This article is part of our Dragon Ball FighterZ series.
After trading jabs on Twitter and in interviews for the last few weeks, Goichi “GO1” Kishida and Dominique “SonicFox” McLean finally met not once, but twice this weekend at Final Round 2018 in Atlanta. Despite SonicFox taking one of the first big Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament last month, Goichi would show everyone who is the undisputed best DBFZ player in the world.
It all got started with a first-to-10 exhibition match on Friday night that saw Goichi utilize his lineup of Adult Gohan, Cell, and Vegeta to great effect, putting SonicFox’s Goku Black, Android 16, and Hit lineup in a bodybag to the tune of a 10-4 beatdown. SonicFox looked strong with his lineup early on, picking up the first two games handily. After that, however, Goichi completely cracked SonicFox’s code. The Japanese superstar won 10 of the next 12 games in dominating fashion. The man simply looked unstoppable, even if it was just an exhibition.
One thing was clear, though. Should these two meet in the tournament proper later in the weekend, fans would be in for a treat.
The first chance the two could have met was in the winners’ final, as both were torching their respective sides during pool play. SonicFox held up his side of the bargain with a 2-1 win over Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue in the winners’ semifinals. Goichi, however, robbed fans of an immediate runback when he was taken down 2-1 by Ryo “Dogura” Nozaki. The loss sent Goichi into the losers’ bracket where he had to make a hell of a run to get another shot at SonicFox.
Goichi might have had a few scares down there, but in the end, he prevailed when push came to shove. He took down Nakkiel, Kazunoko, and Dogura in his losers’ bracket that saw all three series go the distance. Despite picking up these three wins, Goichi didn’t look as dominant has he had the day before. While there’s something to be said about grinding out close wins, the fact was that Goichi had been pushed to the brink in each series showed that he wasn’t invincible, giving SonicFox a window towards victory.
SonicFox, meanwhile, went into the grand finals feeling confident after stomping Dogura 3-0 in the winners’ final. He had seemingly recovered from his beating at the hands of Goichi Friday night and was looking to lock up his second win of the day. Yes, I said second. SonicFox isn’t just a one-trick pony, as he frequently plays through multiple pools across different games at a given tournament. This time around, he competed in the Injustice 2 tournament, where he took home the top prize earlier in the day. He’s simply a beast the likes of which we haven’t really ever seen in the fighting game community to date.
With all that being said, the only thing that mattered at this point was the epic Goichi/SonicFox runback. The stage was finally set and fans couldn’t wait to watch this get underway. Goichi, coming from the losers’ bracket, needed to win two best-of-fives in order to walk away the champion. Against the backdrop of one of the most iconic animes ever, what followed was some of the best fighting game action you’ll ever see.
It didn’t necessarily start out that exciting, however. Goichi, who used Vegeta’s assist moves perfectly all series long, came out the gates firing on all cylinders with a 3-0 set that could only be described as -- to quote the legendary Michael “IFC Yipes” Mendoza -- premium, grade-A “BUSSASS.” Goichi looked every bit as solid as he did on Friday and wasted SonicFox with incredibly clean play that made things look bleak as hell for the Echo Fox, err, fox.
The second set started out much the same, as Goichi again had SonicFox on the ropes with his veteran presence. Goichi was up 2-0 and looking like he was going to easily lock up the final game and the series win. But then this happened.
SonicFox wrestled away all the momentum with one usage of Android 16’s Self-Destruct. His back was against the wall, but the SD allowed him to take out Goichi’s Adult Gohan, which is the lynchpin of his lineup. With the powerhouse out of the way, SonicFox took the win to keep hope alive.
Once again, however, Goichi took an advantage in the next game. He had taken a 2-to-1 character advantage in the game and was setting up for a victory. SonicFox, ever the resilient player, remained calm and collected. First, he took out Gohan with his Goku Black and then proceeded to do this.
Despite having a sliver of health left, SonicFox did the unthinkable and took out Goichi’s Vegeta to force a decisive Game 5. Even after the huge win, though, he still needed one more to complete the reverse sweep and take the victory.
Goichi had other plans. He again took a 2-to-1 character advantage, leaving SonicFox to contend against Cell and Vegeta with his Android 16. SonicFox put up a hell of a defensive performance, but in the end, the might of Goichi’s remaining characters was far too strong, as he needed just one opening to shred through SonicFox and lock up the win.
Make no mistake about it, though, Goichi may have won the battle here (with a 16-6 record against SonicFox, no less), but you can bet that these two will face off many more times throughout the lifetime of this game. These two are titans of the DBFZ landscape thus far and surely SonicFox will want to run this one back yet again in the near future. When that happens, we know that Ki Blasts and Self-Destructs will surely fly.