Road Fighter V Competitor Wins 3 Tournaments on 3 Continents in 3 Weeks

“Bonchan” (correct) from Xiaobao of Taiwan, who he defeated in the grand finals of Saigon Cup. Picture via the Saigon FGC Fb web site.

Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi is on a tear in the Road Fighter V local community, earning a few straight victories at the most latest Capcom Pro Tour events. When an extraordinary feat on its very own, the Japanese competitor did so above just a few months at events in Europe, Australia and Asia, employing a character quite a few of his contemporaries have given up on.

Bonchan’s string of wins commenced the weekend of Could six at The Colosseum, an Italian combating activity occasion featuring some of the most effective players from Europe as nicely as noteworthy readers from across the globe. Next a disappointing twenty fifth location complete at DreamHack Austin just a week beforehand, Bonchan tore by way of The Colosseum’s Road Fighter V bracket, demolishing everybody who stood in his way with Charlie Nash. His warpath involved close to-best victories above players like Algerian-born Emirati competitor Adel “Big Bird” Anouche and Li-wei “Oil King” Lin of Taiwan, both equally of whom are regarded for mind-boggling shows of their very own.

A week later on, Bonchan traveled to Struggle Arena Melbourne (the web-site of Daigo Umehara’s uncomfortable self-very own), an arguably fiercer occasion thanks to Australia’s proximity to the dominant Asian nations. The finals bracket observed Bonchan face off from Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee and Atsushi “yukadon” Fujimura early on, noteworthy for the simple fact they experienced formerly put 1st and 3rd respectively at Evo 2016 with Nash but have because still left him at the rear of in search of new figures. Bonchan once again persevered, fending off South Korean upstart Hyung-suk “Verloren” Kong to get paid his second straight victory in as quite a few months.

Bonchan performed in Vietnam on Could 20. Not like The Colosseum and Struggle Arena Melbourne, Saigon Cup showcased a substantial Chinese presence. A lot of of those people players hardly ever go away their residence state to contend. Even though he experienced a significantly more durable time, Bonchan was once again ready to defeat Oil King’s potent Rashid, squeak past countryman Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi, and eventually sweep Taiwanese sleeper Sian-he “Xiaobao” Jung, ending the event with a best.

“Honestly it feels unreal even to me,” Bonchan advised me of his victory tour. “I still have not nonetheless been ready to absolutely grasp the simple fact that I won a few tournaments in a row. I believe I got tremendous fortunate, to be straightforward.”

Humble as he may well be, Bonchan has extensive been deemed just one of the most effective combating activity players in the earth, stretching back again to the early days of Road Fighter IV. But even the most effective opponents can be shaken by a frenetic travel schedule. This helps make grabbing slumber each time you can and (for far better or even worse) preserving power beverages handy a ought to, Bonchan claimed.

“I believe keeping your physical condition is the most essential thing in traveling every week,” he ongoing. “No make a difference how significantly you have properly trained, if you are exhausted or jetlagged in the event you can’t accomplish nicely.”

As a sponsored player, Bonchan’s possibilities to travel have amplified immensely. He’s sponsored by Purple Bull, which, complete disclosure, operates an esports web-site that I from time to time produce for. Bonchan claims the sponsorship aided him travel the earth and that, prior to having it, he was only ready to travel outside the house his indigenous Japan probably four occasions a calendar year. His new, busier travel schedule has aided him, since having about to tournaments has turn out to be extra essential thanks to the Capcom Pro Tour. The throughout the world circuit incentivizes players to check out as quite a few events as feasible to qualify for the close-of-calendar year Capcom Cup and its $250,000 prize pool.

Bonchan unsuccessful to qualify for the Capcom Cup in 2016. “Last calendar year, I struggled a lot and I felt that I let down a lot of men and women that guidance me,” he claimed. “Despite my bad success, extra than 200 men and women replied to my tweet declaring that they would maintain supporting me even so. This calendar year, I made the decision that no make a difference what, I will make it to Capcom Cup, and I have designed quite a active schedule traveling virtually almost everywhere.”

A lot of attribute Bonchan’s struggles to his devotion to Nash, the returning character that inundated the 1st calendar year of Road Fighter V competition. In an exertion to make the greater part of the character’s moveset viable for competitive enjoy, Capcom’s time two balance modifications weakened Nash overall by kneecapping his hit-and-run offense and modifying his regular assault hitboxes, generating them extra very easily counterable.. Subsequent patches have nonetheless to correct the character, as far as the competitive local community is concerned.

Bonchan does not care. He is sticking with Nash. “Even however Nash got nerfed poorly, it would be from my plan to improve figures so very easily,” he claimed. “I really do not believe Nash is unviable, but I did not believe it was feasible for me to get a important with him. It unquestionably will take a lot of work and exertion to key him, however. I want to have my very own model of enjoy as a specialist player. And I believe since Road Fighter V is a very simple activity, it will take a lot of time to acquire your very own playstyle and be ready to show it in tournaments.”

Bonchan strategies to make the swap to Sagat (his Road Fighter IV key) need to he ever join the Road Fighter V cast. “He is particular to me,” he extra.

The factors Bonchan has attained in direction of qualifying for Capcom Cup will pay for him a pair months off—after finishing Purple Bull Kumite in Paris, France this coming weekend. The invitational will function competition in the form of his Purple Bull teammates Olivier “Luffy” Hay and Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis, as nicely as global competition like China’s Zhuo-jun “Xiaohai” Zeng, Arman “Phenom” Hanjani of Norway, and Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez.

Bonchan somehow strategies to squeeze some significantly-wanted rest among Purple Bull Kumite and his ongoing series of road trips by way of Japan, generating appearances in the country’s quite a few prefectures in hopes that he can encourage regional Road Fighter V communities that may well be dwindling due to the game’s deficiency of an arcade release.

“This is my way of declaring ‘thank you’ to those people who’ve supported me,” Bonchan concluded, “even when I was not carrying out nicely.”

Ian Walker is a combating activity pro and freelance writer. You can find him on Twitter at @iantothemax

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