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Street Fighter League Japan Day 3 Recap

Femi Famutimi
8 min

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Street Fighter League Japan Day 3 Recap
The league is beginning to take shape

Week 3 of Street Fighter League Japan is now concluded and we are beginning to get an idea of who is strong and who might need to really improve over the next several game days to have a shot of qualifying for the 2nd stage. 

This week's round of fixtures was important because it is the last time the league will have matches until after Evo. Evo, interestingly will be the first event to kick of the Capcom Pro Tour for 2023. This is fascinating and somewhat fitting as usually there were several CPT events before Evo rolled around, but with the release of Street Fighter 6 coming in June, it seems right that Evo should be the event to start the CPT season especially considering the huge financial payoff at the end of the season. 

This week's fixtures featured three matches as usual:

  • Good 8 Squad vs Gyogun
  • Nagoya Oja Body Star vs Team iXA
  • Detonation FocusMe vs Saishunkan Sol Kumamoto

Good 8 Squad continued with their good form and won against Gyogun who struggled last time around and were unable to find a win again against the winners of last season's league and also winners of the SFL Championship. 

Good 8 Squad VS Gyogun


The matches started with Evo winner in 2022, Kawano stepping up to the plate with his Luke using Modern controls. It had been said that Kawano was really working hard with this character and this is the first time we got to see it on any big stage. He was up against Mizuha who was using Cammy. Mizuha's typical rushdown style was the winner of the day as Kawano was unable to keep up. He later said that his Luke is still a work in process and that he would still need a couple of months to become proficient with the character. 

The next match featured the hero of Good 8 Squad in the last Game, Tachikawa who also uses Luke on Modern controls and was absolutely dominant when Good 8 Squad went up against Team Cyclops. He was up against Machabo who is generally a very good source of points for his team. His Ken, however, was no match for Tachikawa who said that he considered this match as a chance to get revenge for Kawano who is his student in the game. 

Tachikawa's win meant that the two teams went into the final game tied for points. Gachikun stepped up against Moke who's Chun li is really, really impressive. This was a match-up that is believed not to favour Manon who was Gachikun's character of choice mostly because Chun li has so many ways to pressure Manon and is able deal with the threat of her command grab. The first game between the two saw Moke absolutely destroy Gachikun and there were fears that Gachikun would not be able to survive. Gachikun took a second to take stock before coming back into the match. He was a lot more composed and was able to use Manon's command grabs to pummel Chun li into submission. The highlight of the set was probably Gachikun landing two command grabs back-to-back to finish things off. 

This win sees Good 8 Squad sit 3rd on the table after two games which have been closely fought victories. 

Nagoya Oja Body Star vs Team iXA


The second match saw Nagoya Oja Body Star who were missing Daigo who decided to sit out this year's league, and Fuudo who decided to join up with Team Detonation FocusMe, try to get their first points of the season and thanks to a great performance of their players, they were able to pull it off. The win took them all the way up to 6th place and 10 points clear of the drop zone. Akira who is clearly the star of the team went first and got a win before defeat for Oniki at the hands of ACQUA took the match to the final game to decide who would get the win. It was time for Kei.B to lend his immense experience against StormKUBO. The latter was unable to handle Kei.B's JP and with this loss, you start to get the sense that Honda does not have a great time versus JP

Detonation FocusMe vs Saishunkan Sol Kumamoto


Saishunkan Sol Kumamoto emerged as one of the top teams of the league last season and a big reason for that seems to be the addition of Higuchi who joined from Shinobism and Shuto who joined sometime in 2022. The two have been instrumental in making Saishunkan Sol one of the favorites for SFL JP. Here they once again showed their value to the team racking up some really valuable points along with Nemo who also won his game to put them in 2nd place behind FAV Gaming on the table. 

On the other side of things, Detonation FocusMe has not had the best time of it. Last time around, they lost with John Takeuchi taking the anchor spot and having his Jamie utterly destroyed by Yamamoto's Dee Jay to leave that game without any points whatsoever. John Takeuchi started for them this time but was once again dispatched in the first match against Higuchi who's fireball game was impossible to deal with. Next up was Nauman who is now using Ken, but was still unable to do anything against Nemo's who's JP is very refined and is definitely used to the Ken match-up.

The final game saw Fuudo try to save them picking Dhalsim which was a surprise as everyone was expecting to see Dee Jay. But seeing as he lost last time, it made sense that he would try his hands at someone else. The problem was who he was up against. Shuto is interesting and is one of those players who only a few years ago was just another of the up-and-comers in Japan, but something must have happened as he suddenly became a terror with his Urien in Street Fighter V narrowly missing out on Capcom Cup and also in SFL JP 2022. He has started Street Fighter 6 in amazing form and is one of the players that has made people reconsider Marisa as a top tier chatracter (along with Big Bird). His use of Modern controls is another talking point as he has somehow made it past the drawbacks of that control scheme to give his Marisa such great effectiveness. 

Shuto raced to a two-game lead and we were wondering if we were about to witness the fastest beatdown in Street Fighter League history. But, Fuudo, the veteran that he is, adapted and suddenly was getting hits in against Marisa. He parried, used Dhalsim's floaty jump to his advantage, used teleport as some sort of weird backdash to get out of Marisa's range and suddenly he had tied up the set 2-2. For the third game, Shuto switched to Classic controls, something he had said he would do against only Dhalsim, the Marisa mirror, and Manon. His switch  was successful and he was able to take all the points. 

This leaves Detonation  FocusMe without any points and in danger of not making it to the second stage. 

FAV Gaming are still sitting imperiously at the top and with a break now for Evo, the players have a breather to use to reflect and prepare for the next match day which promises a lot of action and hype. 

The match to look forward to the most is Saishunkan Sol vs FAV Gaming pitting the top of the table with the second. It will be interesting to see who is able to take it. 

The league will resume on the 11th of August 2023.

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