Li-Wei “Oil King” Lin has emerged as one of the strongest players on the circuit in 2017. Having not made much of an effort on the Capcom Pro Tour last year, the Taiwanese player made waves in his competitive arrival this year.
His aggressive push has rewarded him with a #15 seed at Capcom Cup this year. What damage will he do in his debut at the biggest tournament of the year?
ZOWIE|Oil King was already starting to make his mark with Rashid in a Street Fighter V season where the character was considered less viable due to his poor damage output. What a difference a year has done in the meta, as he is now placed in the top tiers by some.
What Rashid doesn’t have in easy damage, he makes up for in mix-up potential. He also is a unique hybrid, in both being able to zone and mix-up. No one has done this better than Oil King, and he has been doing so for over a year. He is very comfortable trying to outpoke and outspace his opponents. But the beauty of his play is when he goes on the offensive. He constantly puts his opponents in situations where they feel desperate to his escape his aggression, often leading to more mistakes that he then capitalizes on. In a meta that rewards pressure, he reaps the rewards more often than most.
Setting Fire to the World
Because of his play, Oil King has been able to really rip apart the competition on the circuit. In his seventeen appearances on the Capcom Pro Tour, he has made the top 8 a whopping ten times, while also taking a ranking event at FV Cup in Malaysia. While the only other player at the event that has qualified for Capcom Cup was Sako, taking any event on the circuit is an impressive accomplishment.
His consistent top 8s also feature him placing above other finalists such as Itabashi Zangief, Big Bird, Mago, and Yukadon. This shows that he has the capability of outshining everyone involved in the race to the top.
The Turbulent Wind
Thanks to the mix-up-heavy game that Rashid requires, Oil King’s play can be volatile. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. While he is strong in the neutral, Street Fighter V inherently doesn’t reward the neutral game as much as other titles. Even if it were to do so, Rashid’s neutral game can be beat by many in the cast.
The results show this. Out of all three Rashid mains in Capcom Cup, only Oil King and Moke have actually won an event, and they were both ranking events. Oil King won the weaker of the events as far as Capcom Pro Tour rankings show. This doesn’t speak well of how he could do at Capcom Cup, given that he will have no weaker opponents to face in the tournament.
Quantity Over Quality
You’ll notice a recurring theme this year, where I have split players who have focused on their results being strongest to qualify, and players who have traveled as much as possible to get the points to qualify. Oil King would definitely fall into the latter group this year.
While you can’t speak against his results, the truth of the matter is that he is in the tournament because he was grinding a lot, going to as many events as possible to secure his spot. As such, almost half of his points came from ranking events — in which less points are rewarded — of which he only won once. While it’s hard to tell people to focus over quality over quantity, since it does get you to the dance, the problem becomes how tired are you going to be once you’re there.
Oil King has performed well and learned a lot on his first world tour, but I think that’s where it stops. He is probably one player that is most at risk of burning out given how much he’s traveled.
He is always a threat, but given that he has only closed out a tournament once against a weaker field, it’s hard to name him even as a dark horse pick to win it all. My guess is that he’ll make top 16 at best.
Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!