With Street Fighter’s European Final and East Coast Throwdown this weekend, we saw the victory of favorites REC|Punk and NASR|BigBird. The biggest surprise this weekend came from Punks wins with a lack of Karin Kanzuki. As the go to character for Punk in previous tournament wins this year, the pro decided to run Chun Li to victory against MenaRD in the first round of the Top 8 winners brackets.
A character who has seen consistent play in Season 1 as one of the strongest characters, Chun Li got nerfed over the years to no longer being top tier. The current top tier characters include Akuma, Ibuki, Rashid and Karin, which was why it was shocking to see Punk not break out his go to character in the beginning of Top 8; Instead, winning the tournament, Punk broke out Karin against Idom and played G and Chun-Li to win his other fights.
The overall character meta for the East Coast Throwdown consisted of 2 Chun-Li, 2 G, 1 Laura, 1 Karin, 1 Birdie, 1 Zangief, 1 Abigail. This layout consists of a number of grapplers and a rekka character. Seeing no representation of Rashid, Akuma or Ibuki, the current top tiers from both last year and this year.
Instead we got Zangief, piloted by Brutus, a character who’s buffs has placed him higher on the tier list since last year. The overall character composition showcases that among the NA players who competed, few if any, actually piloted any characters that are considered the best. Instead we got G, piloted by NuckleDu to make it to the Grand finals, only to lose to Punk’s G. Seeing he strength of G this tournament, especially at the hands of NuckleDu showcased that G might be a character to look out fo as we approach the CPT in December.