Kakeru breaks Street Fighter 6’s meta with jaw-dropping win over EVO champ AngryBird

Virginia Glaze

Street Fighter 6 pro Kakeru dropped jaws across the fighting game community after defeating EVO champ AngryBird at Gamers8 in a stunning display of adaptability.

EVO 2023 kicked off the very first tournament in this year’s Capcom Pro Tour, with players from all around the world flocking to Vegas in the hopes of showing off their Street Fighter 6 skills.

NASR Esports’ ‘AngryBird’ took home the coveted title of EVO champion over MenaRD in a magnificent Winner’s side run, earning himself a spot at Capcom Cup early next year.

His performance with Ken was nothing short of dominant, cementing him as a player to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the season — but it looks like another competitor has his number.

The Gamers8 Street Fighter 6 invitational tournament took place just a week after EVO as part of an eight-week-long esports festival. 32 players were invited to take part in a 1v1 tournament at the event, with a whopping $400,000 grand prize up for grabs.

As expected, AngryBird came out of the gate swinging, making his way to the Grand Final in Winner’s side against Japanese JP main ‘Kakeru.’ AngryBird had actually defeated Kakeru earlier in the tournament in a 3-0 set — but Kakeru wasn’t about to lose again.

Kakeru defeats AngryBird in viral victory at Gamers8

In a stunning comeback that left the entire Street Fighter scene completely slack-jawed, Kakeru managed to pull off 32 perfect parries against AngryBird’s Ken, giving himself the advantage to pull off high-damage punishes or create the perfect setup with his character’s long-range abilities.

The window to execute a perfect parry is quite small: Two frames to be exact, a mere fraction of a second, making Kakeru’s achievement all the more impressive.

After trouncing Punk in the Loser’s Final, Kakeru reset the bracket against AngryBird 3-1 in the Grand Final and took home the victory in a stunning 3-0 final set. It’s clear that Kakeru had carefully studied the JP-Ken matchup after his losses to both AngryBird and Tokido at EVO just a week prior, marking himself as a serious threat to the rest of the competition.

The fighting game community has praised Kakeru’s “untouchable” Grand Finals performance at Gamers8, with even the likes of legendary Street Fighter pro Daigo ‘The Beast’ Umehara saying he suspects his “adaptability is beyond anything the dev team expected to see.”

Although Street Fighter 6 is still in its infancy, it’s certainly fascinating to see how the competition shakes out in the early days of this brand-new fighting game. With pros like MenaRD, Punk, AngryBird, Kakeru and more on top of the pile, we have to wonder if these fighters will continue their reign — or if other players will come to take a piece of the pie.

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