After seven weeks of round-robin competition, DeadZero’s Jonathan Tene has become the DBFZ Nationals champion of the US West division. He achieved the gold off an incredible 5:4 grand finals comeback over favourite Reynald.
(Picture: Bandai Namco)
Tene attempted to counterpick Reynald’s signature Master Roshi-Krillin shell in Game 1 with Trunks, but quickly switched back to his main team of SSGSS Goku, Ultra Instinct Goku, and Z-Broly. Almost every match came down to the anchors, where Reynald’s tricky Roshi consistently outmanoeuvred Tene’s Broly.
After going down 3:0, Tene began baiting defensive options and varying his wakeup to throw Reynald off his game. The pair traded to 4:1, where Tene began working towards the comeback.
Reynald pivoted his strategy to eliminate Tene’s Broly early, using Master Roshi’s Mafuba super to both deal damage and swap the opposing character. Almost every match came down to a stressful comeback from Jonathan Tene’s Broly or UI Goku. His ability to keep cool on defence at Nationals Grand Finals match point is a testament to his experience.
The final match saw a character change from Reynald, replacing Hit with disgraced top tier Android 16. The grappling paid dividends, as Tene was once again stuck with just Broly to take down Reynald’s entire team. After working his way past Android 16 and Krillin, a tricky empty Vanish into double-overhead mixup sealed the comeback victory. Runner-up Reynald closed his connection before the win screen.
The victory capped off an incredibly dominant run towards the end of Nationals. Tene’s grand finals appearance carried the momentum from his previous two sets; 5:3 over Cloud805 and 5:1 over SubatomicSabers. In the post-match interview, Tene remarked that even he thought the set was over after game five.
“I expected to beat Sub, beat Cloud, and lose to Reynald. When I was down 4:1, I was like ‘Oh, alright. That’s it. I had a good run.’ and then (the comeback) happened for some reason. But yeah. It feels pretty good. I’m happy.” he said.
US West’s playoffs were wild, but the Nationals Championships are far from over. US East will be finalizing their champion on 13th December, and Japan’s finals will wrap things up on the 20th. Their trophy ceremony will feature the announcement of a new character for Season 3. Signs point to Omega Shenron, but the final character after him is anyone’s guess.