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Blink Respawn 2023 Street Fighter 6 Results: Kakeru Silences Crowd

Femi Famutimi
7 min

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Blink Respawn 2023 Street Fighter 6 Results
A star-studded top 8 came to an incredible end

Blink Respawn 2023 is the third edition of the tournament held at the Sambil venue on Av. John F. Kennedy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The Street Fighter 6 tournament saw Kakeru as the winner after a domineering win over home crowd favourite, Caba.

Kakeru overcame a very close winners' final losing to Caba, to come back in incredible fashion to win the tournament. 

The top 8 were as follows:

  • 1. Kakeru
  • 2. Caba
  • 3. Gachikun
  • 4. Problem X
  • 5. MenaRD
  • 5. BalrogRD
  • 7. Jimmy_DR
  • 7. EndingWalker

Top 8 Blink Respawned 2023 Street Fighter 6 Recap

The top 8 was an incredible spectacle with the the crowd showing such great support for their hometown talents especially Caba and MenaRD. Caba's tournament might have ended in disappointment, but it is interesting to note how he seemed almost for the first time to be out of the shadow of his friend, MenaRD. 

Mena is currently not in Capcom Cup and is running out of chances to qualify. Meanwhile, Caba is already in Capcom Cup, was also the winner of Defend the North which he won over MenaRD and in this tournament, he was the one on winners' side of top 8 while Mena was in losers' having been sent there by former Evo champion, Problem X

The matches we were privy to were mostly close. For instance, we started with Caba and Gachikun trading blows. Caba, who had up until this point been breezing through the tournament, started very confidently by restricting Gachikun's aerial approaches perfectly. Gachikun, to his credit was not fazed and kept jumping as this is one of the most effective strategies with Rashid, who was his character of choice. Caba, with the help of a very vociferous crowd, refused to be pegged by Gachikun. 

The set was very back and forth, but Caba got the all important win to send the crowd into raptures. 

The next set featured Gamers8 Street Fighter 6 Invitational winner, Kakeru, against former Evo champ, Problem X. Kakeru is also not currently in Capcom Cup and only has the regional final for World Warrior, and the Japan online CPT as his opportunities to qualify. This means that the coming Capcom Cup might not feature two of the most exciting players in Mena and Kakeru. 

In this set, however, Kakeru was a consummate professional, defeating Problem X's Marisa with some ease to send him to the lower bracket.

In the lower bracket, Jimmy_DR, who was in top 8 for Blink Respawn for the first time, against BalrogRD, another veteran of the Dominican Republic's fighting game scene. The set was tight, but Jimmy_DR was dropping some combos and optimal opportunities, which gave his opponent a way in, and it would ultimately cost him the tie. 

The final set of the first round of games was mouth-watering on paper as EndingWalker is a source of endless fascination for the FGC, and up against the two-time Capcom Cup champion, MenaRD, it was supposed to be a very interesting set. 

Unfortunately, it turned out to be a tad anticlimactic as EndingWalker had no answers for Mena's offensive pressure. EndingWalker's decision not to use his customary Ryu might raise questions as to his plans for characters in the near future, but after a very good showing, EndingWalker was out. 

In the second round of matches, Problem X had no problem whatsoever against BalrogRD and took that set 3-0. But, the match between Gachikun and MenaRD could have been a grand final of any top tier tournament and it was a set that didn't disappoint. Mena abstained from using Blanka, sticking with Luke for the entire top 8 and it was a good decision as Luke's damage against Rashid was quite good. Luke also had the tools to deal with a lot of Rashid's pressure. In the match itself, the two players were adapting to one another on the fly with Gachikun looking to really put Mena under pressure with his level 2 super, Ysaar, while Mena's ability to confirm and consistently keep up the damage put the players at evens. 

The set went down to the last game, last round. Unfortunately for Mena, he gambled on a wakeup level 3 super and Gachikun jumped over it and punished. Just like that, MenaRD was out. Gachikun's next assignment was to take on Problem X which was another very close set. Gachikun managed to make it through. 

Over in winners' final, Caba won Kakeru and the crowd was hype. Caba was able to place his Sonic Booms perfectly and also was adept at knowing when to step back and when to pressure relentlessly. Kakeru wasn't doing badly either as he varied his approach and limited his jumps which were being sniped out. Kakeru used a lot of crouching medium kick to catch Caba's  drive rush. All of this information was very important for the grand final. 

Kakeru defeated  Gachikun and got his run back against Caba. 

Grand Final At Blink Respawn 2023 Street Fighter 6

The home crowd was ecstatic at the thought of their countryman winning the tournament, but Kakeru had other plans. The Kakeru that came up against Caba in grand final was very different from the man that lost earlier. If you recall, Kakeru and Caba actually have history as they squared up against each other at Evo 2022 in this legendary set and that insane ending. 

Kakeru became more wary of using teleports as Caba was cancelling them with flash kicks. He also used level 1 super for JP as a deterrant to drive rush from Caba. As the set went on, Kakeru also started getting the all important jump ins. It seemed he had gotten used to the timing of Caba's sonic booms and he used this to his advantage. In the penultimate round, he got three jump ins with no resistance and while Caba was able to win a round to stave off checkmate, Kakeru skillfully maneuvered around all Caba's options. Even more importantly, Kakeru was able to silence the home support who fell silent as he systematically broke down their favourite. 

Kakeru got a resounding 6-0 overall victory, ensuring that Caba didn't get a sniff and making sure the home support had nothing to cheer for. With that, he was able to get the win and can now go home knowing he has defeated Angrybird on Middle Eastern soil and Caba in the Dominican Republic. 

Start from 10:00:00

Kakeru looked absolutely shattered after his win, but was happy with the result. Now he can focus on giving his all to make it to Capcom Cup. 

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