This article is part of our Dragon Ball FighterZ series.
Something has been bothering me all week. After watching TWFighter Major last weekend, I couldn’t help but notice Goichi “GO1” Kishida was completely dismantled at the hands of Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue over the course of two matches in the Top 8. If that wasn’t bad enough, Goichi even looked shaky in his other matches during the Top 8. Following this performance, I’ve had one question in my head ever since: Is Goichi broken?
While the answer to that question surely isn’t a resounding yes, there is some truth there. I went back and watched all his matches in the Top 8 and have identified a few things that have been different about him.
I miss the old Goichi
Before we get into some of his issues from last weekend, I just want to remind everyone how good this man is. I’ve written a couple articles now detailing the impeccable defense that Goichi has demonstrated time and again.
Like, come on. The way that he’s able to correctly guess and predict each move is incredible. Those clips are basically a masterclass of how to play defense in Dragon Ball FighterZ. That’s what makes it such a shame that these moves have fallen to the wayside in recent weeks.
Which team shall I play?
Before getting into specific, in-game examples from TWFighter that showcase the places where Goichi has been slipping, there’s an overarching problem that I’ve noticed from him and it deals with his struggle to nail down a team.
Now, it’s true that he’s mainly stuck with the same team for large periods of time since the game’s release in January. He started out with Adult Gohan, Cell, and Super Saiyan Vegeta before moving to Bardock, Cell, and Vegeta once Bardock was released. Even through all of that, though, he was seen dabbling into other characters at the CYCLOPS Osaka weeklies. He had gone back to Adult Gohan at times and even tried out Zamasu. Now that the meta has been heavily shaken up, some real indecision has cropped up.
At the beginning of Top 8 at TWFighter, he was rocking Captain Ginyu (an interesting character in his own right), Bardock, and Super Saiyan Vegeta. Clearly Bardock and Vegeta are his rocks, especially Vegeta, since he’s been playing those two for months now. It’s that third character that looks to be a bit of an issue, though. After using Ginyu during the winners’ semifinals and winners’ final, he brought Adult Gohan back from the character grave for the remainder of the tournament. The change was enough to get him into the grand finals, but then he fell apart once he got there.
What Goichi does with that third character is going to be an interesting thread to keep an eye on as the year goes on. If he keeps flopping between characters, he stands to lose a lot of the foundation and consistency that comes with having the same team for long periods of time.
With the top-level issue out of the way, let’s get into some specific situations where he seems to faltering.
Open 24/7, even on holidays
It seems that people have been able to open Goichi up with the simplest of moves. Just a few months ago, it would take some tricky mixups to get this man open and do damage to him. For example, the squirrelly Gotenks of Dominique “SonicFox” McLean was able to get in with the bevy of 50/50 mixups Gotenks has.
Of late, though, it seems like it’s much easier for people to open up Goichi and dole out damage in droves.
This was Goichi’s first match in the Top 8 against Kim “Korean Wrestling Man” Jong-jin. He loses one character right off the bat and then as Bardock comes in, Goichi pushes a button and gets immediately opened up, losing half of Bardock’s health like it’s nothing. To make matters worse, he didn’t even get hit with a mixup; it was a just a normal that kicks off the damaging combo. That’s gonna be a yikes from me, dawg.
In that same match, Korean Wrestling Man ends up closing out the first round by hitting Goichi with back-to-back Dragon Rushes. Now, these are admittedly hard to tech sometimes since it’s a split-second reaction that takes more than just simply blocking. But still, these are things that we usually see Goichi block with regularity. The fact that he got hit with two right after one another is simply out of the norm.
Kazunoko is definitely one of the better players out there, but the way he manages to open up Goichi twice in the span of like 10 seconds with a simple 2H and a Super Dash is mind-boggling. Goichi what happened to you??
Speaking of what happened to Goichi, this clip showcases quite possibly the most erratic play I have ever seen from Goichi. First, he tags in at quite possibly the most predictable time, which allows Kazunoko to easily counter it and snap Bardock back in. Then, Goichi tries to catch Kazunoko with a raw Level 3 as Bardock is being tagged back in and Kazunoko easily dodges it and keeps chugging along.
All of these plays add up to a Goichi that seems far less staunch on defense than ever. If only it ended here. But there’s more.
You gotta win those 1-vs-1s
Head back up to the top of this post and take a look at those clips real quick. The common thread is that Goichi was really freaking good at closing out matches that came down to the absolute wire. He would routinely block for incredibly long periods of time before ending his opponents. Lately, though, that skill seems to have flown right out the damn window. Here’s just a couple examples.
That first one actually came at the end of a 1-vs-3 comeback from Kazunoko. We’ve seen him do that before at the Summit of Power with his elusive Yamcha, but doing so against Goichi was something we’ve really only seen SonicFox do. There’s no doubt that Kazunoko has established himself as one of the best players in the world by now, but it’s still not something we’re used to seeing Goichi on the receiving end of.
All in all, Goichi ended up in a total of six 1-vs-1 situations throughout the 15 rounds he played in the Top 8. He lost every single one of them. Something that was once Goichi’s biggest strength has seemingly turned into his biggest weakness.
As a result of everything listed above, Goichi hasn’t won a major tournament since Stunfest 2018 back in May. When you only count the tournaments that all the top players attend instead of just Goichi and a select few, he hasn’t won since NorCal Regionals back in April. He was handed losses at Combo Breaker, Summit of Power, CEO, VSFighting, Evo, and now TWFighter Major. That’s a rough streak for one of the best players in the game.
With the next Saga on the DBFZ World Tour coming up next weekend in France, many eyes will be on Goichi to see if he can get back to his former glory. With SonicFox already saying he won’t be in attendance, this is the perfect time for Goichi to get back on the horse.