No one could have been happier when Abigail was released than Atlas Bear|StormKUBO. Famously making his mark within Ultra Street Fighter IV as a Hugo main, he struggled to find his footing in the competitive landscape of Street Fighter V with Alex.
People shouldn’t be surprised at his success this season, after his stunning performances at Capcom Cup Last Chance Qualifier last year and Evo Japan. So will he be able to maul his way through the bracket in 2018?
One thing that StormKUBO is known for is using big characters with mobility and good buttons. This was evidenced by his early Street Fighter IV pick of Rufus, and his subsequent switch to Hugo. In Street Fighter V, this started with Alex, and then Abigail. While the former in Street Fighter V struggled because of his buttons, Abigail has those in spades.
This is why he has been dangerous. He loves to have long-reaching normals, and good confirms that deal a lot of damage. He has also been heavily innovative in his conversions off of hit confirms, which makes him a very dangerous foe.
He’s also one of the best at making it very hard to get away once he gets the momentum going. Obviously it’s really hard to get out of Abigail’s sweet spot once he’s in it, but StormKUBO finds himself in that spot more often than not. It’s just the mound of experience he has in using the character — and other characters of the like — and how he makes people sweat in his approach.
More Counter-picks to Go Around
While Itazan may have issues with some of the more traditional Abigail counterpicks — Menat, Guile, Rashid to name a few — StormKUBO has dealt with more, primarily due to character unfamiliarity. The most famous example being GamerBee’s usage of Necalli at NorCal Regionals. While some of it makes sense on paper, the V-Skill which could be used to keep Abigail out was not the biggest factor for how GamerBee won this.
More or less, StormKUBO lost a poking game that Abigail should not be losing to Necalli. And more often than not, you will see StormKUBO lose sets you just couldn’t foresee him losing to. Whether it’s unfamiliarity or nerves, somethings going wrong.
Can’t Run Away
What makes this worse is that much like Itazan, StormKUBO doesn’t really have a counter-pick he can bank on. If he were to switch to Alex at all, it would actually be to his detriment to run a far worse character with more liability on mobility than Abigail. Nor would you really expect a surprise counter-pick of one of the top 5 to come out of him, or even the higher tier pick of Bison that Problem X utilizes. This presents problems for any big body player who shows up on the scene.
With all of that said, StormKUBO actually has a better bracket situation than his Abigail counterpart. He faces off against NL first, who has a poor record against Abigails. He also has yet to lose against NL.
The next round could be more difficult. Daigo already has the advantage in picking Guile. Depending on the stubbornness of Punk, he could have the advantage by picking Chun-Li. So while StormKUBO could flirt with a top 8 finish, he may not get there.
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