DragonBall FighterZ National Championships Announced

by in Fighting Game News | Aug, 20th 2020

COVID-19 might be raging around the world and disrupting live esports play, but that hasn’t stopped developers from trying to carry on business as usual. This is no different in DragonBall Fighterz, who announced their National Championship on Sunday.

The DBFZ National Championship will be a regional tournament where the best players in each region will square off. This is being done instead of an international event largely due to COVID-19 and the poor netcode performance of DBFZ when played internationally.

All in-person events for DBFZ, Tekken 7, and Soul Calibur 5 were canceled at the end of May due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the questionable efforts of some local organizers, official developer support has not returned to these events due to the safety concerns (which there have been plenty of examples of why this can’t happen, like Esports Arena LV facing an outbreak.)

Who Is the Strongest DragonBall Player in Each Region?

With the World Tour canceled, Bandai Namco was left in a tough spot. They couldn’t do in-person events, and the netcode for DragonBall Fighterz is notoriously not great over long distances. As such, they’ve announced 5 championships for four countries to decide who are the best players in the world. There are no plans to have these champions play each other due to regional distance and logistical purposes, even in 2021.

While this isn’t an ideal situation, it’s probably the best one that Bandai Namco could have come up with without outright cancelling all DBFZ esports for 2020 and delaying into 2021. Capcom, on the other hand, managed to delay Capcom Cup into 2021 and still plans on having that competition be live, assuming Coronavirus is more under control.

Here’s how the breakdown will work – there will be a championship in France, Japan, Spain, and two in the United States. One of the tournaments will be East Coast and the other will be West Coast to ensure competitive viability and not having to play coast to coast matches. The other three countries are geographically much smaller, and should not have these issues as much.

Eight players will be invited to the Online Championships for each region. There will be a round robin, with 7 days of play in each region. The top four players qualify for the playoffs. Then there will be a whole month of playoff play where the tournaments for each region will conclude, leaving one national champion in each region (and two in the United States.) Each match in the round robin will be a best of five, meaning every match will be long and have the potential to have full on 9 game sets, meaning the competition will be epic as hell.  The Playoffs are said to have a special bracket system

The DragonBall FighterZ National Championship will kick off in October, leaving just over two months for players to prepare for the event. Players will be announced in September, with the Master Roshi showcase to accompany it.

Despite Netcode Issues, DBFZ Devs Aren’t Working on Rollback

Even with issues facing DragonBall Fighterz international competition during COVID-19, the developers at Bandai Namco cannot devote the resources they’d like to developing rollback netcode.

This was announced during the same stream, where Arc System Works acknowledged the community demand for rollback netcode to be implemented. This has been pointed out by several in the community as key to the ongoing development of the game and its scene, especially in this era of COVID-19.

“The team and I are of course aware of the feedback and comments we’re receiving from players regarding rollback [netcode],” stated Hiroki. “Although this is a feature that we would most definitely like to implement, it is technically difficult to have this supported.”

That’s the entire reason that the event has to be regional in order to ensure competitive integrity. The exact technical reasons that rollback cannot be implemented were not disclosed, to the chagrin of the community and figures that have developed rollback netcode for their own games.

“That is why for this particular online tournament event, we have decided to select specific players on our side and close the competition within certain countries in order to reduce the amount of lag as much as possible,” said Hiroki.

It seems that development of rollback netcode will not proceed at all in the foreseeable future, but some developers have been working on optimizing what they have, including the Bandai Namco developed Super Smash Bros Ultimate.


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