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Who Are My Favorite Players?

August 28th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

For some reason, people keep asking me who my favorite Street Fighter players are. I watch matchvids and root for certain individuals just like everyone else, so i guess it wouldn’t hurt to write out an (overly complicated) answer. At least the examples should be entertaining, right?

The obvious choices are CaliPower, ChoiBoy, and watts. They’re the first names to pop into my head because they were at the top of the game when i first discovered the tournament scene. They placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd overall at B4 – the precursor to Evolution. I’ve always admired their playstyles and i still think nobody in the world has more sophisticated Shotos.

Unfortunately, it’s been a while since the days when those three were winning literally every tournament they entered. That’s partly because in their case, the complete answer has slowly become: prepared Valle, losers bracket Choi, and angry-enough-to-practice Watson. By the way, the amazing thing about watts is how he takes everyone out of their element. Look up some matchvids of your favorite players facing him. You’ll barely recognize their play.

Across the Pacific Ocean, Daigo, Ohnuki, and Kurahashi are names that stand out instantly. Daigo’s résumé speaks for itself, but what makes him fun to watch is the way he punishes everything – he never lets anyone off the hook. Nuki’s achievements are almost as impressive, but what sets him apart is how he constantly finds ways to attack even in the most defensive settings. Kurahashi is a half-robot, half-monster cyborg powered by liquid nitrogen.

MvC2 is another game i enjoy watching, and of course that means Magneto/Storm/Psylocke. Countless great players have represented MSP over the years, but you really can’t go wrong with snapback king SooMighty or Evo2k7 champion IFC Yipes. Still, nothing comes close to seeing Clockw0rk utterly dismantle opponents with Strider/Doom while pointing at bombs.

Speaking of San Diego, i love it when Viscant arbitrarily declares some obscure character or team to be top tier. Nobody ever believes him so he ends up having to prove it by picking bad characters in a tournament. It doesn’t take long before he runs into a hopeless matchup and needs to mount a massive comeback just to even the odds. It’s very entertaining. Although it helps that he’s constantly thinking five steps ahead, because it’s fun to see his plans unfold.

But my absolute favorite player of all time has to be D44 Bas with his guard bar flashing.

Seriously, that guy’s a genius when he’s fighting at a disadvantage. I mean, sometimes he does get guard crushed like everyone else, because that’s what’s supposed to happen. But sometimes he pulls the most unbelievable fearless comebacks i’ve ever seen, almost as if he’s using the handicap as leverage to read his opponent’s mind.

He’s also one of the most technical players ever. Truthfully, i don’t even like the characters he plays – SFA3 V-Akuma and CvS2 A-Vega/Sakura/Bison/Blanka – but it’s different when he’s using them. It’s simply a joy to watch because he’s showing you how the game is supposed to be played – not a lazy caricature of it, but the honest genuine article.

It’s not easy to find people who play top tier without cutting corners. Bas has that rare combination of personality and skill set, where he’s always pushing to innovate and improve even when he’s at the peak. So that’s why he’s my favorite player overall.

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  1. September 1st, 2010 at 13:37 | #1

    So nobody got the exact answer right, but two people did guess Bas. You guys are all probably gonna think i’m a dick if i don’t send them anything so …

    Kobayashi, dijon: Congratulations! Please e-mail me your mailing address and i’ll find something to send you, haha.

  2. September 1st, 2010 at 14:29 | #2

    By the way, i updated last week’s slides article as well.

  3. Wilken
    September 3rd, 2010 at 01:09 | #3

    Now Bas is one of my favorite players, too. And i didn’t even knew that he existed before reading this article.

  4. September 3rd, 2010 at 17:19 | #4

    Kobayashi, dijon: Your prizes are in the mail as of this afternoon. One of them is the Street Fighter III: New Generation Official Strategy Guide by Gamefan Books and the other is the Street Fighter Alpha Strategy Guide by Dimension Publishing. Both are decent (kinda useless) as strategy guides, but they have all kinds of awesome artwork in the back. I can’t remember which one i put in which envelope, so i guess you’ll find out when you recieve them.

    Wilken: Nice! Too bad he’s basically retired. Maybe he’ll play MvC3? He used to play XSF, i think.

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