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The Indomitable Emperor: GO1

The second Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour has been going on for several months now and one thing has been made perfectly clear. Goichi “GO1” Kishida is the best Dragon Ball FighterZ player in the world.

Early Dominance

Dragon Ball FighterZ GO1
Courtesy of Dreamhack

When Dragon Ball FighterZ was first released, players from all over swarmed to make their mark on the budding competitive scene. One of these players was GO1, a veteran of the FGC residing in Japan. Arguably the best Melty Blood player of all time and also known for his performance in Street Fighter V, GO1 turned his attention to the highly anticipated Dragon Ball FighterZ. He rose to prominence, making the claim to be the best DBFZ player. Over in the United States, his claims as the top DBFZ player reached the ears of the well-renowned Dominique “SonicFox” McLean. Both players traded light-hearted barbs over the internet before they decided to clash at Final Round 2018, the very first major in Dragon Ball FighterZ’s competitive history.

In a First to Ten exhibition match, it would be GO1 with the victory over SonicFox with a dominant score of 10-4. He struggled at first but once he got going, it was clear that GO1 was just on another level. The next day, GO1 would prove himself again. In a startling upset after such a dominant showing, GO1 was knocked into the Loser’s bracket by teammate Ryo “Dogura” Nozaki. But he would not be deterred and he climbed into the Grand Finals, defeating SonicFox twice with the first set going 3-0 and then second one being a tense 3-2.

He repeated his victory over SonicFox at the Esports Arena located in Las Vegas with a 10-7 score this time. However, after that, GO1’s competitive venture into DBFZ would take a turn for the worst.

Stumbling Down The Mountain

GO1’s rivalry with SonicFox is one of the most intense rivalries of recent memory in the FGC. But while GO1 had the upper hand in the beginning of Dragon Ball’s competitive life, SonicFox overtook him. The two would meet at Combo Breaker 2018, where this time SonicFox won the encounter. First, GO1 lost in Winner’s Finals and then he lost when they met in Grand Finals. After that, it felt like a switch flipped in their rivalry.

It seemed undisputed that SonicFox was the best player for that period of Dragon Ball FighterZ. Then, EVO 2018 came around. For Dragon Ball FighterZ’s debut year, it’s fitting that the rivalry that shaped the competitive scene would be the finals. The two faced off in Winner’s Finals, with SonicFox taking it with a dominating 3-0. Making his way back to Grand Finals, GO1 would continue riding his wave of momentum by taking the first set 3-0. But after SonicFox asked for a side switch, GO1 would fall short and lose 0-3 once more.

In the midst of all this, Bandai Namco announced the first Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour. By winning the third Saga Event in the tour, GO1 automatically qualified for the final eight. During the World Tour, a new challenger snatched the title of “Best DBFZ Player” from SonicFox and GO1. Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue proved himself in the World Tour, winning the four Saga events he attended. In order for GO1 to win the World Tour, he would have to defeat his two demons: SonicFox and Kazunoko.

But GO1’s run ended not to SonicFox or Kazunoko, but instead to his training partner and teammate Shoji “Fenritti” Sho. Taking third, it seemed that GO1’s future was being so close but not close enough. But he would prove his doubters wrong.

Taking Back The Throne

Dragon Ball FighterZ GO1
Courtesy of CYCLOPS athlete gaming

After the World Tour, competitors in Dragon Ball FighterZ decided to take an off season. Whether that meant focusing on their personal streams or competing in other games, many saw DBFZ as an after though. Except GO1. GO1 saw this as an opportunity to grow and to get an edge over his competition. With Fenritti to train with, GO1 took it upon himself to grind DBFZ as much as he could. When Dragon Ball FighterZ picked up speed for another competitive year, GO1 took the scene by storm.

It’s poetic that his reign started once more at Final Round 2019. Taking the tournament over World Tour champion Kazunoko, it would be the first in his undefeated streak. This streak includes EVO 2019, GO1’s first ever EVO championship. Overcome with emotion, he was embraced by SonicFox, his opponent, as the crowd chanted his name.

Currently, he stands at the top of the leaderboard for the World Tour. Being the only player to have broken 1000 points and with another event in the World tour this weekend, there remains one question in everyone’s mind. Can anyone topple GO1 from his throne?

Featured photo from Bandai Namco

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