Toei Animation denies their involvement with the ongoing prevention of DBFZ tournaments

In recent weeks, the DBFZ community has suffered one blow after another.

When the EVO Japan 2019 lineup was first revealed, players were quick to notice the absence of two titles that many assumed would be guaranteed their time in the spotlight: Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Dragonball FighterZ.

Around that time, rumors that the rights holders to Smash Ultimate (Nintendo) and DBFZ (Bandai Namco/Toei Animation) had prevented their inclusion at EVO Japan began circulating. Rod Breslau a.k.a. @Slasher, number one esports consultant, released a Twitter post that all but confirmed this suspicion due to credible “sources and cryptic tweets.”

One week later, a similar circumstance would unfold with an event that was already in the process of including DBFZ among its lineup: Anime Ascension, which is set to take place in Irvine CA on February 15-17, 2019. On December 21st, Aksys Games published a post that would leave DBFZ fans everywhere feeling disheartened.

Though no further announcements pertaining to DBFZ’s removal from future events have surfaced since, these circumstances have caused understandable concern among the community.

Since its launch in January, 2018 proved to be a promising year for DBFZ, largely due to the launch of the DBFZ World Tour by Bandai Namco and the fact that it attracted the majority of EVO 2018’s participants and viewers. However, now the game’s future as an esports title is looking quite bleak going into 2019.

Players have expressed their concern and outrage towards both Bandai Namco and Toei Animation, though the majority of criticism was directed towards the latter as Bandai themselves have played a significant role in supporting the ongoing DBFZ World Tour. The former holds the rights to merchandising and gaming for the Dragonball franchise whereas Toei holds the rights for the animation aspect.

However, Toei actually went on record today stating that they “have no knowledge about preventing DBFZ tournaments.”

Before the rights for the franchise were shared with Bandai and Toei, the Dragonball franchise was first created by Akira Toriyama and published by Shueisha as a manga series in 1984. The manga was serialized in the Weekly Shonen Jump magazine from 1984 to 1995, before it was adapted into an anime series by Toei Animation in 1986.

Toei’s denial about the recent prevention of DBFZ tournaments has added to the confusion and uncertainty surrounding the game’s future as a competitive title.

In spite of this predicament, the DBFZ World Tour is headed towards the end of its run on January 26th, which marks the first anniversary since its release in 2018. The eight best DBFZ players in the world will meet at The Majestic Downtown in Los Angeles CA to face off for bragging rights and their share of a $25,000 prize pool. The finals themselves, dubbed the Red Bull Final Summoning, will be hosted by Red Bull Esports and Bandai Namco.

As GGP Kazunoko has won four of the seven Saga events whereas the other three were taken by NRG HookGangGod, Echo Fox SonicFox, and CAG GO1, four last chance qualifiers will precede the World Tour finals on the 26th to determine the second half of the final bracket. Registration for all LCQs is completely free and can be done here via SmashGG.

Dragonball FighterZ is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and Steam (PC).

JagoBlake, the author of this article, is an esports enthusiast who just so happens to have a way with words. Whenever he is not scouring the Internet in pursuit of breaking news, he's investing time into his favorite fighting games so as not to appear inadequate in the face of competition. To support his work, follow him on Twitter - @xJagoBlake.

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