Gachikun and Big Bird’s fates have seemingly been intertwined for a while. Having both mained the same character over the course of the year, they also managed to get the wins they needed most at the exact same tournament, cementing their entry into Capcom Cup.
As fate may have it, they are now facing off against each other in the first round of Capcom Cup. Will Gachikun be able to take what could be the tightest mirror match in recent history?
Winging It Through the Wind
Last year I commented on how I couldn’t imagine Gachikun being unsponsored after his performance last year. While he may have wilted in high-pressure situations, he began to make up for that in 2018. This was enough to finally get him noticed and signed by Red Bull.
Yes, his Rashid is definitely one of the most aggressive right now. He has made his damage output very hard to match. Plus he has — much like Oil King — done very well at balancing out his choices between V-Triggers I & II, making his counter play against his opponents hard to beat.
Doing What He Couldn’t Last Year
One thing I chided him for in 2017 was his lack of wins. Most notorious of all, he was capable of making it to Grand Finals, only to lose it to the likes of Infiltration on the mend from personal issues, or a more shaky Problem X than last year. This was definitely something that shone through during Capcom Cup last year in his inaugural run through the event.
But make no mistake, he managed to find a way to gain that consistency and clutch factor that we were found wanting this year. Taking Saigon Cup over Xiao Hai was the first start in proving that he had what it took to close out a tournament, and let’s face it, a Ranking win where he couldn’t even muster that last year gave him a bit of confidence.
This was confidence he needed to bring to Singapore for SEAM, and he did. He managed to cap off a weekend that saw Tokido fall to two different Rashids in a matter of two days in two different tournaments, another likeness he and Big Bird hold in common.
It’s these kind of a wins that let you know that Gachikun could easily be a huge factor in Capcom Cup 2018.
Who Flies Higher?
But let’s look at the tale of the tape between he and Big Bird, the two kindred spirits that will find themselves thrust into battle against each other this year — who also became a Red Bull athlete in the exact same year. It’s really hard to judge a match between the two, since they’ve never actually played.
But when you judge Gachikun’s mirror success — 8-4 versus Big Bird’s unknown factor of having not played the match in best of five sets — he may have an edge. This is a nutty mirror, so for him to have consistent success within it bodes well for him.
But let’s say Big Bird switches to Zeku, despite his losing record with him in top 8. This could be a major difference maker. Would Gachikun be prepared for a character that has the possibility of stopping his approach? This is hard to tell. There is so little data to go off of for such a match-up, as there are few Zekus that he could have played to learn the match-up. So while Gachikun may have a leg up on Big Bird in the mirror, Big Bird has a hidden advantage in being able to test Gachikun’s character familiarity. That alone makes him dangerous.
Let’s say hypothetically that Gachikun beats Big Bird. Given the 3-0 thrashing he gave Tokido in Singapore, he stands a better chance to have a repeat performance in the second round should Tokido dispatch of Angry Bird.
But should Tokido take down Angry Bird, and Big Bird beats Gachikun (are the birds making your stun bar go up yet?), then this could be an entirely different story. Given Angry Bird’s experience against Rashid, his strong Akuma play coupled with the same character unfamiliarity attributed to Zeku, we could very well see Gachikun out in the first two matches this year.
So his entire tournament could easily hinge on this twist of fate that he faces fellow SEAM champion, Big Bird. This could easily the most important match of the entire early bracket, so if I were you, I’d be paying attention to Gachikun and Big Bird very closely.
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