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Street Fighter 6 at Defend The North 2023: Caba Records Incredible Win

Femi Famutimi
3 min

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Street Fighter 6 at Defend The North 2023: Caba Records Incredible Win
Twitter/Defend the North
It was an all Dominican Republic affair in Grand Final with the country showing why they are the best in Street Fighter 6 right now

The Dominican Republic has always been a powerhouse on the Street Fighter scene. However, it was with the emergence of MenaRD back in 2017 that people really started to take notice of the small nation and their potential in the game. 

By the end of Street Fighter V, they were comfortably considered perhaps the strongest country bar Japan in the game, and they have started Street Fighter 6 without slowing down, as this tournament proved. Caba was the winner, defeating his fellow countryman and the only two-time Capcom Cup winner, MenaRD, after a reset to take how his first major victory in Street Fighter 6

MenaRD already has CEO 2023 in the bag and will be aiming for an Evo win, and with how he is playing, that is very possible. 

Top 8 At Defend The North 2023

MenaRD looked unstoppable on his way to Grand Final, defeating both PortaJon and Space Boy 3-0 to make it to Grand Final on Winners' side. He used Blanka to great effect against PortaJon before matching Space Boy's Luke and winning the mirror match. Against Caba, we saw for the first time possible cracks in MenaRD's game. It made sense seeing as he plays Caba all the time, and the two are great friends. If there was anyone who could stop Mena, it was always going to be Caba, and their paths to Grand Final was somewhat similar even though Caba was coming from Losers' side. 

There, Caba went on a rampage, defeating Teiga and LegendaryyPred 3-0 before sweating against NoNeedToTalk, whose Lily was a massive headache for opponents. However, Caba was able to overcome while in Losers' Final against Space Boy; he showed his knowledge of the match-up against Luke and was able to exploit some of Luke's shortcomings to make his way to Grand Finals. 

Caba's game featured a lot of blocking and perfect Sonic Booms, and then the occasional Drive Rush into an overhead punch. He also had the timing and spacing of his Flash Kicks down pat. This meant he was able to punish opponents standing in the wrong place. 

He used this to great effect against Mena, throwing booms and forcing burnout on numerous occasions. He would then sniff out any whiffs from Mena and punish them accordingly. It was the perfect Guile play, and it is telling that the character that gave him the most problem was Lily. This was mainly because Lily can get past fireballs if she has wind stocked and does her EX Condor Spire. This meant Caba had to do a lot of Drive Reversals to deny Lily plus frames. 

Caba's win is a big deal and cements the Dominican Republic as perhaps the best region right now. We will certainly know better at Evo when they come up against the Japanese and more powerful opponents.

In an interview he did after his win, Caba told IFCYipes that he is grateful to still be able to compete and that MenaRD really helped not only to put the Dominican Republic on the map in terms of the FGC but also to give them the hunger and confidence to compete at the highest levels. 

It will be interesting to see what else this phenomenal player will be able to achieve in this game.

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