[Update] Dragon Ball FighterZ Is Being Pulled from Tournaments for Unknown Reasons

Dragon Ball FighterZ has been pulled from EVO Japan and now Anime Ascension, leaving fans wondering if Toei animation has anything to do with it.

December 23, 2018

Update: Responding to a request for a statement, a representative for Aksys Games noted that:

“Aksys is not commenting on the DBFZ decision further than their tweet.”

While a no-statement is often not worth following up on, it should raise eyebrows in this situation — it doesn’t appear on the surface that this is a mere issue with scheduling that would be easily relayed. However, until we can hear from Bandai Namco, take everything with a grain of salt.

Original story following:

The hit fighting game of this year, Dragon Ball FighterZ, is running into some issues recently in the esports world. Major tournaments such as EVO Japan and (most recently) Anime Ascension are not running tournaments for the fighter, leaving speculation as to why:


Many fans seem to be pointing the blame at Toei, the license holder for Dragon Ball. For those that aren’t aware of how protective Toei is, the company once had Japan’s Embassy write a note to Mexico’s Government to prevent an illegal broadcast of Dragon Ball Super from being publicly displayed in Mexico. So the possibility that Toei could be putting the breaks on non-official Dragon Ball FighterZ tournaments to protect their IP, is not surprising.

What’s interesting is this is all happening in the midst of the Dragon Ball FighterZ World Tour, Bandai Namco’s official esports tour for the fighting game. That tournament series itself is getting some flack due to the fact you need to win a Dragon Ball in the tournament to qualify for the finals. That would be fine if the fact that player Kazunoko did some gatekeeping and won four of the possible seven. This resulted in now four last chance qualifiers happening simultaneously to get some players to fill the finals.

The fact that tournaments are being shut down left and right, it makes me wonder how much longer will Dragon Ball FighterZ have a competitive scene. And with Arc System Works games like Granblue Fantasy Versus and Kill la Kill The Game: IF on the horizon; I wonder if competitors are going to hop off the nimbus and pick up another anime fighter.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is still listed as an event at Combo Breaker, but we’ll have to see if that tournament follows the same fate. In the meantime, Dragon Ball FighterZ is currently available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and you can check out the DualShockers review. If you aren’t too concerned about the competitive scene, you can grab the game on Amazon now.

DualShockers has reached out to Bandai Namco, Arc System Works, and Aksys for comment.

Zack Potter

Zack Potter is a Staff Writer at DualShockers with a special love for fighting games and their competitive scenes. When he's not button mashing in Street Fighter, he is studying journalism at Fresno State.

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