Bonchan has had sort of a rocky year. Able to take two ranking events and a Premier event in 2017, he was unable to come close to that sort of success this year. While there are certainly many factors that could be at play, this makes people doubt his abilities in 2018. Regardless of that, he was able to find his way into Capcom Cup yet again… Will he make up for lost time this weekend?
Bonchan has been known for his stellar Nash play since 2016. He was still able to ride the character through much of 2017, while also throwing out a Karin to take care of his worst match-ups.
But we all knew what was coming late in the year: the return of Sagat, his long-time main. While we’ve seen very few instances of him bringing out the character — outside of TWFighter Major — there have been hints on social media that Bonchan may decide to ride Sagat through Capcom Cup.
And if he does, it’ll be a risky proposition, but one he could muster. Everyone expects Nash or Karin at this point from him. But his Sagat is definitely a force to be reckoned with, playing him as optimal as you can. He has great usage of his V-Skill for big bursts of damage when he gets the chance. He does great at zoning while taking care of his bad ranges with good reads into kara-cancelled DPs and resetting the situation with yet another V-Skill. This shows that he may be playing the character right, but just needs to give himself opportunities to throw him into the wild to see what happens.
But the issue lies in how dominant he became in 2017 and the lack of that same success in 2018. While a lot of late 2018’s issues could be attributed to the character crisis caused by Sagat’s release, it definitely can’t be attributed to his early results. In fact, he has done equally as well — if not better — after Evo than before it.
In fact, so rare are the times that anyone not qualified for Capcom Cup finishes above him in the ranks that you have to realize that Bonchan is still on pace with everyone else at the highest levels. The problem is, he still has yet to reach the level it takes to capture something like Evo or Capcom Cup.
For Bonchan, all is going to depend on whether he sticks to his guns and plays Sagat throughout the bracket. In fact, I think this is the gamble he needs to take to stand a chance. People have always prepared as though he could bring the King out at any time since the character released, only to been met with a Karin or Nash that they’re more than prepared to dispatch.
To throw himself fully into Sagat at this tournament would probably rattle them. Especially so if Bonchan has new tech or approaches with Sagat that people would never have thought to prepare for. This will leave people scrambling to find an answer to him: provided he dances around the likes of Sako, Justin Wong, or any other player/character that deals with heavy zoners well.
If he blinks and we see him go back to Karin or Nash, I fear it’s lights out for him.
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