While Cyclops Osaka’s Goichi “GO1” Kishida may have been a surprise to people in his success last year, no one could be surprised at further success this year. Having reached top 8 in both Evo and Capcom Cup, he made a name for himself within the FGC as one of the most-respected new players in the circuit.
Despite character changes over the course of the year, GO1 again finds himself in the thick of things. While he missed out on a repeat Evo top 8 performance, he has a chance to reach top 8 once again at Capcom Cup. Will he be able to cap off his season with the biggest prize?
Changes in Programming
GO1 was well known for being a highly-technical player last year. Using surgical precision with his Chun-Li, he rarely missed a confirm or a combo. This could be owed to his play in anime fighters, where that sort of precision must be possessed to be competent.
With the changes in Chun-Li in Season 2, GO1 sought out other characters that fit the mold. While Ibuki was an easy fit, there was one Season 2 character that caught his eye. We have seen flashes of his Menat on the circuit — as well as in his online matches — and it looks solid. With the character having precise combos and mix-ups, GO1 makes her look easy.
This is a character that is not only able to stonewall characters, but also able to tear down walls that other characters present. GO1 does this well, and switches between both mentalities quickly. This is a character that fits him well, but that’s not to say his Ibuki is a slouch. He possesses every single solid trait that an Ibuki player needs to have, which also falls in line with his strength with Menat.
Running the Gauntlet
I’ve talked a lot of about players who have traveled extensively this season, but when I looked at GO1’s results, my jaw dropped. This man has played a staggering 21 events over the course of 2017 on the CPT — not even counting the Red Bull: Tower of Pride event he just recently competed in. In these events, he was able to make the top 8 seven times. He was also in the top 16 an additional 10 times. These are huge results, given the amount of time he’s spent traveling.
It’s also worth noting that during this exact same time span, he also made top 8 in five Guilty Gear Xrd tournaments, winning one, and three Blazblue top 8s. This shows some amazing focus that despite playing multiple games, he has been on when it counts in all three games he’s been playing. While some players who split their focus between games falter, he hasn’t.
One story I’d like to relay, that I don’t think was touched on after Canada Cup, was that after he fell in second place to Dogura in Street Fighter V, Goichi was near inconsolable. He was actually hunched over on the stage tearfully. People were confused by his display of emotions, and without looking at the list, were remarking erroneously that they thought he was out of Capcom Cup with second place.
Obviously, this wasn’t the case. But if you look back on his results, you can probably guess why he was so upset. He had a string of top 8s, but never anything higher than fourth place to hang his hat on. When he made Grand Finals, you could tell he wanted to win. That loss hit him hard, and it showed.
When you look back further, outside of smaller local events in Japan, he has yet to win anything. You can tell the pressure is on for him to win something, and he has fallen short every time. It’s grating on his confidence, and this is a cause for concern going into Capcom Cup.
GO1 is going to get there one day, but things are going to have to change. One of the things I mentioned about Tokido last year that he rectified, was his diversification into other games affecting his performances. While he was making top 8s, he wasn’t winning. This is also something GO1 is falling victim to.
If he wants to be a winner and truly call himself a champion, and Capcom Cup truly means this much to him, he’ll have to shy away from his other games to really focus on SFV. If he is in it to have fun — then by all means, keep playing what he wants. But when your focus is to win, you need to do whatever it takes to get there.
Right now, he wants to win, but isn’t going all out to get there. If he makes top 8 again, expect his road to end there until he makes a decision about which game deserves all his attention.
Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!