DNG Itabashi Zangief
A former Team Razer member, Itabashi was known as one of the top Zangief players in Street Fighter Four. He tends to have a slightly crazy style as opposed to the more methodical Zangief players like RedBull’s Snake Eyez. Itabashi has done well in past EVOs. One particular match that from an EVO was his Zangief vs. Filipino Man’s Rose. The start of the match was rocky, but one thing is for certain. Itabashi never gives up!
Itabashi has always been a fun player to watch and I think the video demonstrates that. Zangief is a character capable of incredible damage! If you can catch someone with one of his famous spinning pile drivers, you are going to put you opponent in a very dangerous situation. Imagine that you’re playing chess and every time you’re opponent moves a piece, you lose two. That’s the best way that I can describe how it feels to watch your character as Zangief picks them up in his powerful arms, jumps up into the heavens, spins, and smashes them head first into the ground. It sucks because Zangief often has a set up for you afterwards. You can see it here at 4:44. It might not be a pile driver, but even a lariat can put his enemies in a precarious position. Recently, it has seemed that Zangief has become a shadow of his former self.
The move known as “green hand” or “Banishing Flat” is the move that Itabashi used to catch up with Rose. That has been removed. Millions of Gief players have cried about the disappearance of such an iconic and useful move. Since the days of the Super Nintendo Zangief has had the move, but not a lot of people know that he originally didn’t have it. The developers behind Zangief thought that he was too weak. He didn’t have a way to deal with fireballs like a large majority of the cast and just felt weak. So, they developed a move that could simultaneously move Zangief forward and dissipate fireballs. The lore states that Zangief went back to Russia to train up and create a move that would deal with the fireballs of Ryu, Dhalsim, Sagat, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile. Through what I can only imagine was A marathon, of chopping bears so hard in the chest that they lost their fur, he developed an incredible technique. Without technique, many people including myself thought that Gief was finished, but Itabashi never gave up hope!
At an incredibly stacked tournament, Itabashi earned his sponsorship against former Mad Catz player Mago! Something of not here is his usage of Gief’s armored punch. The Punch can be held for a bit or be released really quickly. If you just so happen to hit your opponent while they are pressing a button, your gonna get crush countered and end up in a spinning pile driver. What he did here was fairly amazing. Karin is considered a top Street Fighter Five character, with very few weaknesses. What Itabashi did next is incredible!
Kazunoko is the man who won the Capcom Pro Tour last year. I also believe his is one of the most consistent fighting game players in the world. He is also known for his Guilty Gear play, as well as a few other games. Despite Zangief’s supposed weakness, Itabashi managed to do incredibly well. A 3-0 against an incredible player isn’t a fluke and I’m excited to see what Itabashi can do at EVO!