Japanese esports organization Steel Guys' professional Guilty Gear player GOBOU crowned himself the first-ever Guilty Gear Strive champion in Red Bull Kumite history on November 13, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was GOBOU's first time traveling to America, and after his big win, he told Inven Global the new challenges he faced in competing internationally for the first time. What were those challenges? Getting to the venue, for the most part.
Since this is my first time in America, I’m actually very directionally challenged," GOBOU said with a slight chuckle. "Getting inside and outside of the airport, getting to all the right areas…that’s what has been hardest for me."
Not only was it GOBOU's first time stateside, but Red Bull Kumite is being held in the illustrious Caesar's Palace Hotel & Casino. Not only is Caesar's Palace located on the perpetually bustling Vegas Strip, but the building itself has multiple floors of gorgeous architecture and boasts a layout so intricate that a navigation app was created specifically for the venue.
It's not a surprise GOBOU would have some trouble finding the Octavius Ballroom, which is one of many ballrooms on a level above the promenade level of Caesar's Palace, but once he got to the venue, it was clear his toughest challenges were behind him. GOBOU dominated his group 3-0 and only dropped a single set to beastcoast's Vineeth "ApologyMan" Meka.
GOBOU's dominance continued into the semifinals in a 4-0 victory over Runelords' "Uriel_Legion" which was followed by a finals match against Tyler "Diaphone" Kusich, who had eliminated ApologyMan 4-3 on the other side of the semifinals bracket. With a look in his eye like a man possessed, GOBOU locked in Goldlewis Dickinson for the first time in the tournament.
24 hours before the finals, FGC star Dominique "SonicFox" McLean had claimed that they felt Goldlewis was the worst character in Guilty Gear Strive, but even SonicFox admitted afterward sthat BOGOU's performance changed their mind on the character. Diaphone was able to take a pair of games with some impressive mid-series adjustments, but ultimately, it was BOGOU who won the series 5-2 and became Red Bull Kumite's first ever Guilty Gear Strive champion.