EVO doesn’t start until August, but the best fighting game match of the year has already happened.
Dominique “SonicFox” McLean is a fighting games legend. They’ve won numerous tournaments in numerous games, including six EVO championships across five different titles. They are, unequivocally, one of the best fighting games players to have ever picked up a fight stick.
But apparently, Twitter user BradonNinjaaa was unaware of this. Because only a person who has either been completely absent from the fighting games scene for the last 10 years or is so thoroughly confident in their own abilities to the point of self-delusion would ever do to SonicFox what BradonNinjaa did — challenge them to Mortal Kombat.
Yesterday evening, SonicFox tweeted their excitement about participating in a celebrity chess tournament hosted by chess.com. Apparently SonicFox, in addition to being God’s gift to fighting games, is also pretty good at chess, and they tweeted that they thought they had a decent chance to win the tournament.
For some unknown reason, SonicFox’s benign tweets about their chess skills angered BradonNinjaaa. He lashed out with an expletive-laden quote retweet saying that he had 11 years of fighting games experience and would “beat the mf breaks” off SonicFox.
Dear reader, if you’ve never heard anything about SonicFox, let me explain something to you. SonicFox is 25 years old, putting them firmly in the Gen Z cohort. Gen Z folks, SonicFox in particular, are the living embodiment of the phrase “fuck around and find out.” They are very good at what they do, talk a lot of shit about being that good, and have no qualms about backing that up — after all, their body of work speaks very well for itself.
So when BradonNinjaaa fired off that tweet, SonicFox responded, issuing a challenge: face them in Mortal Kombat 11. Should SonicFox lose, they would pay BradonNinjaaa $10,000. If BradonNinjaaa lost, he’d have to become a furry.
At some point, BradonNinjaaa seemingly realized that he’d made a huge mistake, that his reckless tweeting was actually going to have real concrete consequences. He responded to SonicFox’s challenge, but you could almost hear the fear oozing from the tweet, “I thought he was inactive,” he tweeted. “Why tf did I say that?”
Why, indeed, you poor unfortunate soul.
There’s a chance all this was an exercise in clout farming, that of course BradonNinjaaa knew who SonicFox was and that he stood no chance against them in an honest match-up. Maybe he thought SonicFox wouldn’t respond or wouldn’t act; after all, loads of people talk mad cash shit to each other on social media before retiring to their corners to let the whole thing blow over. But there is a saying in both the Black community and the fighting game community, both of which SonicFox is a part of: Run up, get done up.
BradonNinjaaa accepted the challenge with the stipulation that the match would take place in a week. SonicFox rejected that, stating that the match would take place that same day. BradonNinjaaa reluctantly agreed.
After hemming and hawing on Twitter about how his PS Plus subscription wasn’t active and how he was having problems getting payment to go through so he could get online, the match — with SonicFox as Robocop and BradonNinjaaa as Rain — began.
And was concluded within seconds.
The audio quality of the match was pretty bad, but one thing you could hear over the sounds of SonicFox’s pistol whittling away at BradonNinjaaa’s health was a litany of “No no no no no!” as BradonNinjaaa got utterly destroyed. He could only land one, maybe two solid hits before the five-time Mortal Kombat 11 tournament champion ended him.
Typically in Mortal Kombat tournament matches, the winner will forgo performing Fatalities. It’s time-consuming and generally considered bad manners — kinda like how in sports, it’s in poor taste to excessively gloat over a defeated opponent instead of shaking their hand and congratulating them on a good game.
But SonicFox didn’t just perform a Fatality; first, they performed a Mercy, a move that spares a defeated opponent and revives them with a bit of health so the fight can continue. Then SonicFox quickly beat that health away before pausing the game, casually flipping through the control menu to find the input for a Fatality move they liked, then performed the Fatality on BradonNinjaaa’s helpless avatar.
Fuck around, meet find out.
After the victory, SonicFox made good on their wager by asking their Twitter followers to create art of BradonNinjaaa in his new fursona — a duck.
I don’t know what on earth possessed BradonNinjaaa to tweet like he did. It was the equivalent of someone in your dad’s recreational basketball league challenging LeBron James to a pick-up game or shouting at the sun because you once lit a fire in your backyard.
But for all his hubris that could choke a Greek philosopher, I must commend BradonNinjaaa for actually going through with it, demonstrating that he has more follow-through than some billionaires.