September 26, 2021

Street Fighter League: Pro-JP 2021 Pre-Season

Table of Contents

Capcom ran a pre-seaon for the 2021 Street Fighter League: Pro-JP. It was streamed on a paid site, about $20 for a ticket for both days. I watched it, and took some notes.

1 2021-09-25 Day 1

There was acutally a streamed show last night about this, but I didn't have the time to watch it.

This pre-season stuff is streamed on a pay site,, which is what Capcom used for the finals last time too.

They opened with an explanation of the rules this year, how there is a home and away team setup. There are four players on each team, but three matches in each team battle (so one person sits out.) The first two games are worth 1 point, the last game is worth 2 points, so a tie in points is possible. No character bans this time around.

For the pre-season (September 25th and 26th) there are four single elimination BO3s (blocks A-D). The people that make it out of their block on Day 1 move on to Day 2 for a 8 person BO3 double elimination tournament.

Group A is Pugera vs. Ryusei, Momochi vs. Shuto, Mago vs. Itazan, Akira vs. Daigo. Group B is Machabo vs. Higuchi, Fuudo vs. Tokido, MOV vs. NISHIKIN, Takeuchi John vs. Kichipa. Group C is YHC-Mochi vs. Mizuha, Gachi-kun vs. Oniki, Bon-chan vs. Ohtani, Yanai vs. Naoman. Group D is Kawano vs. sako, Moke vs. Dogura, Nemo vs. Fujimura, Tachikawa vs. Moruto.

Interesting, on the SFL JP Site, they say that they have put together a guide for people who are new to fighting games that explains everything you need to know. That sounds interesting - I wonder if they have something in English? I also wonder if it is a guide for learning how to play, or a guide for learning how to watch and enjoy: those are two different (though related!) things.

They went all out and have little video intro clips for each player, and some pre-fight chat from them. I like that a lot. The first match is Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Ryusei (VS2 VT1).

In his pre-match Bon-chan says that he's been losing to sako-san this year and he wanted some revenge for that, but since they are on the same team he can't do that. But in the pre-season he can get that win, because you know he's the team leader. They gave Bon-chan the nickname "The Executioner of Justice" - these nicknames are all great. Ohtani (The Talent of Ohyama - the part of Japan that he and also Tachikawa are from) says that he prepared for all characters in SFL and will win for his team.

They nick-named Yanai "The Young Motivated President", and he talked about how if you win here you have a good chance to win the SFL so he said he'd do his best. They called Nauman "The Cherry Blossom Front", he wants to do well for himself and for his team.

In Kawano's interview ("The vanguard of the New Generation") he says there is more pressure in an individual tournament than a team one, and that he wants to play without regard at all to his teammates which he thinks will lead to better results. sako ("The Strongest Halberd" - really guys? These are great.) says when he heard that you get points for winning the pre-season he got super motivated, and he's planning to beat everyone to win it.

Moke is the "Hero of Sunshine" - he was the team Captain of the Moke Sunshin team in the last SFL - wants use this as a chance to see how far he's come. Dogura's "Devilishly Victorious" and is confident he can go far. The addition of points for 1st and 2nd place really helps motivation to contribute for the team.

Nemo is the "Violence Emperor" - a nickname going back to previous JP SFL seasons - he was planning to use Oro, but when he heard the winning team would get leaugue points he decided he had to go all out. Fujimura is the "Master of Lethality" and the league points are also a big motivator.

Tachikawa is the "Comeback Monk"? Heh, ok. He was sponsored with DNG for Street Fighter two years back, then started playing a lot of DBFZ and his contract ended. When this DNG team started up, he was a natural place to turn to. The points are a nice bonus for him, and he says even though everyone thinks Itabashi Zangief is the leader on the team, he thinks he is the leader and thinks he has the best chance to get a point for the team. The commentary team also talked about the rivarly on the team between Tachikawa and Takeuchi John. Moruto's nickname is "The Invulnerable Dan" (ok, actually the "strongest god bullet" where bullet is read as Dan so make up your own interpretation). He thinks his bracket is tough, but he's got strong motivation and really wants to contribute to the team.

