A character switch in season two for Xian (Kun Ho Xian) partially boosted his play at Final Round 20, leading to his first victory in Street Fighter V. The opening tournament of the Capcom Cup 2017 had a familiar feel to it with Xian taking the win over Fuudo (Keira Ai). The two former USF4 Evo champions showed they are contenders in Street Fighter V.
First off, Xian has seemingly found his new main in Ibuki. After trying to make F.A.N.G. viable in season one, a character switch was warranted. Xian picked a character that had similar attributes to Gen in Street Fighter IV; Ibuki’s burst damage makes her among the best characters, and Xian meshes perfectly.
Regardless, it’s good to see Xian back competing at his potential. His character choice in season one clearly held him back to some extent. The switch to Ibuki makes him a contending threat at every event. He’s a player to keep an eye-on through the rest of Capcom Cup.
In the first tournament back from the offseason of SFV, the results were zany. Established players in season one fell outside of the top 17. Top eight only featured four Asian Born players, as NuckleDu (Du Dang) finished third, KBrad (Kenneth Bradley) finished fourth, and 801 Strider (Gustavo Romero) rounded it out in fifth.
Despite failing to beat Fuudo and advance to Grand Finals, NuckleDu had another strong outing. It’s just another top-five finish and his counter-pick strategy seems to have strengthened going into season two. Looking ahead, the top three definitely look like three of the favorites to win Capcom Cup.
Final Round featured tons of talent, and as a result, Ricki Ortiz fell out of the bracket in 33rd alongside Kazunoko (Ryoto Inoue). It was a tough tournament as most top players wanted to make an appearance for the kickoff event. It also set a precedent heading into this season that anyone and any character can win at any tournament.
In all of top eight, seven unique characters were used. Cammy, as some have suggested, seems to be the strongest character in the game. She had a strong presence. Players are still finding what works, but this was a good first look.
Kenneth “KBrad” Bradley
KBrad not only came in and stole the show, but he put on a dazzling display of skill during his run. Finishing in the top four at an event of this caliber is a testament to his overall game. But despite that, he’ll be remembered for his match against Wolfkrone (Joshua Philpot). One of the longest standing personal rivalries in the fighting game community hit a boiling point when KBrad secured the victory.
Additionally, Kbrad was the talk of the entire weekend. The set at Final Round is just another chapter in what should be a highly entertaining 2017. Either way, this was a great event to start the new year.