If Urien is the Matrix, Nemo is the source. The internet has looked at Alienware’s Naoki Nemoto as their inspiration for Urien tech since the very beginning of the character’s existence in Street Fighter V, and while he has played an abbreviated schedule of events during the Capcom Pro Tour this year, he now finds himself sitting in Capcom Cup after a grueling 10-hour last chance qualifier to enter the bracket.
Today, he finds himself up against none other than the Alpha, PG|Punk. Will he be able to overcome the first — most difficult — hurdle, on his way to a Capcom Cup title?
Let’s face it, we know who the original Urien is. Everyone else feels like copycats. They may be solid copycats, but they can’t fully replicate the soul that Nemo has put into this character. Nemo’s usage of space and V-Skills are hard to reproach. His V-Trigger setups are things of beauty, and few players have fully replicated everything he has brought to the table.
But Nemo is more than just a technician. His understanding of match-ups, and his adaptability to his opponents’ shifts in play have made him hard to beat when he has shown up to events.
If you wanted a valid reason that Nemo wasn’t already in Capcom Cup outright, his abbreviated schedule was certainly it: he only played five events across 2017. But of those five events, he finished top 8 in three of them, including a top 8 in a star-studded Japan Cup.
In his brief travels to the United States, he has been able to find success with top 8s at both East Coast Throwdown and DreamHack Montréal. In between those, he also decided to come to New York and take people’s money at Next Level Battle Circuit. It’s without question that his tournament prowess will come in to play at Capcom Cup, and he has some solid experience both West and East to give him clout.
The next thing that stands in his way? If Nemo is the Source, his biggest fear is the One. The One this year has easily been Punk. And America’s (or Zion’s, if I have to keep The Matrix comparison up) best hope at winning it all this year has had a solid track record against Nemo over the year, having beaten him at East Coast Throwdown in tournament after also defeating him in a money match the night before top 8.
Also waiting in the ranks of players that have beaten him this year are Justin Wong, who defeated him at DreamHack Montréal, Phenom, who eliminated him at LAN Story Cup, and Oil King, who put him into Losers Bracket at Japan Cup. While these are totally situational, this factors in that Nemo does have some demons to watch out for in this tournament. These are also three completely separate characters with totally different playstyles, which means that Nemo definitely struggles with those he is unfamiliar with.
Has he had enough time to really study who he might face at Capcom Cup? Surely he has looked at Punk, since he previously went on record to say that Punk is the best in the world at NLBC, but who else did he study? It’s possible that LCQ was taxing enough for him to not have time to research the entire bracket for Capcom Cup, should he make it in.
Nemo has a couple of big wins under his belt in stacked brackets at Tokyo Game Show and Red Bull Kumite. Is that enough to ensure success at Capcom Cup after the difficult climb he had to get there? Definitely not. But just Punk and a handful of players who have outwitted him isn’t enough to say he won’t.
He likely won’t finish any lower than top 16, but you should seriously expect fireworks when he plays Punk. This match alone will be the make or break for either player.
Check out our prior articles in the Capcom Cup 2017 Player Analysis series!
Additional source: Jacked23