Sad news for anyone planning to travel to Atlanta to compete in Dragon Ball FighterZ at Dreamhack Atlanta, as the entire tournament has been canceled for no reason yet provided by tournament staff. FGC director Alex Jebailey tweeted on the issue:
I regret to inform those registered for DBFZ at #DHATL18 in a few weeks that we will no longer be able to host a tournament for it. Please see my statement below that I have emailed out to those signed up through https://t.co/doletRas1E already. pic.twitter.com/zPn98HT0lB
— Alex Jebailey (@CEOJebailey) November 3, 2018
Jebailey went on to say that the reason for the canceling was not because of low signups, as the tournament only had 40 entrants and most were local players. Although it should be noted that the majority of signups for fighting game events, even much bigger events, happen much closer to the event date. Last minute signups are a big thing in the FGC, usually much to the tournament organizer’s dismay.
Speculation is running rampant as to the possible reason for this, and the one prevailing theory is licensing. It has been increasingly common for game publishers to demand revenue from streaming their games at major tournaments. Dreamhack Atlanta being a relatively small event for fighting games, it may have been too costly for Dreamhack to stream the game, and a game without streaming isn’t worth running from an organizational standpoint. Speaking from personal experience, I know Bandai Namco has been cracking down on tournaments and how they stream and run their games, even to the point of dictating what commentators can and can’t reference on the mic.
This kind of iron fisted (get it?) approach to streaming can only hurt community support in the long run. Just a couple years ago, the Smash community went through the same kerfuffle when Nintendo threatened to cut streaming for Super Smash Bros. Melee at EVO, and it took a million dollars donated to Breast Cancer Awareness to get the Big N to change their tune. While that may have worked then, that isn’t something that can feasibly continue happening. Hopefully, the true cause of the cancellation is far less nefarious and shady than many have suggested. But regardless of what caused it, Dragon Ball FighterZ will not be at Dreamhack Atlanta, and that is bad news for anyone that has made travel arrangements to compete. We will keep you informed on any updates on this story as they become available.