Block Match Result Comments
A Rnd 1 Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Ryusei (Urien VS2 VT1) 2-0 Pugera made great use of TAP to shut down Ryusei's fireballs.
A Rnd 1 Momochi (Akira VS2 VT1) vs. Shuuto (Urien VS2 VT1) 0-2 Momochi came out hard with a 1st round P, but lost the 1st game. Nice V-Shift punish by Shuuto to take a round.
A Rnd 1 Akira (Cammy VS2 VT1) vs. Daigo (Guile VS2 VT1) 2-1 Daigo missed two flash kicks early on (and Akira a dive kick). Nerves maybe. Close, but Daigo takes game 1. Akira took game 2 handily, last game came down to final round but Daigo lost in a close one.
A Rnd 1 Mago (Cammy VS2 VT1) vs. Itazan (Abigail VS1 VT2) 2-1 Mago took the first game with two close rounds, Itazan came back to take game 2 in 2 rounds. Mago switches to Akira (VS2 VT1), used a dirty mix to take the 1st round, then slowly won the 2nd to take 1.
A Rnd 2 Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Shuuto (Urien VS2 VT1) 2-1 Shuuto made really good use of Aegis to take the first game, Pugera had better pressure and took the 2nd. Pugera had a crazy VS2 into CA sequence to punish Urien's VS in response. Pugera took it.
A Rnd 2 Mago (Akira VS2 VT1) vs. Akira (Cammy VS2 VT1) 2-1 Good matches, Akira took the 1st game, Mago came back to take the second game. Last game went to final round, Mago taking it.
B Rnd 1 Machabo (Cammy VS2 VT2) vs. Higuchi (Guile VS2 VT1) 2-1 First game was close, Higuchi took it, in the second game Machabo chipped Higuchi out. Last game was super close, Machabo won punishing a missed confirm.
B Rnd 1 Fuudo (Poison VS2 VT1) vs. Tokido (Urien VS1 VT1) 1-2 Fuudo made good use of V Shift and took the first game. Tokido wins the second, and the final game went down to the final round with Tokido taking it.
B Rnd 1 MOV (Chun-Li VS1 VT2) vs. NISHIKIN (Blanka VS1 VT2) 2-0 MOV takes game 1, and then game 2. Both games went to the final round, but we got a 2-0 for the first time in a while!
B Rnd 1 Takeuchi John (Cody VS1 VT2) vs. Kichipa (Zangief VS1 VT1) 2-0 Takeuchi John gets a perfect in the 2nd round, and corners Kichipa again to win it. He took the second game too, leaving me with no further true grapplers to cheer for.
B Rnd 2 Machabo (Cammy VS1 VT1) vs. Tokido (Urien VS1 VT1) 0-2 Tokido takes the first game handily, and the second game is close but still a 2-0 Tokido win.
B Rnd 2 MOV (Chun-Li VS1 VT2) vs. Takeuchi John (Rashid VS1 VT2) 0-2 Takeuchi John takes the first game on a chip kill, and the second game 2-0 as well. Man, Rashid is still good.
C Rnd 1 YHC-Mochi (Dhalsim VS1 VT1) vs. Mizuha (Kolin VS1 VT2) 0-2 Mizuha took that pretty quick. Nice to see Dhalsim in action, and glad he'll be in the JP SFL this season.
C Rnd 1 Gachi-kun (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Oniki (Dictator VS2 VT2) 2-1 Oniki's young, but he showed Gachi-kun that isn't a disadvantage taking the first game in 2 rounds. Experience takes back the advantage in Game 2, and continues in the final game with a Perfect and CA for the win.
C Rnd 1 Bon-chan (Sagat VS2 VT1) vs. Ohtani (Akuma VS1 VT1) 2-1 Ohtani takes the first game in a close one, but Bon-chan ties it up. He then goes on to handily win the last game.
C Rnd 1 Yanai (G VS1 VT1) vs. Nauman (Sakura VS2 VT1) 0-2 Nauman took that in two quick 2-0 sets.
C Rnd 2 Mizuha (Kolin VS1 VT2) vs. Gachi-kun (Rashid VS1 VT2) 0-2 Both close games, but Gachi-kun takes it in two. He's got really strong corner control.
C Rnd 2 Bon-chan (Sagat VS2 VT1) vs Nauman (Sakura VS2 VT1) 0-2 Nauman had good control with fast walk speed, some good throw / shimmy sequences. Took it pretty handily, looks like he's playing well.
D Rnd 1 Kawano (Kolin VS1 VT2) vs. sako (Menat VS2 VT2) 1-2 Close matches going to 1-1, in the final game sako won a close first round, then built a big lead in the 2nd to take the win.
D Rnd 1 Moke (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Dogura (Dictator VS1 VT2) 2-0 The first two games both went down to the final round, but Moke took both of those in close contests for the win.
D Rnd 1 Nemo (Urien VS1 VT1) vs. Fujimura (Cammy VS1 VT1) 1-2 Nemo violently takes the first game 2-1, but Fujimura makes the lethal comeback 2-0 for game 2, and repeats it for game 3.
D Rnd 1 Tachikawa (Chun-Li VS1 VT2) vs. Moruto (Dan VS2 VT2) 2-0 Tachikawa takes the first game 2-0, and Moruto switches out to Seth (VS1 VT2) where he does a bit better getting a round, but loses in the end.
D Rnd 2 sako (Seth VS2 VT1) vs. Moke (Rashid VS1 VT2) 1-2 sako comes out with a different character from his first round win, and takes the first game 2-1. Moke takes the second game 2-0, and of course the last game goes to a final round. Moke wins.
D Rnd 2 Fujimura (Cammy VS2 VT1) vs. Tachikawa (Chun-Li VS1 VT2) 1-2 The first game was very close, Tachikawa takes it in the final round. Fujimura takes the 2nd game decisively in 2 rounds, and Tachikawa returns the favor for the win.

