Thomas “Brolynho” Proença has had a banner year. While he was unable to truly show off what he was made of at Capcom Cup 2016 — winning just one match — the drive to get better from that showing was obvious. He has dominated the Latin American region, and cemented his return ticket to Capcom Cup with relative ease.
Is the second time a charm for the Brazilian?
Last year, I commented on his well-rounded Necalli play. He was using every tool to the best of his knowledge, and made it work. He later found that at Capcom Cup, that doesn’t work out as well.
F3|Brolynho has clearly recognized how much Street Fighter V rewards aggression, and has turned that factor up a notch. He seems to be taking pages from Xiao Hai’s strategy and only giving up space to let opponents hang themselves. You often see Brolynho back up to bait players into making unsafe and desperate approaches, only to have the right button to stuff it. This kind of play makes you almost scared to do anything — which makes it an easy road to victory for him.
All He Does Is Win
Proença has earned his spot in spades this year. Having only really played in Latin America, he won a string of ranking events that can hardly be contested by anyone. In a staggering nine events, he has won five. Further, in all eight ranking events he played within the region, he didn’t miss top 8 in any of them.
While this speaks of his success in Latin America, the one international CPT event he played in was Evo, where he made top 32. This shows that he has the chops to play on the international stage. Further, he was just shy of making top 16 at Brooklyn Beatdown, again proving his mettle.
ISO Frequent Flyer Miles
The one thing that can nag you about Brolynho is just how little he has traveled this year. Given he has made it into Capcom Cup primarily off of being the best in South America, that isn’t necessarily the litmus test to say that he’s going to be a major threat in Anaheim. Sure, you’re the best in your region, but when your region doesn’t see that much international competition, that always puts the question of how ready you are to face the best in the world.
The best thing to do is see what his path was at Brooklyn Beatdown and Evo and how they stopped. His only marked victory at the ESL event was a win over Dieminion, but he soon after dropped to Kazunoko. This also means that he was put into Losers Bracket during pool play. He beat players like Brian_F and Smug at Evo, while losing to Bonchan and Yukadon. Of the international players he’s on the record of having beat, only one of them is currently in Capcom Cup, while the others are not. However, everyone that has beat them are potentially people he could face at Capcom Cup.
This isn’t something that you can say to dismiss him from having a chance. But there’s one more thing.
Everything You Can Do, I Can Do Better
Haitani has been travelling this year, and has done well with Necalli in his own right. Really, the two draw a similar parallel in their play this year, and thus people who would be ready for Haitani would also be ready for Brolynho.
While we could wonder whether Brolynho would have a higher seed than Haitani if he were to travel more, the fact of the matter is that Haitani has been facing the tougher players all year. Brolynho hasn’t. Not only will he have a chance to struggle against those better caliber players, they will also have a chance to show off more understanding of the Necalli match than he is prepared for.
Brolynho isn’t the only Latin American in Capcom Cup, but he is arguably the best in the region. While you could wager that MenaRD is better, the results in the region don’t lie: Brolynho is solid. The problem for me is that he’s a big fish in a small pond, and is about to be dumped into the larger one.
He’s been there before, but he hasn’t had a chance to do much to prove that he’s ready to deal with the bigger fish just yet. I’m almost expecting a repeat of his 25th place performance last year, but would love to be surprised.
Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!