Southeast Asia’s first ranked Capcom Pro Tour tournament event, the Abuget Cup, took place this past weekend in Jakarta, Indonesia. A lot of homegrown heroes and some of Asia’s finest were in attendance for the AdvanceGuard hosted event. Notable names in attendance were CCG|HumanBomb and Dark Jiewa. The event, sponsored by AdvanceGuard and broadcast by ToughCookieTV not only provided Capcom Pro Tour points to those who placed but also served up a $1500 prize pool. Brackets, as per usual, can be found over at Challonge.This wasn’t a multi-game tournament as the past few weeks have been and, instead, focused strictly on Ultra Street Fighter IV. It warmed the cockles of my heart to see just how the Grand Finals turned out but before all of that some of the better moments to come out of this weekend’s Abuget Cup on this edition of FGC Recap.
Xialong (M.Bison) squared off against Drapoyo (Guile) in some early tournament play that would send the winner on to Top 16. The match-up, usually favorable to Guile, features a Rush Down fighter versus a Zone character. Guile’s Sonic Boom is bad enough, but Bison’s dependence on air mobility to launch into combos can lead to big openings for Guile to take advantage of. Bison isn’t exactly a top-tier character these days when it comes to the scene and it was great to see him played expertly. Drapoyo did what he could but simply did not take advantage of numerous opportunities to punish Bison for his attempts to come down on him. Some more well-placed Flash Kicks or even a few more Air Grabs would have completely turned the tides of battle in his favor. It was a bitter pill to swallow, no doubt, losing on his home turf like that but better luck net time, Drapoyo.
The Road To Victory Is Never Easy
CCG|HumanBomb (Sakura/Poison) made his way to the Loser’s Bracket Finals against Chuan (Guile/Yun). The matchup began with a dominant show of force by Johnny Cheng (HumanBomb) and his fantastic Sakura play. Chuan quickly readjusted and began to take advantage of small openings here and there to push back against the early momentum. It wasn’t long before the match was knotted up at 1-1. HumanBomb quickly takes the lead with a few choice reads finishing up the first round with a fantastic EX combo that sent a clear message. Chuan answered in kind with solid defense and put Cheng’s chances in jeopardy.
HumanBomb’s Poison came out to play soon after forcing the issue. Cheng’s Poison play was nearly perfect against Chuan and back to that Character Select screen we go. It all came down to Yun and Poison for a trip to Winner’s Finals. It seemed, at this point, that Chuan’s nerves got the better of him going for a poorly timed Ultra Combo that gained him zero ground and cost him the match.
Best Friends, Bitter Enemies
Dark Jiewa (Ken) rolled his way through the tournament until he encountered Hong Kong’s own, CCG|HumanBomb (Ryu/Poison/Sakura). We begin things with a truly classic matchup of sparring partners, best friends, and eternal rivals: Ken and Ryu. Dark Jiewa got the train rolling with some really tactical Ken play finishing the first round with a beautiful Ultra Combo Shinryuken. Chuan, no slouch as a Ryu player as he returned to one of his earlier characters, fired back with some great positioning and a LK finish to tie up the first match. It was here that Jiewa showcased why he had been steamrolling everyone else in the tournament up to this point. A gorgeous EX Tatsu dropped him in over a zoning attempt by Ryu to launch directly into a Fierce Uppercut. A bit of back and forth lead to a crucial sequence in which Jiewa lands an EX Tatsumaki into a series of crouching jabs followed by that classic Hadouken to the grill. Playing footsie is a part of the entire meta of USF4 but when it comes to Ryu knowing how to make use of those fireballs is critical. Game 1 to Dark Jiewa.
It was not surprising to see Cheng switch over to Poison after the thorough beating he took prior. It was, however, surprising to see just how ineffective HumanBomb’s Poison play was against Jiewa. So many Fierce Uppercuts got through and wrecked the Hope of Hong Kong’s nerves. It didn’t take long for Johnny Cheng to find himself in a 0-2 hole and looking at 2nd place. This angered HumanBomb it seemed and he was primed for detonation. He deliberated for a few minutes, calmed himself and switched to Sakura to try and keep Jiewa from running away with the Grand Finals and 128 Capcom Pro Tour points. Jiewa seemed unprepared for the onslaught of combos and mix-ups HumanBomb threw his way and the deficit was reduced to 2-1.
Dark Jiewa may have been surprised that second third set by Cheng but the same could not be said for the final one. Some great back and forth between Jiewa and HumanBomb commenced but, ultimately, smarter play won out over Sakura’s go-for-broke approach. Dropped combos turned the tables and left Jiewa with victory within his clutches. He had a life lead and his opponent had just spent his entire meter going in on a failed combo. He flutters over Sakura’s head with an EX Tatsu into a low kick that gets things rolling again. Cheng retreats but can’t get away as Jiewa tags him with the very last frame of that Fierce Shoryuken. He was, as commentator CameraMan spouted, “Too Stronk Right Now!” and moved in for the kill. HumanBomb launched one last attempt at relevance, dropping yet another combo and leaving himself open for the deathblow. So ended Abuget Cup 2015 with Dark Jiewa taking the top spot and 128 Capcom Pro Tour points!
That’s it from Jakarta, Indonesia this week folks. Some strong play all around but it seemed few could stand the fury of Dark Jiewa’s Ken. Shoutouts to CameraMan for the hype commentary for the duration and to ToughCookieTV for broadcasting the tournament for everyone. The Capcom Pro Tour season is off to a good start. Final Round 18 is just around the corner on March 20th but before that?
The SXSW Fighters Invitational with 16 killers all invited to see who’s the top dog. It’s a big Evil Genius heavy on the invite list but should still provide a LOT of entertainment for that many heavy hitters in one place. Austin, TX will be the home of hype this coming weekend. Notable names in attendance include Snakeyez, PR Balrog, kBrad, Ricky Ortiz, Momochi, Daigo, Gamerbee, Ryan Hart, Kazunoko, Nuckledu, Xian, Sanford Kelly and, of course, Justin Wong. Local Scrublord, Wong fanboy and lover of all things FGC, Jeff Pannell, will fill the Nation in on the happenings this coming weekend as always.