It’s been a long journey for Du “NuckleDu” Dang, a player from Tampa, Florida, who has been a title contender in Street Fighter V since the game was released. Ten months later and NuckleDu is the first American born player in history to win a Capcom Cup.
NuckleDu made fighting game history with his incredible run through winners bracket. It was clear from the start of the tournament that NuckleDu was a serious contender. His strong mix of Guile and R. Mika gave players trouble. He tore through day one and finished the tournament by beating fellow American player Ricki Ortiz in Grand finals.
At the start of top 8, only two American players remained, but by the end of the day those two players were the only ones left standing. NuckleDu and Ricki started in winners bracket, both taking out Japanese legends in Tatsuya “Haitani” Haitani and Joe “MOV” Egami, to have an all-American battle in winners final.
NuckleDu takes home the biggest cheque in Street Fighter history, winning $230k, which is $200k more than NuckleDu has made in his entire career. The win not only gives NuckleDu a major pay raise, but also cements his legacy already as one of the best players in Street Fighter history.
Only eight America born Players qualified for Capcom Cup, but the two still fought their way through the bracket. NuckleDu was dominant, going a combined 18-4 in games and displaying why he should be considered the best player in the world. He also had to go through three of the toughest players in all of Asia: Kun “Xian” Xian (3-1), a rising star in Zhojun “Xiao Hai” Zeng (3-0), and MOV (3-1) before facing off with Ricki Ortiz.
His execution heavy style and variety of character choices made it extremely difficult for players to deal with. He went with R.Mika for four of his six wins, but did bring out Guile for MOV and Putthivath “XsK_Samurai” Chea. His spacing with both characters and ability to punish and keep players in the corner drove him to his first Capcom Cup title.
Players closest to Du will tell you exactly how hard of a worker and how much time he’s put into his game. The pad player who has always been immensely talented finally to gets the results to back up the work.
It’s a momentous day for Street Fighter as the Japanese shadow of dominance slowly fades away and NuckleDu steps into the spot light. In a weekend that will be remembered for the many unforgettable upsets, NuckleDu taking out his good friend in Ricki Ortiz in grand finals will be the moment everyone will point to and remember.