Capcom Cup 2016 Rundown/Predictions Match 1: Razer Infiltration VS HuomaoTV Human Bomb

capcom-cup-2016-splash(Image fromshoryuken.com  http://shoryuken.com/2016/11/30/capcom-cup-2016-qualified-competitors-and-bracket-updated/)

It’s finally time ladies and gentlemen! For months the World Warriors of Street Fighter V have been battling it out in tournaments across the globe to gain entry into the second ever Capcom Cup.  There are some legends in the bracket, but also some new faces that have taken to the latest iteration in the Street Fighter Franchise. I’m going to run down, the bracket and give you all my opinions on the first matches. Then I’ll tell you who I believe has the biggest chance of causing an upset and forcing me to tear up my brackets in shame.

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So the first match is against the Razer sponsored Infiltration and Human Bomb, who is sponsored by HuomaoTV. Infiltration is quite possibly the front runner in this tournament. The number one seed has been earned by being incredibly solid, which is how he won EVO 2016, which was the largest Street Fighter V tournament. I feel as though Infiltration has always had a battle plan and has backup plans and more importantly backup characters ready. He will go down as one of the best Akuma players in Street Fighter 4 and will most likely go down in the annuls of Street Fighter V history as one of  the best Nash players. There is something about his decision making with Nash, that just seems to be on another level when Street Fighter V came out. I mean he did manage to win the first Premier Tournament to gain entry into Capcom Cup 2016, with an impressive win over Tokido.

Yeah, you can thank Infiltration for all the online Nash players who have chosen to emulate the “chase me and get frustrated style”. That’s how I feel at least. I’m salty. But, Nash is not the only character Infiltration has in his arsenal. Infiltration won MSF with his Rashid, who is a character that has gained popularity in recent months. We also have to remember that Infiltration is capable of almost anything. I mean he did break out a Hakan in Evo 2013 to beat PR Balrog. The counter pick is certainly possible with Razer’s Infiltration!

Now it’s time to talk about his opponent HumanBomb.I remember him best for his Sakura play in SF4, but his Chun-Li is no joke. Chun-Li, like Nash is a character that is very strong right now. Despite the thirty-second seed Human Bomb lives up to his name, by being incredibly consistent. If you make a mistake, he will capitalize for as much damage as possible. That skill with a character that is well suited to offensive play and defensive play makes him dangerous. He battled one of the world’s best Bonchan, and despite a few problems managed to get the win.

So, who’s going to get the first win in the 2016 Capcom Cup?

 

 

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(Image from 12up.com, http://www.12up.com/posts/3477086-infiltration-battles-from-losers-to-become-sfv-evo-champion)

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Why? Despite not winning everything. He’s still the 2016 SFV EVO champion. I’d love for the number thirty-two seed to destroy the brackets, but I just don’t see Human Bomb beating Infiltration. Infiltration has already proven that is he feels uncomfortable ing the Nash VS Chun-Li match up, he could just switch to his Rashid or whatever character he’s practiced to use against his competition. Are you with me? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Street Fighter V EVO Rundown

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It has been one of the craziest SFV tournaments I’ve ever watched. Over five thousand players entered and that gigantic number was whittled down to just eight. The greatest SFV players came together from all corners of the world, to find out one thing. Who was the best player? It was a bloodbath. On the first day pockets of well-known players could be seen every once in a while. They did battle with unsponsored fans and legendary players, who decided that SFV would be the game to bring them out of retirement. Legendary Super turbo players like Afro Cole, Alex Vale, and Nuki flickered onto the screen. Many players found themselves knocked out of the tournament, but Friday was nothing compared to Saturday!

(Alex Valle, showed his skills the first day of the stacked tournament against a relatively unknown player True MT!)

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Day two saw many SFV players lose their chance of making it to top eight in SFV. If one moment can be called the start of the massive culling of well-known players being sent to losers bracket it would have to be TS Sabin VS. EG Momochi. Both of these players have had success in Street Fighter. Arturo, a veteran Dhalsim player, who has experience competing against the best of the best. Sadly, his runs in past EVO tournaments have ended in heartbreak. Momochi, the professional. He has won the first Capcom Cup, last years SF4 tournament, and has been sighted as a killer who would make it deep into the SFV brackets. The match between them was full of ups and downs, but the finish was quite possibly the hypest moment of the tournament!

