Fujimura has been tough to stop this year. The artist formerly known as Yukadon picked up where he looked to be leaving off last year, slaying killer after killer to get one of the top seeds in the Capcom Cup bracket. He has been the odds-on favorite for many people at every event he’s been to in 2018. With December fast approaching, is he still that way?
It should be no secret that Fujimura is one of the best in the game right now. One only has to look at his not-so-paltry record of reaching top 8 of two out of three Evos for Street Fighter V and top 8 of the only two SFV Capcom Cups to know that he has easily been one of the most consistent players over the entirety of its lifespan. This is also factoring in that he has made the decision to change characters twice over the course of his public career in fighting games. While starting with Nash at the beginning of its lifespan, he switch to Ibuki last year and has become one of the pioneers of how to use the character, showing exactly how absurd her setups could actually be.
Even with such an explosive mix-up heavy character who can live and die by whether people fall for her tricks, he has managed to rack up quite an onslaught of tournament accolades. Having accrued ten top 8s this season — with only a fifth of those being at a ranking event — he managed to take home three titles.
One of the most notable of those wins came at CEO, which was really the first time people saw Fujimura fully tested at the hands of Xiaohai. Having lost in Winners Finals, Fujimura managed to bring it back convincingly, with a 6-1 record across the two sets; the one win from Xiaohai coming before the reset.
It was clear at this point that Fujimura was able to fight with his back to the wall, and not only figure out what he lacked in his defeat, but execute his adjustments so perfectly that it would serve to frustrate people to the point where there was no contest against him. Over a tournament season, these are the types of points you want to make about your play. If this were not over the course of a circuit, a statement like this would almost be benign to make, but when you have to use every tool at your disposal to make players concerned about you, it is a great one to make.
Going into Evo 2018, Fujimura was already virtually a lock on making it into Capcom Cup off his early successes. By Evo 2018, he was already a favorite of many to win, and it came of no surprise that he made it into top 8. But that was the beginning of the doubts on how far he could take his success, as he finished fifth. While that alone is respectable, it is far less than people — even possibly Fujimura — anticipated.
It wasn’t the end of the season though, and given the propensity to call Evo the halfway mark of the CPT season, we saw far less stellar results from Fujimura than we were used to. His three tournament wins happened before the halfway mark, and only four of his top 8s occurred after Evo. Out of his top 8s, his highest finish was second in an online ranking event.
It’s always possible he’s been taking it easy since Evo solidified his slot at Capcom Cup. But given his continued grind throughout the season, I feel like that’s less the case. Which makes for another problem. At this point, the people he was confounding are starting to catch on. He managed to defeat Xiaohai at both CEO and Evo, but come Canada Cup, Xiaohai was more than prepared to deal with Fujimura. The same with Fuudo, who struggled to find answers in Xi’an China earlier in the year, but had them in spades at Canada Cup to eliminate him.
That’s not to mention players that he has also struggled against, including Problem X who has been consistent against him, whom he may have to face in the much later stages of the bracket. Fujimura will likely have little trouble finding his way to top 8 once more, but the complexion of that top 8 will ultimately determine his fate.
He has all the tricks in the book to dispatch anyone at the lower echelons of play in Capcom Cup. But the problem is the people who have been reading that book cover to cover for the entire system. They’re more likely to decipher the problems he’s put on the table, and unless there’s a major revision coming up to said book, he’s likely to have to wait another year to clinch the title.
- Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Will Tokido finally hoist the cup?
- Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Will MenaRD claim the throne once again?
- Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Is the third time the charm for Problem X?
- Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: How Sako made me eat my words in two tournament wins