Greetings DBFZ community! I’m really excited to be releasing my first article for this exciting new game. For those that don’t know me, I’ll introduce myself a bit since you’ll be seeing much more of me over the next year. If you don’t care about that and just want to read a cool tournament idea, scroll down to the horizontal line.
Briefly, I’ve been an esports journalist/blogger for 6 years. I used to write for Riot Games covering League of Legends, and have since gone freelance focusing on Heroes of the Storm and Smash Bros. My content ranges from match analysis to player interviews to industry news and speculation. I fell in love with the FGC during LI Joe’s run at Evo 2016, and have been looking for a title in the scene to add to my content pool when Dragonball FighterZ was announced. Having loved DBZ forever, and it being a brand new IP in the scene, I knew this was the game I had to commit to. While I’m new within the FGC, I’m an esports writing veteran and hope to bring my experience and knowledge of other scenes to bear in helping the DBFZ scene grow and prosper.
Essentially, this idea sprang from the following thought: Battle for the Stones was a neat idea that was ultimately a huge letdown…what if it were done well? The idea of themed qualifiers that affected a final event was really interesting, but the power for each stone was poorly conceived and affected the integrity of the tournament as a championship to cap the first wave of Marvel Infinite competition. My goal with this tournament idea would be to create a themed qualification, but leave the competitive integrity of the finals intact. I think DBZ has a perfect theme for this in the Drabonballs. The quest to get a wish granted is what drove the first arc of the Dragonball manga, it seems a fitting theme for the first tournament circuit. Here’s what I propose:
Qualifiers: Search for the Seven Balls
Seven tournaments in 2018 would be identified as holding one of the seven Dragonballs of Earth. As the balls are usually scattered across the world, ideally these would be spread out to tournaments in Japan, Europe, the US, Latin America, etc. The winner of each tournament would earn a ball, and automatically qualify for the finale. Players may only have one Dragonball, so just like Battle for the Stones, if the winner of a tournament already owns one of the Dragonballs, the runner up would earn the qualification. The eighth and final spot would be given to an online qualifier, representing a lone challenger trying to collect all seven balls for themselves.
Finale: Collect all Seven
Unlike Battle for the Stones, the Dragonballs will not give any advantages. This is a tournament where the greatest fighter in the world will have their wish granted.
The tournament will operate as a standard double elimination bracket. When you are defeated in the upper bracket, you will surrender any and all Dragonballs to the player who defeats you. When we reach grand finals, the player on the winner’s side will already have all 7 balls, and only need to defeat one remaining challenger before they can complete their wish.
It will likely be underwhelming to only have a top 8 as the entire event, so ideally a few additional players will be flown out to play some themed exhibitions during the day–good guys vs bad guys, saiyans vs humans, that sort of thing. After grand finals, a winner will be determined, and they will have assembled all 7 Dragonballs, ready to summon the dragon to make their wish.
The Prize: Your Wish Has Been Granted
For winning the tournament, the champion will receive a significant prize pool, ideally 100k or more. However, they’ve also collected the Dragonballs, so they get to make a wish.
This is where I think a number of sponsors can be brought in, and the player should be given a choice between four wishes, just like the mechanic in the game. These could be things like a new car, a lifetime supply of a food sponsor, some sort of amazing vacation package, the chance to record an announcer pack for the game, etc. It could be really amazing to see someone win the tournament, popoff, get handed a giant check, and then have to bring the Dragonballs to the center of the stage, recite the incantation, and see Shenron pop up on a big screen. The player asks for what they want, and then the dragon’s voice booms out: “Your wish has been granted”.
Personally, I love invitationals and closed tournaments in fighting games. Open events are wonderful, and Evo is something special strictly because of the sheer number of entrants, but I think there is something special about a smaller event with huge stakes. It creates interesting storylines, a connective tissue for the fans throughout the year, and provides a unique entry point for casual observers. I have extremely high hopes that Dragonball Fighterz will become a stable in the FGC, and I think as a new IP it deserves a unique method to crown its champion.