 

It was as if this single match was the catalyst for all the hype that was to come. Another EG member played  his heart out against one of Red Bull’s best. PR Balrog is known for his Balrog play. Ever since the character was released he has been grinding. Figuring out the most optimal ways to play the boxer. Red Bull’s Bonchan, was playing Nash, a character who has been out since the games release. The battle was fierce. PR Balrog’s Boxer chasing down Bonchan’s Nash as he danced around his opponents offense, trying to find holes to exploit in the boxers game.

 

It’s hard to imagine that these matches could be topped, but one match towards the end of the second day of the tournament outshined them all. Diago the Beast Umehara VS. EG Justin Wong. Both of these men have been trading victories and defeats at EVOs for years. Marvel vs Capcom 2, Third strike, and Capcom vs SNK.2 have been previous battlegrounds. With their history, the match doesn’t disappoint.

If you have the chance please check out https://www.twitch.tv/srkevo1 for more great EVO action!

Capcom Pro Tour: Players to look out for

DNG Itabashi Zangief

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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.

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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!

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Capcom Pro Tour: Evo Players to watch out for

EG PR Balrog

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Evil Geniuses sponsored player PR Balrog is looking to make a splash at this year’s Evolution tournament. The event known as EVO has reached it’s highest number of entrants! Five Thousand players are going to be battling it out to see who is the greatest Street Fighter Five player and to get those precious points needed for the Capcom Cup. It’s no secret that Infiltration, Tokido, and Phenom have put in an incredible amount of work in previous tournaments. But, there is no time greater for an upset than at EVO! I mean he did do it a year ago…

Last EVO PR Balrog pulled off an incredible upset on the man that would later win One Hundred and Twenty Thousand dollars at Capcom Cup. This is what makes EVO one of the greatest video game tournaments in the world. The amount of hype that is generated from seeing a player defy every common expectation is incredible. Ever since SFV came out of beta and onto store shelves PR Balrog has played Necali. He’s done well, but a recent event has changed the status quo. The two newest characters to be added to the SFV roster are Ibuki and Balrog, who will be legal for the upcoming tournament. Which means, PR Rog will be able to use his favorite character and will hopefully be able to pull off an amazing upset again.

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Balrog is different now. He’s lacking a tool that seems to make or break characters in SFV. That would be a meterless reversal. Characters like Ryu and Necali have a reversal option that if used properly can get an opponent off of you and deal some decent damage. The game does offer the boxing character two options, but their just not the same. The first takes his headbutt and turns it into a V-Reversal. A V-reversal does no damage, must be done after blocking, must be timed well, and costs meter. Not a good as just saying “get off of me” and headbutting someone square in the chin! But, if you want to play Balrog you’re going to have to make it work. He also has a rushing uppercut that can be done on wake up. The ex- version of the attack has armor and can catch an opponent unawares, but it requires part of your meter to do. Not the best options, but Balrog still brings that crazy offensive style that many players love. PR Rog seemed to make it work just fine against TS Sabin.

At the onset of this first to five it seemed like Rog was lost, but then he hit his stride. I would like to point out here that a strategy that seems to work with Balrog is getting that knockdown from a low dash punch. This I’m guessing has something to do with the proximity of Balrog to his opponent after the move. Dhalsim at 1:05 is directly next to Balrog for more pressure to be applied to the opponent, instead of them being sent flying away by a normal dash straight. To end off her’s one more set of matches between PR Balrog and Team Pie Smug!

