It’s no secret that Ryu received a myriad of nerfs in Street Fighter V’s second season, which have lead many players to drop the Wandering Warrior for other characters entirely, or at least pick up some alternates for his bad matchups. Twitch.Hx.CYG BST|Daigo Umehara continued to soldier on; however, falling to Tampa Bison and Panda Global’s Punk to finish 33rd at Final Round 20–the first Premier Event of the Capcom Pro Tour 2017 season–has potentially changed his outlook.
According to tweets from Splyce’s Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez and fellow Ryu-comrade-in-arms Miky “XSK Samurai” Chea from Winter Fox, Umehara has seemingly given up on Ryu, and now claims he will be maining Guile (seen as one of the most powerful characters in Season 2) going forward. Though he initially played the character at the beginning of Season 2 for a bit, he soon retunred to Ryu.
Daigo promised me no more RYU!!
He playing Guile woooot
— Ryan Ramirez (@fchampryan) March 13, 2017
See Daigo playing Guile in casuals during top 8. I go to him laughing & ask, "Guile? What is this?!"
Daigo laughs saying, "Give up." #FR20
— Miky Chea (@SamuraiWFX) March 13, 2017
Denial’s Chris Tatarian chimed in:
@SamuraiWFX i was outside and asked Daigo about shotos and Daigo responds with …
"Ryu ..Ken.. no future ?"
— Chris Tatarian (@Chris_Tatarian) March 13, 2017
This would not be the first time Umehara has abandoned the Shotokan warrior when his strength has come into question, as he mained Yun and Evil Ryu throughout Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Ultra Street Fighter IV, and even has a history of playing the “Family Man” in Super Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2012), Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and Capcom vs. SNK 2. With Razer Xian’s switch to Ibuki from F.A.N.G leading to a first place victory at Final Round 20, it would be very interesting to see how Umehara can perform in tournaments with the Air Slasher by his side.
VesperArcade also discusses this in his latest video, providing some additional context from Umehara’s recent tournament history:
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you can check out some Season 1 match footage of Daigo’s Ryu here. What do you all think of this development? Would you be sad to see Daigo leave Ryu behind, or do you believe this is exactly what he needs in order to achieve future victories?