At the beginning of top-8 for Dragon Ball FighterZ at NorCal Regionals in Sacramento, California, Derek "Nakkiel" Bruscas announced his new sponsorship by Panda Global with a jersey reveal before he began competition.
Nakkiel's move was similar to what Lee "Infiltration" Seon-woo did when he announced his Panda Global sponsorship at Final Round this March in Atlanta. This adds another player to the largest one-on-one esports organization in the world and the 14th fighting game player for the team overall.
"I'm excited to be a part of Panda Global and a teammate to so many strong players and wonderful people, including one of my best friends Jachin 'SKD' Harte," Nakkiel said. "I've been working hard towards this goal, and I'll keep going to be one of the best DBFZ players around."
Nakkiel made a name for himself as one of the premier North American players of Arc System Works titles like Dragon Ball FighterZ. Considering his history with the developer's titles, it makes sense that Nakkiel tore through the leaderboards during Dragon Ball FighterZ's beta. Arc System games have not reached the same level of popularity as series like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Super Smash Bros. in North America, but Dragon Ball FighterZ is different. The game's broad appeal has made it a major contender in the North American fighting games space, with tournaments pulling in high viewership.
"When we look for a new Panda, we don't often come across someone that is as perfect as a fit as we see in Nakkiel," Panda Global CEO Dr. Alan Bunney said. "From the day we approached him, we knew he would be an amazing person to support from the ground-up. Now that he has PG and his team behind him, we think Nakkiel is going to be one of the best players and content creators that DBFZ has to offer."
At the moment, Nakkiel is ranked 15th on Shoryuken's Dragon Ball FighterZ global leaderboards, but the game is still young, so there's a lot of play in the standings. The first real test to see who's the best in the title will happen at the Summit of Power invitational being put on by Beyond the Summit in Los Angeles this June.