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Nor Cal Regionals: The Height of SFV

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Hey people, I’ve just recovered from Nor Cal Regionals and the strange mix of rage and salt I have from not seeing an Alex trailer. Thankfully, the internet has quenched my thirst for pictures and even video of my favorite Hulk Hulgan esque video game character. The matches were crazy and we learned a lot about how fluid the tier list for SFV is. I’m not going to get into that now, but let’s just say that it’s not the game it’s the player. I know right? A character being only as good as the person who is playing them? We are not eight years in yet, but I think it is a good precedent so far for the future of SFV as a competitive tournament game. I mean we can just start with the man whose reactions warranted a video on ESPN. MARN! http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=15082099 (It’s slightly funny and kinda scary…)

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Marn is well….Marn, no one else has as reckless of a play style as he does. That’s kind of the only way someone could make it out of the “Hell Bracket”. So, for all the people who were late to register for the tournament the NCR staff did something a little different. There is no reason to redraw the brackets the night before the tournament to make sure everyone is in a pool and everything is balanced. No! Not redrawing everything for all the people who couldn’t pre register. They took all of those players and put them into a new pool that was tacked on to the brackets. Great idea that no doubt saved the officials and staff at the tournament from a terrible headache. The reason as to why this was called “the hell” bracket had nothing to do with the amount of late entrees, but the people who entered. Marn a former professional fighting game player,  KBrad someone who is currently sponsored, Filipino Champ who is one of the top  Dhalsim players within the United States, Poongko who has been destroying people with his incredible Street Fighter play for years, and Mago one of the three players sponsored by Madcatz. The other Two players are Diago Umehara arguable the most well known Street Fighter Player and Tokido who took second place at Final round. It was a knock down drag out slug fest that could have been the finals of any tournament, it was beautiful.

This is the winners finals of that insane pool of players. Marn VS. Mago. You could guess who won, but please watch the video and then continue reading. *Spoilers* Despite the weird touching (Only in Fighting Game tournaments people!) it was a really amazing match. I’ve always thought you had to be a fully certified nut to actually play Mika properly and Mar proved it. At 1:33 you can see how little he cares about Mago on his wake up. Jab jab int a combo, then a dropkick. That’s basically the story of this match. If you think Marn will respect your play or do something a conventional player would do then you might as well put the controller down. This kind of bit him later on when he faced off against Infiltration.

Right off the bat at around 0:54 Marn went in and kept going. However, all it took was for Infiltration to counter Marn once and the round slipped through his fingers. Like Ultra David said, “Marn does not learn” and it became apparent that Infiltration just had a bit of a leg up on his opponent during the match. EX Sonic Scythe was the bane of every important jump in that Marn went for. Rainbow Mika is a character that is all about momentum, pressure, and mix ups.  If you can’t get the momentum to swing in your favor by jump in you can’t get pressure on the opponent. If you can’t get the pressure then you can not mix up your opponent and use the characters wonderful assortment of command grabs that can insidiously be thrown in after any of the jabs that Marn threw out. He went for some shenanigans, but Infiltration was just one inch ahead of Marn. This was one of the matches that shaped the tournament. Maybe if Marn had won Infiltration would have lost in losers, but since he didn’t we should hail our two time champion Infiltration! Another tournament shaping match was none other than Justin Wong VS one of the greatest Japanese players Haitani!

No secret that Haitani gets my respect. He is an older player who isn’t sponsored and is still one of the scariest players in the world. He is know for being one of the greatest Third Strike players ever, but his Makoto play in Street Fighter Four wasn’t bad either. Thanks to him Makoto was popular and by proxy he is responsible for about fifteen percent of my anger as I tried to climb the ranked ladder. I salute you sir! He took a character that took rigid execution and relentless aggression into Capcom cup and defeated Bonchan, who has placed second at the biggest fighting game tournament in the world and is sponsored by Red Bull. Justin who is sponsored by Evil Geniuses has a storied carrier as well. As much as Justin would probably like to forget he is one half of moment thirty-seven.( If you haven’t seen it here you go. No one thought it was possible…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KS7hkwbKmBM) He was also one of the best Rufus players in Street Fighter Four and a player in the Capcom Cup. What’s interesting about this match is the adaptation that the two players make. Marn just took a battering ram to the castle walls hoping he could batter them down while Infiltration just sniped from the ramparts. This match was an exercise in adaptation and precise movement. Well, at least until the end. Everyone cracks at some point OK? If you want to check out some other matches look down below!

