Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Can Pikoro dominate a bracket stacked against him?

By on December 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm
capcom cup 2018 pikoro feature

Getting in because of a drop out is not exactly the situation you want. But when Crossover couldn’t fulfill his duties as Latin American champion, runner-up Pikoro from Peru was able to step in to try his hand at Capcom Cup.

The Latin American regional champion — outside of 2014, which was also filled in due to visa issues — has done historically well at Capcom Cup. In 2015, Keoma made top 8. 2016 saw DR Ray upset Tokido in the first round. Last year saw Didimokof make a run into top 16. But given Pikoro came in off of Crossover’s drop out, will he be able keep the tradition alive?


Dictating the Pace

One thing that Pikoro’s M. Bison does well is control the tempo of the match. When he comes out swinging, things get insane really fast. When he slows down, he forces you to slow down because his anti-air and air-to-airs are so on point. He plays a style of Bison that is so hard to pinpoint that it’s scary.

Further, he’s one of the only Bison players I’ve seen outside of Toronto’s Sin who has found ways to truly implement V-Trigger II at the highest levels. While you’ll mostly see Problem X utilizing V-Trigger I, to see a second V-Trigger on the table with this character is refreshing. And his setups are truly terrifying with it.

Never Failing

When you look at his tournament circuit schedule compared to everyone else, it’s incredibly paltry. He went to only five tournaments, all of them in Latin America. But of that five, not once did he miss the top 8. This is saying something. There is not a single player in Capcom Cup that never missed a top 8 in their season. While many have larger sample sizes — and certainly if Pikoro had attended more, it’s possible that he would’ve slipped a few times — it’s impressive to see that kind of success rate.

M Bison throw Street Fighter V

Feel the Burn

But if I were to place one thing on Pikoro, it would be his meter management. If you watch his matches, he burns through EX Bars almost as fast as he earns them. Whether he’s burning them on fireballs or Devil’s Reverses, they don’t last long. In instances where he needs them the most, they may not be there.

He’s also has a few patterns that may not be the most obvious — but they were apparent enough for Crossover, who did very well against the Peruvian in Regional Finals.

Another thing I could really say is much like what I’ve said in recent years regarding Latin players: they’re great in their region. But in a smaller region, it does not necessarily mean that they’re ready to take on the best. I eat my words with this every year between DR Ray and Didimokof, but when you can’t even win your regional final, it’s hard to believe you’ll beat the likes of Fujimura — whom Pikoro will be playing first.

Final Thoughts

Some people may have him as a sleeper pick, but I can’t see it. He could totally prove me wrong and actually best Fujimura, who hasn’t been as dominant as he was in the early season. It’s also possible that Fujimura will struggle against Bison, who is far less popular in Japan.

So let’s optimistically say that Pikoro goes 1-2 at least, but probably 2-2 at best.


capcom cup 2018 poster

Corey "Missing Person" Lanier is a full-time writer, and one half of the "So Smart" team that did commentary for Street Fighter V Crash. A former English teacher, he has spent 5 years living between China and South Korea before moving to Canada. When he's not busy writing, he enjoys streaming, playing mafia and elevating his Super Turbo game. He also believes Sailor Moon S is the best fighting game on the planet, and if you don't believe him, see him in Sailor Moon!