Street Fighter League is, well, an official league for Street Fighter V players, one that makes more room for player personalities to shine thanks to its limited format. Take, for instance, a match from its most recent broadcast, wherein one competitor made a show of begging for mercy from his opponent…to no avail.
Ryusei is best known for winning the BlazBlue: Central Fiction championship at Evo 2017, but he still felt the need to put on a show when he came up against veteran fighting game player Naoki “Nemo” Nemoto during last night’s round of Street Fighter League competition. Ryusei made sure to jokingly yield to Nemo before their match, wincing and holding his hands up in a mock display of submission.
Ever the showman, Nemo simply stared his opponent down through the theatrics, and he carried that energy into the match. He bowled over Ryusei in the course of just five minutes. A lot of it probably had to do with Nemo’s familiarity with Urien, the Street Fighter III character both he and Ryusei use extensively in high-level competition. But even in picking his pocket Gill, most likely to avoid the mirror match, Nemo showed he’s still a force to be reckoned with after all these years.
While I much prefer open brackets to this limited format, there’s no doubt that Street Fighter League’s team-based competition gives its players a better opportunity to express themselves. Ryusei and Nemo are known personalities within the larger fighting game community, but by paring down the production, they’re given a chance to show folks who might not watch smaller, grassroots tournaments what they’re all about. And that’s pretty cool in my book.