Mago and Pugera advance from Block A.

Tokido and Takeuchi John advance from Block B.

Gachi-kun and Nauman advance from Block C.

Moke and Tachikawa advance from Block D.

With 3 pepole from Team DNG making top 8 their team had a really good showing! Very fun matches all around, lots of fun.

2 Day 2

The second day starts from 13:00 again. I had planned on watching the archive from Day 1 in the morning to catch up, but the archive was not available. Lots of people complained on the comments on the video, and after a while the comments section was removed from the video. Sometime after noon, Capcom eSports tweeted that the archive would be available after Day 2 finishes. I guess they weren't prepared for this, but good to them for addressing it. Many people were commenting in the announcement tweets that they want their money back, or are unhappy that they couldn't watch the archive before Day 2 went live (I was one of them.)

They go over the teams and schedule (the full league will start October 5th), other introductory stuff. Day 2 of the pre-season is an 8 person double elimination tournament best of five. The winner will also get two points (one point for runner up) that carries over into the full season, giving a nice advantage to their team. They showed some highlights from Day 1 and went over who got out the pools, etc.

The matches are Pugera vs. Mago, Tokido vs. Takeuchi John, Gachi-kun vs. Nauman, and Moke vs. Tachikawa.

In Pugera's interview, he said that he had to beat two Uriens (Ryusei, Shuuto) and that Urien has been a problem character for him, but the win helped build up his confidence. He's concerned about having to face Mago. Mago's room is full of shelves of Manga. He says he might have some trouble with Pugera, but he really doesn't want to lose to him, and wants to show Pugera that he isn't able to beat Mago.

Tokido says he was able to show the power of his Urien. As for Takeuchi John, there's no way that he will lose. Every time I see his stream setup he's got a weight bench in the background, I keep expecting to see Hollywood RobTV or Logan Sama back there pumping iron. Takeuchi John was glad he was able to play well on Day 1 and get out of pools with Cody and Rashid, he thinks Tokido is the strongest in Top 8 so he'll do his best to beat him and win it all.

I crack up every time I hear Gachi-kun's self-proclaimed nick-name "The Hiroshima Anaconda" (everyone else jokes about it too). He's happy b/c his day 1 matches were tough. His goal is to win Day 2. Nauman said in day 1 he had to play in a way that wasn't too tight to beat Yanai (who he has a bad win percentage against), and was able to beat Bon-chan. He'll do his best to show how he can win in his own way in Day 2. Every time I see Gachi-kun play in his Capcom Cup championship baseball costume, I just think back to the last SFL where everyone made fun of him for that costume saying how nobody uses it and he's like "no way, it's super popular! Everyone loves it!" while everyone laughed at him.

Moke says he was glad to play Dogura, since he's been playing against a lot of Dictator lately, and also he's played a lot of Seth so was ready for sako. He's putting his team (Gyogun - Mago is the captain) on his back for Day 2. Tachikawa says he was super nervous in his first Day 1 match, but was able to win somehow (thanks to the character matchup) and he got lots of practice with Takeuchi John. He predicts a 70% chance to win the whole thing in Day 2.

