Ibuki, since the start of season two, has been considered one of, if not the best character in street Fighter V. At SoCal Regionals 2017, Fujimara “Yukadon” Atsushi put on a show with Ibuki that clearly showed the characters potential. The win for Yukadon will inspire players to try out all of Ibuki’s wonderful offensive tools.
In Grand Finals, it was apparent what Yukadon was trying to do with his aggressive play style. Facing off against one of South Korea’s rising fighting game stars, NL, Yukadon enforced his game plan on Cammy by pushing her to the corner. Then, it was Yukadon’s time to use the many mixups in Ibuki’s arsenal to keep NL guessing.
Even against Cammy, who’s well known for being one of the stronger characters, NL looked limited. Not to mention the movement, with the dash unders and staying at a precise space to get maximum damqage with Ibuki’s bomb combos, really gave NL and the rest of the players at SCR a rough time. One of the first times in SFV where a character looked broken.
Yukadon Finding his Main
Yukadon was one of many Nash players forced off of that character because of the nerfs. It’s taken half the year, but it looks like the uber-talented Yukadon found a character that allows him to play that similar Nash style. In fact, Ibuki seems more suited to Yukadon’s fluent, pressure-oriented play style.
Ever since his run at Evo 2016, it seemed as if Yukadon has taken a step back in his development. One of the smartest, fastest thinking players had suddenly regressed. The changeover from season one to two hit him hard. Despite a 17th place finish at Evo 2017, it did seem as if Yukadon was starting to improve again with a new character. A win at Dreamhack Summer, over some talented players, spurred on further development and now we’re seeing Yukadon at his best.
At SCR, he had plenty of close matches but ended up finishing 15-4 in top 64. He also had two individual set wins over NL and snuck out a close 2-1 over Justin Wong. His day wasn’t perfect, but it was a step towards eventually taking the tournament. In top 8, he finished 9-3 and was playing some amazingly efficient Street Fighter.
The Rise of NL
Conversely, NL surprised many Street Fighter fans by finishing second at a premier event. In only his fifth premier event of the year, he achieved by far his best result. He did however get 13th at Combobreaker 2017 and 17th at CEO 2017. He’s clearly talented, but until this weekend had never put it all together like this.
Consequently, NL had the hardest road to Grand Finals starting top 8 in losers. As stated earlier, he did already face Yukadon in top 64 and made him work. What followed after was a trail of closely fought matches that he came out on top time-and-time again. His list of names taken out include: Justin Wong, Momochi, Commander Jesse, Smug, MenaRD, and JB. It was quite the losers bracket run for the rising star.
Yukadon’s not the only player to find the many advantage Ibuki presents in most situations. Xian was the first player to make a change to Ibuki, and while it worked out at first has somewhat stagnated. Another former Nash player, Infiltration, also tried to make a change. Yukadon looks to be the first player to switch to Ibuki and have prolonged success.
According to Haitani, Bonchan and Fuudo, three fantastic players, had Ibuki as the clear number one. Now in reality, that means squat. It’s just an opinion. But, it’s safe to say an Ibuki surge is coming and it starts with Yukadon. She’s clearly a good character, and now we’re going to see that translate into tournament wins.
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