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Johnny “HumanBomb” Cheng from HuomaoTV has had a hard year on the circuit. Always coming close, the player from Hong Kong just couldn’t capitalize on his chances when he needed them. He was on the verge of qualifying for Capcom Cup, but fell short in every aspect.
As fate would have it, AWS|CCL’s withdrawal from the competition allows HumanBomb in via the last Asian Leaderboard slot. Truly the Cinderella Man of this event, will HumanBomb rise to the top?
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Chun-Li
Having watched HumanBomb for the better part of this year, I have to say that his Chun-Li is a treat to watch. He is an oppressive player, who loves to dominate every aspect of the game. Even when you think that you have space to maneuver, it is a fabrication that he uses to further frustrate you as he returns to apply pressure, having properly reminded you of who is in control.
He has every tool that every other Chun-Li player has on the circuit, and he uses them well. He is confident enough in his execution to continue relentless pressure with instant air legs. He has enough presence of mind to not miss hit-confirms and to capitalize on counter hits. He’s smart enough to bait out reversals and punish instinctively. He is very well-rounded and his matches are exciting to watch.
Because HumanBomb is in on a technicality, a lot of people will insist that he will not be capable of hanging with the big dogs of the field. A lot of people remain oblivious to the fact that HumanBomb himself is one of said big dogs, and has a history of taking out what would be considered the alphas of the pack.
At Street Fighter V Crash, I made a huge mistake of dismissing him as the weakest link of Team Southeast while doing commentary. It was like he heard me from the stage, because he went on a tear at that point. At one point, he was able to defeat the sum of Team Razer, and had it just been one rotation of players in semi-finals, Team Southeast would have made it to the 1st place match on Cheng’s shoulders.
The fact is that HumanBomb is still capable of winning against anyone in the field. He showed this at Asia Regional Finals, and I have a feeling that at the very least, he will bust some brackets in Anaheim.
Much like fellow Chun-Li MOV, I feel like HumanBomb’s biggest enemy is his own nerves. If you look back on Evolution 2012, HumanBomb was gliding through the loser’s side relatively well, until he missed a routine one-frame link with Sakura. And you see him make rookie mistakes in the most professional of circumstances across his career.
This was another thing that haunted him at Asia Regional Finals, as he looked poised to dispatch of Itabashi Zangief to make top 8. He couldn’t clutch it out, and in speaking to him after the event, he confided to me that he missed an easy punish on Itabashi’s V-Trigger in the closing seconds of the match that cost him the game. It’s the things that he knows to do, but somehow psyches himself out of doing due to the pressure that has cost him time and again this season, and it can potentially be his downfall at Capcom Cup.
HumanBomb has the potential to be a world-class threat and in on his own merit alone for Capcom Cup. He isn’t, and a lot of people would say betting against him in every match is a safe bet.
He is yet another easy sleeper pick for me to at least make top 16. If he can block everything else out, he could make top 8, but I’m afraid he’s not outside of his own mind enough to do that just yet.