Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis: Does Momochi clutch it out yet again?

By on December 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm
Ken

Echo Fox’s Yusuke Momochi hardly needs an introduction. The Japanese legend has stood on top of both Evo and Capcom Cup as champion. While that was in Street Fighter IV, he is still a force to be reckoned with in Street Fighter V. His Ken has been the standard-bearer for Ken play since the inception of the game.

With his next attempt at climbing to the top of the Capcom Cup bracket, will he reclaim his former glory?

sfv_ken_story_mode_costume

Inner Fire

One of the landmarks of Momochi’s play has been his ultra-aggressive style. Even in retreat, he is aggressive, often using shimmies to bait out every desperate attack or throw tech his opponents will make.

He knows full well that the deficiencies in Ken lie in his neutral game, and he maintains pressure to make up for that. For a lot of players, his mix-up game between throw loops, shimmies, and well-timed meaties tend to be too much to take. This is what gives Momochi the advantage, despite the inherent weakness in his character.

Battle-tested

While his results on the CPT haven’t been his usual excellence, he has still had a strong year. While he was able to win an online event in Asia as well as a ranking event in Korea, he was also able to cash in on a solid payday at Northern Arena Knockout, facing top competition from Smug, Phenom, Imstilldadaddy, and Yukadon on the way to the title. He hardly looked phased, with three players in the hunt for Capcom Cup falling at his feet.

He also looked strong at Brooklyn Beatdown, taking out the #1-seeded Punk in what looked like relatively straightforward fashion. But even on the CPT, he hasn’t slouched much, making two additional top 8s over the year.

Volume

But the problem is that while he made four top 8s, his average of doing so is much lower than his peers: it took him fifteen events. He was also only able to do so at Ranking events; his results in Premiers were lackluster. Even if we were to grade on a curve and count his top 16 results, he was only able to make three in nine attempts at Premier events.

While his tournament wins came at the hands of strong players — and even some of his big match wins were against high-profile players — Momochi in the larger, more bloodthirsty events has faltered. This is likely Momochi’s own notoriety coming back to bite him. Players are more accustomed to exploiting Ken’s weaknesses now than ever before. Even Punk has went on record to state that he believed that if Momochi used any other character, that he’d be winning events consistently. He has shown no signs of switching, which leaves him at the whims to such weaknesses.

Final Thoughts

No one can discredit Momochi as a player, but even if we talk in the realm of best Ken players, Big Bird has him beat. He is a much more complete package, mitigating weaknesses by using a far less linear approach to every match.

At this rate, Momochi could come through with a big win, given that he knows the road and who to research. But it’s really hard to say he’s a lock for the top, given his Premier success this year.

Tuxedo Ken SFV


Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!

Corey "Missing Person" Lanier is a full-time writer, and one half of the "So Smart" team that did commentary for Street Fighter V Crash. A former English teacher, he has spent 5 years living between China and South Korea before moving to Canada. When he's not busy writing, he enjoys streaming, playing mafia and elevating his Super Turbo game. He also believes Sailor Moon S is the best fighting game on the planet, and if you don't believe him, see him in Sailor Moon!