Capcom Fighters
20 October 2016

Daigo Umehara hasn’t been the most consistent player when it comes to Street Fighter V. While other top players like Tokido and Infiltration have found their rhythm, Daigo has been consistently experimenting with different styles. These tests have netted him mixed results. For every win and top finish he’s gotten in a tournament, he’s failed to break the upper placing in another. This includes EVO 2016, where he lost to long-time rival Justin Wong and failed to break into top 32.

In light of his recent performances, a divide began to form in his fan base. While there are those who still believe that Daigo will recapture his former glory, the naysayers have been getting louder with each loss. Declarations of “Daigo is washed up” have found their way into comment sections and forums. Many see his claims of trying out different styles and focusing on Capcom Cup as an excuse for his losses.  Others attribute Daigo’s recent partnerships with companies such as Red Bull and Twitch to his deteriorating performance. People say he’s more of a figure in the fighting game community now rather than a top tier competitor.

All eyes were on Daigo coming into the European Regional Finals. Capcom Cup is only a month and a half away and players are scrambling to secure a spot for the big end year tournament. For someone who has yet to qualify this final stretch is a do or die situation. For someone like Daigo, this was the time to prove to everyone that he is still in fact a threat in SFV.

Daigo vs. ImStillDaDaddy

Daigo’s run in the EU Regional Finals was filled with clutch moments. Among the heart stopping highlights, the one that topped it all happened during his match with European Guile player, Sean “ImStillDaDaddy” Dench.

The set was tied one to one, with Daigo having the advantage at the second round of game three. Feeling the pressure, Sean tried to go for a very tricky mix up hoping to catch Daigo off guard. While the average player may have been impatient and went for an uppercut, Daigo maintained his composure. In an almost unreal display of defense, Daigo managed to block Sean’s entire sequence. Daigo then manages to land a crouching punch into a fireball after a failed grab attempt, ending the series and moving on to winners semi-finals.

It may not have been grand finals, but to everyone watching this was the highlight that encapsulated his entire performance over the weekend.

Beast vs. Phenom

Standing in Daigo’s way at grand finals was another European top player. Arman Rabiee Hanjani, better known by his handle “Phenom”, had encountered Daigo in previous tournaments. They first met in Dreamhack back in June. Phenom defeated Daigo in grand finals to win the championship and an invitation for Capcom Cup. Their second encounter was at EGX 2016. This time Daigo won against Phenom convincingly, beating him 3 – 0.

Prior to their encounter, Daigo had already beaten Phenom in the tournament and sent him to losers. Phenom was intent on settling the score with the Japanese fighting god coming into grand finals.

Their set started strong for Phenom, taking game one after baiting out several mistakes from Daigo. Unfortunately for the European, that was all he could hope to take from the Beast. Daigo answered back and managed to win the next three games, six rounds straight.  With one final uppercut, Daigo won the EU Regional Finals and secured his spot in Capcom Cup 2016.

In different interviews throughout the year, Daigo has gone on record saying that what he was truly focused on was Capcom Cup 2016. Now that his appearance is assured, it’s all on him to prove that his claims of experimentation were no joke. After his run this weekend, it’s safe to say Daigo managed to remind the entire fighting game community why he is called “The Beast”.