conclusion following a galaxy-brain play from Wawa.
Fenritti advanced to the Grand Final in yet another callback to CEO just a month prior, making for an exciting runback against his demon GO1 that had fans wondering who would come out on top, this time. While Fenritti managed to reset the bracket from Losers’ side in a convincing 3-0 run, GO1 wasn’t out for the count, ultimately turning the tide of battle in a brutal comeback, taking out his rival 3-0. GO1’s mind-blowing adaptation saw him emerge with yet another championship victory under his belt, having already taken CEO – marking an intriguing trend for DBFZ players, moving forward.
GO1 or Kazunoko – who is the ultimate DBFZ warrior?
2018 saw DBFZ star Kazunoko thrash the competition, taking four out of seven Dragon Balls before securing the World Tour championship in January. With GO1 on a similar win streak following his successful season last year, there’s no telling if he will mirror Kazunoko’s dominating run in 2019, with Kazunoko himself still making top placements across the board. One thing is for certain, however: France’s Wawa made a stunning showing in the season’s second Event, proving that Europe (and young players, at large) is a tremendously strong contender among the world’s Super Saiyan warriors.