This article is part of our Street Fighter Recap series.
On the final day of Brooklyn Beatdown, experience reigned supreme as Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi dominated the competition Sunday to pick up the title at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Saturday may have been all about the dominant performances from a handful of the young guns in the scene, but Sunday was a day for the veterans. Tokido was clearly in top form on this final day, as he only dropped two games on his way to the grand finals. He was clean with his mix-ups in both of his first games, taking out Keita "Fuudo" Ai in a 3-0 sweep before easily dispatching Justin Wong 3-1 to secure his grand final spot.
It was his aforementioned competition, Fuudo, who would go on to make a brilliant run in the lower bracket. Simply put, he looked incredibly comfortable with his R. Mika. Rather than waiting for a play to come to him, he would seek out big maneuvers at every turn, and he was quick to punish mistakes, too. All of this resulted in Yusuke "Momochi" Momochi floundering in the 3-0 loss in the lower quarterfinal and another sweep of young gun Saul "MenaRD" Mena in the lower bracket semifinal. The story was the same against Justin Wong in the losers final, which gave Fuudo more momentum going into his rematch with Tokido.
Despite the strong run up to this point, even Tokido looked to be a bit caught off-guard by the aggression of Fuudo. The challenger came into the grand final with more aggressive mix-ups and punishes to pick up the 3-1 bracket-resetting win.
As the reigning EVO champion, Tokido kept his composure and came out firing in the final set of the grand finals. While Fuudo continued trying to play aggressive, Tokido fought back with impressive precision to easily pick up the 3-0 win. He only dropped a single round in the three games, as he pounded Fuudo into the dirt with his Akuma. That's now two big wins in a row for Tokido, who certainly is back in form and looking to continue making noise as we inch closer to the Capcom Pro Tour Finals in December.
The future is bright for the new school
While they had a strong run on Saturday, the young guns of the Street Fighter scene seemingly crumbled under the pressure of the veterans on Sunday.
Coming from the winners' side, Saul "MenaRD" Mena had the best chance to make some noise, but he faltered at every turn. He got close to a win against Justin Wong in the upper bracket semifinals but just couldn't overcome the veteran in a 3-2 nailbiter. After beating another young player Bryant "Smug" Huggin in the next round, MenaRD then had the unfortunate matchup against the wrecking ball that was Fuudo in the lower bracket semifinals where he lost 3-1.
Many surely expected big things from Victor "Punk" Woodley in Brooklyn this weekend, but the ELEAGUE champion disappointed, by his standards. Punk stepped up to the plate on Sunday and immediately struck out against Momochi. Much like in the Evolution Championship Series grand finals finals against Tokido, Punk looked to be a bit nervous and out of sorts against the top-level competition.
Smug, on the other hand, started his day off strong with a huge win over Street Fighter legend Daigo "Daigo" Umehara in the first lower bracket match of the day. Daigo pushed the match to a third game after Smug took a 2-1 lead, but in the final round, Smug used his Balrog to pick up the win. He may have lost in the next round to MenaRD, but all four games went to three rounds, showing how close these two are matched up.
The veterans may have gotten the win, but the newcomers on the scene are still showing that they've got what it takes to start making some major noise. With just a few months left until the Capcom Pro Tour Finals, fans will surely have a lot to look forward to from these guys.