There was a break between Winners Round 1 and Winners Round 2, Aru and Hameko walked through the "Beginner Guide" I mentioned on Day 1.

Round Match Result Comments
W 1 Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Mago (Karin VS1 VT1) 3-2 After going down 0-2 to Pugera, Mago switched to Akira (VS2 VT1) and won two. Pugera took the last game on a Mago drop.
W 1 Tokido (Urien VS1 VT1) vs. Takeuchi John (Cody VS2 VT2) 2-3 The first game was close, but Tokido took it in the final round. The second game was straight Tokido, but John took the 3rd and 4th games to force the final game. John had some crazy reads to win the final round of the final game.
W 1 Gachi-kun (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Nauman (Sakura VS2 VT1) 3-1 Calling back to Nauman's interview Aru said that Nauman's playing tight and wondered what opening he was looking for, just then he got a whiff punish into DP into CA to take the 1st game. Nauman lost the 3 game on a missed confirm. Aru keeps asking "Is this the Anaconda?"
W 1 Moke (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Tachikawa (Poison VS2 VT1) 3-0 Moke got off to a lead with Rashid, and I was surprised Tachikawa didn't switch after going down 2-0, but he didn't, and he lost 3-0.
W 2 Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Takeuchi John (VS2 VT1) 0-3 John took the first game 2-0, Pugera got a round in the 2nd game, but still lost. Last game was close, but John took it. John got lots of damage off well place jump-ins.
W 2 Gachi-kun (Raashid VS1 VT2) vs. Moke (Rashid VS1 VT2) 3-0 It's a Rashid mirror. I don't have too much to say. Gachi-kun won 3-0.
L 1 Mago (Akira VS2 VT1) vs. Tokido (Urien VS2 VT1) 0-3 Mago went down 0-2 with Akira, even losing on a Perfect. He stuck with Akira for game 3, and got a round, but Tokido closed it out.
L 1 Nauman (Sakura VS2 VT1) vs. Tachikawa (Chun-Li VS1 VT2) 3-0 Both players on team DNG, so the team must be happy about that (and Takeuchi John sitting in Winner's Final). Nauman seems a bit more on point, taking games 1 and 2 (both went to final round). John closed it out in 2 rounds in the final game.
L 2 Moke (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Tokido (Urien VS1 VT1) 2-3 Close games for the first two, 1-1. Moke built a lead in game 2, turtled up and won that. Tokido took the 4th game, and won in a super close final round in the 5th game.
L 2 Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) vs. Nauman (Sakura VS2 VT1) 3-0 Pugera's Boxer is looking pretty oppressive: he won two quick games. Nauman went back to character select for a break, but didn't change anything. He lost in another quick 2 rounds.
W Final Takeuchi John (Cody VS2 VT2) vs. Gachi-kun (Rashid VS1 VT2) 3-1 Close games to get to 1-1, John wins the 3rd game, and gets a P to start the 4th. He's looking really strong right now.
L Semi Final Tokido (Urien VS2 VT1) vs. Pugera (Boxer VS2 VT1) 3-2 These are close matches going into 1-1. Pugera gets to 2 wins first, but Tokido quickly ties it up. He wins a close one in the final game.
L Final Gachi-kun (Rashid VS1 VT2) vs. Tokido (Urien VS1 VT1) 1-3 Tokido jumped out to a 2-1 lead, Gachi-kun fought back to the final round in the 3rd game, but lost.
Grand Final Takeuchi John (W Cody VS2 VT2) vs. Tokido (L Urien VS1 VT1) 1-3 Tokido looks like he had things figured out.
True Finals Takeuchi John (W Cody VS2 VT2) vs. Tokido (L Urien VS1 VT1) 1-3 And indeed, Tokido had things figured out.

There were brief interviews with both Takeuchi John and Tokido. Takeuchi John got 1 point for his team in the upcoming Street Fighter League, and Tokido got 2. He’s got a nice headband on - I can’t really read it. In the past he’s used headbands to poke fun at Mago in interesting ways. I’m not sure who Datou Hayashi Ken is (written on his headband).

They presented the schedule for the main Street Fighter League: Pro-JP 2021, which runs from October 5th to December, and generally has two days of games a week with two teams playing each time.


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