 

Capcom Pro Tour: Players to watch in Final Round Part 1

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It’s that time people! Capcom Pro tour is in full swing with the first large tournament! The Final Round tournament is going to be in full swing this weekend and we will see exactly how interesting it will be. People are coming from all over the word to compete and I wanted to write up something quick on some players I want to see compete in the first truly massive tournament. I’m from the East Coast, so I’m biased as all hell. Long Island Joe is going to be the first player I do a little spotlight on.

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The man known as LI Joe has been a fixture in the New York Fighting Game community   for quite a time. With the release of Street Fighter 4, he saw himself organizing tournaments and becoming a dangerous competitor. Mortal Kombat, Third Strike, SF4, Injustice, and now Street Fighter Five. Right now he is one of the best Nash Players in the U.S. His style is quite scary. Nash has incredible movement thanks to his V-Trigger and his V-Reversal. With full V meter Nash can teleport in multiple directions. He can come from behind you, above you, or right in front of you. Perfectly timed this move can catch an opponent unawares and completely swing the momentum of a match into the Nash players favor. The reversal is a bit more annoying. Upon blocking a hit you can reversal with Nash and quickly teleport to the other side of your opponent. Not as scary as the trigger, but if you don’t expect it you could find yourself still swinging. This could allow the Nash player a free shot.

LI Joe is known for two things. His use of “The shimmy”and his command grabs. The shimmy works by carefully walking back and forth in and out of your opponents throw range. Throws are scary in this game. Nash also possess a very quick dash. Applied well with a shimmy and your opponent will never expect to be thrown. Then you have to guess. For many of LI Joe’s opponents, they wind up eating another throw!

Grand Finals between LI Joe and Julio

Capcom Pro Tour: Long due talk about Cannes Winter Clash and Laura vs. Bison

I decided to analyze the first Capcom Pro Tour event before I talk about Final Round!

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I’m planning on doing a few spots on players I’m excited to see at Final Round! First, I need to talk about the first player to place in a Capcom Pro tour event. Mister Crimson is a longtime Street Fighter Four player who has found incredible success in the subsequent iteration Street Fighter Five.  He plays Laura! Here I thought Laura was a terrible character that had no reason being in tournament. Well, I think Mister Crimson proved quite a few people wrong with his outstanding performance against Phenom and his Bison in the grand Finals of Canes Winter Clash!

 

 

At the time that this went down Phenom was one of the top online ranked players in the world. He is also a sponsored player, who at  last EVO (The biggest Street Fighter Tournament on the Planet) placed seventeenth! The thing that I love about this set is the fact that Mister Crimson  challenged Bison. Bison in SFV is considered on of the most dangerous characters to face off against. The main reason for this is his offense. His offense is quite insane. He has a lot of frame traps on the offensive that can lead into huge damage. By frame traps I mean attacks that leave Bison in an advantageous situation when blocked. If you do press a button in between Bison’s frame traps, you will get hurt! Mister Crimson didn’t give Phenom a chance to start with the dangerous offence. One specific moment is roughly at 5:00 where Phenom went for a slow but incredible attack that would have been plus at the range Bison was standing. Crimson didn’t block, but he challenged the attack. If he blocked, than he would have been in a bad position. He instead decided to challenge and possibly trade. This fairly bold move lead to a clean hit which was quickly followed up by a damaging combo that won Crimson that match in the finals.

Something else that I feel Bison gets away with a bit too much is  his forward dash. It’s a mini teleport. He can essentially dash through an offensive attack and then counter you. Combined with his above average throw range means that sometimes you have to guess. If you guess wrong you could get thrown, crush countered, or worse. But, in the match crimson did his beast to challenge the teleport or at the very least avoid Bison. At 2:54 there was a similar situation on Laura’s wake up where Crimson challenged an advancing Bison and it payed off big. I can’t wait to see more of his Laura in the Capcom Pro Tour! Next I’ll be talking about Players I want to see at Final Round!

 

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