With December closing in fast, so is the end of Capcom Pro Tour 2016. We’ve seen some ups and downs with Street Fighter this year, both from a sales and marketing standpoint to being a major contender in the e-sports world. No matter what, though, the competition has been fierce from the very beginning. That certainly holds true for the last North American CPT event of the season, Red Bull Battle Grounds, held in Seattle last weekend.
Saturday’s Last Chance Qualifier event was actually more interesting to me than the main event. Two fighters really stuck out in my book: Snake Eyez (@snake_eyez_), the Zangief veteran from Red Bull E-Sports, and Taiwan’s new Urien authority, RB.
It’s always exciting seeing Zangief represented in major tournaments. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing chain SPDs and, of course, his super literally bury the competition. To many people’s surprise, Snake Eyez was able to somehow get past some big names to get through to the top 16 in the LCQ event on Saturday night. His reads were almost psychic, especially when using his air SPD and armored Siberian Express. Though he would lose to Tokido and eventually be team-killed by Red Bull’s Bonchan (Nash), his performance was one of the most exciting of the weekend.
Urien is the newest character in the SFV roster, and undoubtedly one of the most fun to “lab” with in training due to his unorthodox Aegis V-Trigger. While some of his moves have been changed to the dismay of many, he’s still a very strong character. It doesn’t surprise me at all that we’re already seeing him in grand final matches, as RB was able to pull out every trick in his hat and show everyone Urien’s true potential. His setups were nothing short of masterful. Even though Tokido would win the qualifying event, RB put on the best show of the night with the newest DLC character on the roster, even defeating Bonchan in the Loser’s final.
The grand finals of the main event were, unsurprising, between Tokido and Team Liquid’s NuckleDu. The Floridian came out with a strong footsie game, landing a lot of pokes and keeping up a sonic boom wall (#TeamGuile!!!) to reset the bracket. Tokido would get his hits in from time to time, but NuckleDu’s corner pressure, setups and CA usage were just too much for Tokido to handle, leading to the North American hero’s third major tournament win in the last couple months. Congratulations to Team Liquid and Nuckledu. Can’t wait to see what he can do at Capcom Cup this December.