Utah’s Gustavo “801 Strider” Romero is a player that can simply wow with his clutch play. First making his name on the scene with his insane Abel in Street Fighter IV, 801 Strider has since made a number of solid tournament appearances, and has even won a berth into Capcom Cup 2015.
While last year saw him struggle, he found his footing with Laura in Season 2 and hasn’t looked back. What a difference the year has made, as he finds himself back in the hunt for Capcom Cup, with a glowing endorsement from Dogura after Canada Cup. Will Romero electrify the crowd this weekend?
Starting Fights, Finishing Quickly
For all the gripes the western world has had with Laura over Season 2, only one has made it into Capcom Cup this year, and that is Strider. This pick, coming from an Abel main in Street Fighter IV, makes a lot of sense. She shares similarities with the character, with many of the same ranges and mix-ups available. This has worked to Strider’s advantage, as he has been able to frustrate his opponents in the exact same ways he did in the game that made him famous.
Add to that the same patience that he used to set up his trademark Abel play in Street Fighter IV, and you see a different breed of Laura. He also has done well against Japan, who has struggled with the character due to their dismissive stance toward Laura on the tier lists. This underutilized character in Asia has the potential to bracket bust — his first round sees him playing Japanese Haitani.
Second Verse, Same as First
801 Strider making it to Capcom Cup this year is not too shocking, as his season this year is totally comparable to his 2015 run. In 12 events, he was able to top 8 seven of them while winning one online qualifier. His play also saw him earn solid wins against some of the best in the world, including Moke, Sako, and Daigo Umehara at Canada Cup alone.
But Can He Win?
While it’s true that a large swath of Japanese players struggle against Laura, this is not the case across the board. At Evo, he fell to both Bonchan and Tokido — two players that, should he beat Yukadon, he should expect to face at some point. If this is on winners side, he’ll have the unenviable position of going through the bracket the hard way in losers bracket.
However, in the deep end of the pool is a swath of Western players who have plenty of experience in dealing with Laura, and would have no trouble dispatching him. He has already struggled against Smug and Punk, and these will be players he’ll likely have to focus extra hard on should he pair up with them at any point.
He is unquestionably the best Laura on the planet, but the argument between Japan and America on where she sits on the tier list has me wondering where she really sits. It’s possibly somewhere in the middle, but arguments on her placement aside, he has a load of players ready to play him. This is the dangers of playing a character who is overplayed on this side of the pond, regardless of how good you are or how much you can draw from your existing skill sets.
He may finish just outside of top 16, but expect some excitement from Strider.
Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!