The Evolution Championship Series, commonly shortened to EVO, took place over the weekend. Dedicated to all things fighting games, during this year’s EVO I saw copious hype moments, from amazing comebacks to unstoppable combos and everything in between. Just as you’d expect. But there was one instance during the Dragon Ball FighterZ rounds that had folks totally losing their shit.
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Cell Yell,” during his intro sequence, after both players have selected their teams and Cell’s on point, the franchise baddie will open the match with his iconic yell. You know the one. He’s in his perfect form, charging up his power like he’s gonna Kamehameha teen Gohan or something.
Anyway, this scream, the Cell Yell as it’s dubbed, has become a staple of DBFZ tournaments—and EVO in particular, whenever the game’s appears on the stage. First becoming a phenomenon at EVO 2018, everyone watching the tournament at home or in person now does the Cell Yell whenever he’s picked, screaming at the top of their lungs at the same time as one of the series’ most notorious villains. It’s truly a hype-ass moment and a favorite of mine.
So, you can imagine the disappointment wafting through the audience at this year’s EVO when, during the fight between LegendaryyPred and Shanks, the Cell Yell was skipped. The tourney had run over by a few hours, according to a post on Resetera, with the DBFZ matches scheduled to end around 1 a.m. P.T. Though the crowd was tired and the energy was low, Shanks, Spain’s seventh best DBFZ player of all time, picked Cell to revitalize everyone like a Senzu Bean. Maybe the two contestants got antsy as they entered the match, maybe they too were tired, but the intros got skipped to an assortment of audible groans and boos, as folks watched the glorious Cell Yell get interrupted. But accidents happen, and LegendaryyPred and Shanks recognized the moment, so went back to the character select screen to let the intros rock. People got what they were waiting for: Doing the Cell Yell with everyone there.
I mean, listen to that roar! It’s magnificent, a truly special moment of joy and camaraderie between fans, as they prepare for what was a hella epic—albeit hella short—matchup. The Cell Yell hits especially hard during these trying times, when conventions and in-person events have largely been canceled these last couple of years, due to the seemingly never-ending pandemic. Being able to gather again—ideally with masks—and join together to scream alongside Cell is what some folks need right now. Sometimes you gotta yell.
Kotaku has reached out to Shanks for comment.
Shanks ended up losing to LegendaryyPred. In fact, Shanks lost the entire tourney, taking seventh place alongside Zane from the U.S. LegendaryyPred, meanwhile, landed in fifth next to Fenritti. It might come as no surprise, but Wawa took first place at this year’s Dragon Ball FighterZ EVO competition. If you’ve been watching Wawa’s games lately, you would know he’s goated.