A couple of weeks ago, I made my peace with EVO’s decision to put Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the main event. I was initially shocked when they revealed Street Fighter V wasn’t going to be the final tournament. I was even going to rant about it but, after really thinking about it, I did come to the conclusion that it was for the best as it did have the most participants and it was the newest game among the rest. As much as I love Street Fighter V, it was an old game and needed something new. And, no, revealing that it was going to bring in 3 new characters into the roster wasn’t going to reignite the community all that much.
I did watch most of the tournaments live on Twitch. I even caught some parts of the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate finals after going to bed once I saw Bonchan take home the crown for Street Fighter V. The only one I didn’t see live, sadly, was Tekken 7. I did catch the replay on YouTube and, yeah, the matches were great. I’ll even say that every tournament at Evo had something special for everyone.
With that being said, I think that the best tournament at this year’s Evo had to be Dragon Ball FighterZ. It wasn’t even on the main stage of the Sunday show and that’s a disappointment because this was just a incredibly crazy, exciting and heart pounding tournament overall. In hindsight, this should have been the main event at Evo.
Dragon Ball FighterZ has a lot going for it right out of the gate. It filled a giant hole that was left behind by Marvel vs. Capcom. I may be crap at each and every Marvel vs. Capcom game but I do love to watch it. There’s something inherently enticing about watch really frantic action, super long combos, hype comebacks and cartoony characters beating the heck out of each other in a fighting game. When people asked “When Mahvel?” there was a reason for that! It was insanity just waiting to happen and it never failed to deliver in the excitement!
For a long time, that was the role that Marvel vs. Capcom filled. It was the game where anything can happen and nail biting action was the norm. But after Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite bombed, it looked like we were never going to get another insane game like it. Thankfully, the folks of Arc System Works and Bandai Namco got together and made Dragon Ball FighterZ. On the surface, it just looked like an anime fighter featuring Dragon Ball characters but looks can be deceiving. Dragon Ball FighterZ feels like it got its DNA from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 since there are so many similarities yet, at the same time, manages to do its own thing. Like Marvel vs. Capcom, I suck at Dragon Ball FighterZ… but I damn love watching it. Dragon Ball FighterZ filled my Marvel vs. Capcom fix this year.
I have been ignoring the Dragon Ball FighterZ tournament scene for a long time so maybe that added to the excitement of seeing a bunch of new characters. The game added the Dragon Ball GT version of Goku, who can turn Super Saiyan Level 4 in one of his Supers. There’s now a lot more variety with the characters. Oh, there are still an army of Bardocks who dominate the rosters but there is a very noticeable lack of Cells and Adult Gohans this time around. There’s a lot more diversity with the teams and I appreciate the change.
There were also a lot of really crazy things this year. I totally expected to see Go1 and Sonic Fox dominate as those are, in all honesty, the only two guys I’m familiar with. But there was this one 7-year old kid named Tsuyoshi that just bodied this one guy on stream and I couldn’t believe it! It was a sight to behold and, well, I felt kind of jealous! I mean, he was doing things in the game that I could never dream of! Good on you, Tsuyoshi!
But, without a doubt, it was Dragon Ball FighterZ’s Top 8 that really sealed it for me that this was the best tournament at Evo this year. All of the matches were just brilliant and just insane. Of course, the highlights were the matches that featured either Go1, with his masterful blocking skills or Sonic Fox, who will try to open you up with relentless offense. Things were taken to a whole other level, however, when they battled each other. Almost every match was down to the wire and you can tell that they’ve fought against each other so often.
There was just a level or respect and, oddly enough, camaraderie between the two. If I were to give in an analogy, it’s kind of similar with the Ryu and Ken rivalry in Street Fighter. They are both friends yet they will still try to best each other to try to come up on top. They wanted to win but they were also enjoying themselves while they battled against each other.
I will say that the Winners Finals was especially nerve wracking. I initially wanted Sonic Fox to win but, by the end of the last set, I didn’t care who was going to win or lose. All I knew was that I was watching some of the best Dragon Ball FighterZ matches ever!
Each and every Evo, there is that one game that is the highlight of the year. This year, it was definitely Winners Finals of Dragon Ball FighterZ. I was out of breath after watching it! I was frankly disappointed that there was a possibility that Go1 and Sonic Fox wouldn’t make it to Grand Finals. My worries were dissuaded pretty quickly as Sonic Fox managed to climb out of the Losers bracket and he was once again destined to clash against Go1 in Grand Finals!
The Grand Finals match may have not been as tense as the Winners Finals but there were still a lot of hype moments as Sonic Fox quickly won 2 matches. It looked like Sonic Fox was going to reset the bracket but Go1 had a few tricks up his sleeve. Sonic Fox killed off 2 of Go1’s characters fairly early, with only his GT Goku left. Yet he managed to pull victory against the odds! From there, it was Go1’s game and he managed to eke out 2 more matches to take the tournament.
Then the flood of emotion of Go1 erupted tears of joy. Sonic Fox was a gracious loser and even raised his opponent’s hand in victory. This was one of the greatest moments in Evo.
Evo 2019 was a really good Evo. All of the tournaments had its strong points for sure and they were all worth watching for the most part. However, the real “winner” out of Evo has to be Dragon Ball FighterZ. This tournament had the best matches and probably one of the endings ever in all of Evo. Sure, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate booted out Street Fighter V to be the main event… but the tournament that stole the entire Evo was Dragon Ball FighterZ.
What was the best tournament at this year’s Evo? Let me know what you think it was in the comments section below!