EVO, the mecca of fighting game esports, is the latest stage for Dominique “SonicFox” McLean to showcase his dominance. The FGC’s emissary of queer positivity cemented his position last weekend as the best Mortal Kombat player of the last decade, taking home the EVO 2019 Mortal Kombat 11 championship on Saturday night.
SonicFox’s route to the title was simultaneously strenuous and certain. A strong challenge from Sayed “Tekken Master” Ahmed nearly sent gaming’s favorite furry to the loser’s bracket ahead of winner’s semi-finals.
But the highlight of the tournament came in the winner’s bracket final: a rematch of CEO 2019’s all gay MK11 final between SonicFox and Ryan “Dragon” Walker. “May the better gay ascend to [grand finals],” SonicFox said on Twitter ahead of the match. The rivals and training partners did their best to break each other’s rhythm, mixing keen offense with carefully placed counter attacks. Dragon pushed SonicFox to a final, winner-take-all round before falling yet again to his friendly nemesis.
The two faced off in the grand final matchup after Dragon conquered the loser’s bracket, a reversal of their paths to CEO 2019’s MK11 grand final. But where SonicFox was able to reset the bracket before winning the title, Dragon fell in straight sets. SonicFox dropped to the stage after the victory, pointing to the sky in celebration.
The win extended SonicFox’s undefeated streak in EVO Mortal Kombat tournaments. He previously won back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016 before the franchise took a hiatus from the EVO stage.
The newly crowned champion took to Twitter following the near twelve-hour competition to reflect and celebrate. “I have kept my EVO title on any MK game since 2015 I am so happy holy shit,” wrote SonicFox, adding, “Damn I really was in two grand finals for EVO huh. And was literally one hit away from winning two of them. That’s kinda wild when I think about it.”
The second grand finals appearance SonicFox mentioned came earlier Saturday when he nearly defended his EVO Dragon Ball Fighterz title against his most well known rival, Goichi “GO1” Kishida. SonicFox fell to GO1 in a tightly contested 3-2 battle that saw GO1 burst into tears the second he secured the victory. SonicFox embraced him onstage as the emotion flowed.
What an incredible performance! @GO13151 defeats @SonicFox5000 to be your #EVO2019 champion for #DBFZ!#DBFZWT #EVOPS4— EVO (@EVO) August 3, 2019
Stay tuned! #SamSho Top 8 is next!https://t.co/pRm0CRLp4y pic.twitter.com/snMemO6twM
Dragon proved more introspective after another second place finish. “I’m salty I keep getting 2nd but still happy with my performance, Sonic just played better,” Dragon tweeted. “I gotta get over that hurdle that is Sonic. Tons of more tournaments coming up that I can get that long awaited 1st place!”
That hurdle won’t get any easier to surpass. The EVO championship is SonicFox’s fourth major MK11 tournament win this year and his third victory over Dragon in a grand final during that span. He hasn’t finished below second place in 2019. “I’m gay and the best MK11 player on the planet. Don’t forget it,” SonicFox proclaimed.
But the revelry hasn’t drawn his focus from a future goal worthy of the best Mortal Kombat player in the world. “Next year [let’s] try to win two titles at the same event.”