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Capcom Pro Tour US/Canada West: Snake Eyez Takes Zangief To Capcom Cup

Femi Famutimi
5 min

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Capcom Pro Tour North America West:
The first player from the United States has qualified for Capcom Cup in what many would say is an unbelievable turn of events

The Capcom Pro Tour online series continued with the US/Canada West tournament and Snake Eyez  was the winner after forcing the reset and winning the second set 3-0 to take Zangief— yes, you heard that right, Zangief will now be going to Capcom Cup. 

The Top 8 was a strong affair as there were so many great players including JB, Nephew, and Samurai. 

Top 8 For US/Canada West

Top 8 started with a very common match-up— Ken vs JP with two of the game's most powerful characters facing each other again. ChrisCCH as one of the favorites for the tournament decided to go with Ken with one of the veterans of the FGC, Reynald using the JP. Chris started really well, racing into a 2-game lead before Reynald began to adapt and eventually went on to do the reverse 3-0 and take the set 3-2, sending ChrisCCH to Losers' and perhaps giving Chris more reason to hate JP.

The next match was a mouth-watering prospect with Snake Eyez against JB. Snake Eyez is one of the most celebrated players on the globe especially because of his use of Zangief. Zangief is easily one of the lower characters down on the tier list, but Snake Eyez makes him really viable. Against JB's Rashid, he faced a player who is great in coming out clutch, but Snake Eyez is not considered the best Zangief in the world for nothing and he was able to take the set 3-1 to move Zangief to Winners' Final making it one of the few times we will get to see a Zangief in the top 3 of a tournament. 

The Losers' side of things was next and YJK was the first to bite the dust as he lost to Samurai 3-2 in a very close match while the Nephew vs Speekicks match was a Juri mirror with Nephew as the favorite and he did not disappoint taking the set 3-0.

Samurai's run came to an end in the hands of JB in another really, really close set. JB had initially gone ahead by two games, but Samurai was very impressive to get it back to 2-2 including a very interesting interaction at the end of a round where Samurai with so little life left used all his drive meter on two Drive Rushes and an unexpected overhead to kill JB with the time running close to its end. But, JB eventually prevailed and got to survive in the bracket.

ChrisCCH was up against Nephew next and Nephew was the one who prevailed in yet another close set which ended 3-2.

Nephew was up against JB next for a chance to move on to get into Losers' final and he was the winner again winning JB 3-1. Joining him was Snake Eyez who had lost in the Winners' final against Reynald. The Zangief/JP match-up is not a great one for the Red cyclone, and this was on full display in this set with Reynald winning 3-0 and Snake Eyez unable to do anything about it. 

Losers' Final was a runback between Snake Eyez and Nephew. Snake Eyez had sent Nephew to Losers in top 16 and getting another chance was the best Nephew could ask for. But it seemed nothing changed as Snake Eyez was able to win to get his own runback against Reynald. Nephew was unlucky because he took a game back and was close to leveling the set with a final interaction where he and Zangief were both in burnout and Nephew used Juri's level one super in a bid to chip Snake Eyez out, but at the last moment, Snake Eyez got out of burnout and was able to block successfully and win the round and also the set. 

In the Grand Final which Snake Eyez won, Reynald alternated between zoning and rushdown, but it seemed like Snake Eyez had adapted and was able to force a reset winning it 3-2. At this point, Reynald's mental game was gone and Snake Eyez was in his head. In the second set, Snake Eyez walked Reynald down and after punishing his Departure with a level two super, Reynald was conditioned to not throw those out  which took so much out of his zoning game. After suffering a 3-0 defeat in Winners' Final, Snake Eyez returned the favor and is the first and probably only Zangief to be in Capcom Cup. 

This win makes the discourse around Zangief's viability really interesting as Snake Eyez's ability to  overcome such an overwhelmingly bad match-up to win will certainly get people talking. Whether this will inspire more Zangief players remains to be seen, but with Snake Eyez's win, there is something for grappler players to study when coming up against a force as powerful as JP. 

Snake Eyez tweeted  saying that he did this for all the low-tier heroes and the reactions to his win have been so fascinating. In  his winners' interview, he said that he would consider entering more tournaments, but also stated that he believes that Zangief needs a little bit of element of surprise to win, so this will also be a consideration whether he will enter more tournaments.

Congratulations Snake Eyez on an incredible achievement. 

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