Capcom Cup 2018 Analysis: Will Angry Bird knock over everyone’s tower of dreams?

By on December 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm
capcom cup 2018 angry bird feature

Angry Bird shocked the world with his first tournament win. Most people take their first tournament at a local, feel elated, and then try to go higher. Angry Bird did it in the opposite way: win a major and go to the biggest tournament in the fighting game community off a subsequent win.

Will his second tournament win score him a six figure payday?

sfv zeku bushin

Split Personality

I could go on and start talking about Angry Bird’s Akuma. Rather, I want to talk about the fighter that got him to the dance, Zeku. Many have chided the character as not very good, and way too situational for anyone to use seriously. But many chided Gen in Street Fighter IV as such, only for Xian to take him to an Evo championship.

And this is what you see when Angry Bird uses Zeku. You see that specialist’s precision with the character, able to do the transformation changes mid-combo, and thinking ahead to the next setup he has to perform. He also does this while re-evaluating his defensive options and ranges that come with the transformations between Old and Young Zeku. He’s capable of doing this while his opponents are still reacting to the fact that he changed stances.

It’s something that you have to put a lot of mileage into the character to comprehend. So when you see Angry Bird’s usage of Zeku, you have to think that while he may be mid tier at best, he looks top tier in the right hands.

Split Wins

If the only thing you can chide him for is where his two tournament wins happened, it’s still a harder argument to compel people not to think he’s capable. Taking UFA over Problem X and Luffy makes you wonder. Yes, Problem X was definitely experimenting with G, and already safely within Capcom Cup to make him care too much. But the wins he accumulated, showing his ability to change between Akuma and Zeku when needed shows his mental acumen on how to approach individual matches with a fresh mind.

But then to turn around and do it again at EGX in the EU Regional Finals, with the same three European killers of Phenom, Problem X, and Luffy in the bracket? It’s hard to view Angry Bird as a fluke.

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The Tale of the Characters

If I were to find a fault with Angry Bird, it’s that people know Akuma by now. Tokido’s made sure of that. If he hasn’t, there’s players like Samurai and Haitani who have done so. If he thinks he’s going to level people based on his Akuma, he may be wrong.

This may force him to play Zeku mainly within Capcom Cup. We know he’s good with him, but is he good enough to win at least five times to take Capcom Cup? This is the ultimate test, and it could very well be one he’s not up for yet.

sfv old zeku standing

Final Thoughts

He is the greenest rookie in this tournament. But he’s made enough heads turn for many people to call him their dark horse pick, including the likes of Fuudo.

While I put my money on Big Bird, I could’ve literally put it on the wrong bird. His Zeku is far better than anyone could’ve thought. Even GamerBee — who has RB to train with in Taiwan — struggled to find an answer for him. That character unfamiliarity could come into play in his first round with Tokido. If he survives his first test, then there’s no reason he can’t take the whole damn thing.


CAPCOM CUP 2018 ANALYSIS SERIES

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!