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Thunderstruck 2019: The Rise of Dekillsage

Thunderstruck 2019

This past weekend was Thunderstruck 2019, a Tenkaichi Event for the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour. Taking place in Monterrey, Mexico, the tournament was notable for one major reason: Many players that usually dominated the competitive scene were not present. GO1, SonicFox, Fenritti and Kazunoko are just some of the notable names that weren’t there that weekend. This allowed competitors to capitalize on the opportunity to grab points for the World Tour while making a name for themselves.

Dekillsage Claims the Victory

Thunderstruck 2019
Image Courtesy of Beyond The Summit

Jon “dekillsage” Coello is one of the United States’ strongest Dragon Ball FighterZ players. Residing in New York, Dekillsage has frequently made top 8 during his tenure as a FighterZ competitor. He currently lives in an apartment with two other FighterZ players, Dominique “SonicFox” McLean and Derek “Nakkiel” Bruscas. This allows him to grind and develop as a player.

Unlike other competitors, Dekillsage doesn’t use characters like GT Goku, Bardock or Kid Buu. Instead, he runs the unique team of Teen Gohan, Broly and Super Saiyan Goku. A team that relies on unrelenting pressure, he quickly found himself tearing through the bracket at Thunderstruck. In order to reach top 8, he had to defeat FGC veteran, Christopher “NYChrisG” Gonzalez. He did so with a 2-0 victory, securing his spot on Winner’s side.

After a close Winner’s Semi-finals match, Dekillsage continued his dominance by sweeping Winner’s Finals match with a 3-0. Guaranteeing a top two placing, Dekillsage needed to defeat NYChrisG in the rematch. After a triumphant run through the Loser’s Bracket, NYChrisG had all the momentum behind him to make the fairy tale comeback a reality. In convincing fashion, NYChrisG took two straight games. He was one game from resetting the bracket and giving him the chance to win the tournament.

But Dekillsage denied him. Taking a moment before their third game, Dekillsage responded with a resounding reverse 3-0. An impressive set between these two players, Dekillsage’s ability to adapt and overcome allowed him to come away with the victory.

Due to his victory at a Tenkachi Event, Dekillsage gained 200 points. In the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour standings, he rose from seventh place to fourth place. With this tournament, Dekillsage proved that he isn’t just SonicFox’s training partner. He’s a worthy contender for the World Tour Finals.

Standing the Test of Time

Thunderstruck 2019
Courtesy of Robert Paul

Long time members of the Fighting Game Community will instantly recognize NYChrisG as a veteran of the scene. His rise to fame within the community began with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, although he has an impressive presence in Street Fighter IV and V. With many veterans of the FGC, a common question asked is if they can keep up with the younger batch of players. But NYChrisG has proven time and time again that it doesn’t matter how many years have gone by, he is still one of the best fighting game players in the world.

By boasting victories over players like SonicFox and HookGangGod, NYChrisG was definitely one of the players expected to take Thunderstruck 2019. Although, doubt crept in when he fell to Dekillsage on Winner’s Side. In order to advance, Chris would have to face HookGangGod. The two of them traded rounds, hungry to advance. But in the end, it was ChrisG making the comeback after a dropped combo by Hook to win the set.

Afterwards, ChrisG tore through the losers bracket. He defeated his opponents without dropping a game, proving once again why he is a FGC legend. His 2nd placing increased his standing in the World Tour by eight. When thinking of players in the fighting game community that have stood the test of time, it’s no question that ChrisG is a prime example.

Two New Challengers

Two players took advantage of this opportunity to make themselves more visible to a larger audience. Both Jake “Kuba” Pich and David “SubatomicSabers” Ndawula both qualified for Top 8 at Thunderstruck, the largest stage these two have been at for the World Tour. Both of these two are frequent competitors at the Wednesday Night Fights local tournament in the Esports Arena Las Vegas.

Subatomic has been known to make his mark at several tournaments, with impressive victories over Supernoon and HookGangGod. He has had impressive placings before, taking 3rd at the NorCal Regionals 2019 and 17th at EVO 2019. Subatomic is definitely a player to be on the lookout for during the World Tour.  His 5th placing at Thunderstruck 2019 jumped him up eight places, putting him as 20th on the leaderboard.

Kuba is a lesser known player, competing in a handful of tournaments outside of his region. Although, his results remain impressive as well. He has placed top 33 at CEO 2019 and EVO 2019 while also boasting 13th at the NorCal Regional this year. But no one expected him take third at Thunderstruck, with victories over more well-known players like Nakkiel, Supernoon and Apologyman. Due to his very impressive placing, he has jumped up a whooping 37 spots which places him at 17th in the World Tour standings.

What Now?

While Thunderstruck 2019 might seem less important than the other tournaments due to the number of entrants being under 100, it had a surprising impact on the World Tour. The top 16 players on the World Tour qualify for the Finals, which means that those that received points due to their placings have moved up a great deal. With another Tenkaichi event happening next weekend, one has to wonder who will capitalize and rise up the ranks.


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