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