Japan's Top Arcade Fighter Moves On From His Main Man

Illustration for article titled Japans Top Arcade Fighter Moves On From His Main Man

For years, Daigo Umehara tore up arcades and tournaments with the character Ryu from Street Fighter. Not anymore. They've broken up.

Daigo, who is best known for this clip, is still fighting and still winning. However, he's traded the iconic Ryu for another character, Yun, for Super Street Fighter IV.

The gamer recently broke the news, telling Kotaku, "I've always liked Yun as a character, and with all the changes to Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, it's really a brand new game."

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As the player explained in a Famitsu interview (via Shoryuken) from December, "projectile characters" (characters able to carry out hadouken attacks) had an unfair advantage, so the game was tweaked to minimize that. Daigo's decision to move on from Ryu (or Ryu's counterpart Ken) reflects how the game was rebalanced, and he's picked a character that works better for him in the current version of the game.

"Ultimately I may play a different character as my tournament focus," Daigo continued, "but this is the perfect time to experiment and Yun has been going very well for me." Daigo also plays as Street Fighter's Guile.

Daigo is adjusting to his new main character, Yun. But it was Ryu who helped Daigo power himself to worldwide pro gamer fame. For a guy who built his entire career on Ryu, it's still a bit sad to see him play as Yun. Break ups are never fun, not even for virtual brawlers.

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DISCUSSION

Nothing wrong with picking top-tier characters. You're in an environment where you routinely have to weigh your options. It's a big pain in the arse when you're using a character with too little tools to deal with an opponent's basic options (A Honda Headbutt at close range, for example).

I should know, I use Dan. It can be very frustrating when the only thing you can punish a braindead Blanka Ball with is Dash Forward into Standing Light Kick. I wouldn't fault other players for putting themselves in my situation on purpose. Playing the worst character in the game religiously has given me a lot of time to think about this.

It's also not that top-tier characters are entirely without merit as fun or balanced characters. The tiers have been compressed in Super, and top players are reporting that the gaps still apparent in Super have taken another opportunity to compress themselves with AE.

The fact that Capcom has given this many characters on the roster a chance to compete seriously in tournaments is a major achievement. It's exciting to see every kind of character prosper in a competitive environment.

Hell. I could routinely body Sagat players using Dan in Vanilla. It was one of the worst matchups in the game, but you learned tricks and what exactly you needed to do to KO the opponent.

Screw top-tier haters. When you offer a Space-Gladiator a choice of weapons, he's not going to take the Space-Fish wrapped in Space-Newspaper, he's going to take the Death Ray 3000 "Rape-Ray" Edition.

That is, unless he reaaaaally loves to troll people, like I do. Chou Yoyusuu~!