RISE|Caba has had an interesting year this year. One of three Dominicans who qualified for Capcom Cup outright (with one of them having to withdraw due to visa issues), he has helped to prove that the burgeoning Latin and South American scenes have amazing players who are capable of competing with the best in the world.
Now the question is, in his first foray into Capcom Cup, will Caba become the second Dominican to win the biggest event of the year?
One of the strongest things about Caba’s gameplay is his control of the pace of the match. While you see a lot of aggression at times with NuckleDu’s Guile, and Daigo being on the other end of the spectrum playing far more patiently overall, Caba lies somewhere in the middle.
While both have had strong doses of success with their play, they often can be figured out easily and countered. This forces NuckleDu to rely on counter picks in order to keep alive in a match, and can actually see Daigo crumble more. Caba’s mixture of play allows him to stay solidly in control throughout the match, giving all players issues in dealing with him.
Strongest Year Yet
And this play has made Caba rise to the top. While he has done a great deal in his home region — three ranking event wins speak for themselves — his international play has proven the fact that he is just as solid as any other player on the Tour. Getting seventh at Evo was already a strong answer to the question of how good he truly is. But to further prove his point, his first two tournaments following Evo sent him to Asia, where he made top 8 in both TWFighter Major and Esports Festival Hong Kong: the former of which saw him finish third, losing only to the top 2 of Tokido and Sako.
Out of the tournaments he attended, he only finished outside of top 8 three times. This level of consistency is hard to pull off, especially when you’re just truly getting your feet wet in the international circuit. For Caba to do this shows that he is for real.
The problem that I worry about is how much would have to go right for him to take it all. For him to do this will require him to dodge some major killers early. Right out of his second match, should he defeat Xian, he’ll likely be required to take on another Ibuki in Fujimura: the best Ibuki in the game today. While he has to worry about Sako and Tokido far later, to even get there will require him to face a virtual murderer’s row of characters he’s struggled with in Ibuki and Menat before even get to those demons as a possible Winners Finals.
For me, I feel like he’s for real, and could easily dance his way through the bracket to top 8. All bets are off there. I’m sure Caba is on the grind and is probably one of the most hungry players to prove himself at the moment. He could very well give us all a surprise when he goes up against the players who have been the most problematic for him. But at face value, top 8 could very well be the furthest he goes.
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