Red Bull Kumite champion Big Bird shares Street Fighter 6 Season 2 wishlist

Sayem Ahmed
Big Bird holding the Red Bull Kumite 2023 trophy

Adel “Big Bird” Anouche is one of the strongest Street Fighter 6 players in the world, and we had the chance to catch up with him ahead of Red Bull Kumite 2024.

The world of Street Fighter 6 is fierce. With Capcom Cup X over, the Red Bull Kumite Invitational tournament is back, and returning champion Big Bird will find himself in the cage once more to face off against some of the strongest Street Fighter 6 players in the world.

We had some time to catch up with Big Bird ahead of the tournament, to quiz the player on his most-requested features to come in Street Fighter 6 Season 2, and his competitive history in Street Fighter 6 thus far.

“There’s a lot of pressure off of my back because I’ve won the event [Red Bull Kumite] already” Anouche stated. “I mean, winning twice would be very nice. But, it’s already a milestone for me.” Last year, Big Bird faced off against players to win Red Bull Kumite 2023, beating out the likes of Akainu, Kakeru, and more.

“In this format, first to five, I feel like that’s where I can shine.” He continues. Red Bull Kumite’s first to five sets allow for bigger game plans between competitors to shine, unlike Capcom Cup’s format this year. Anouche placed third in his group at Capcom Cup X, failing to climb to the top 16 stage of the tournament.

Red Bull Kumite is stacked, and Big Bird thinks there’s no clear dominant player. “Because of the quality of the players, because of the characters. I feel like whoever is going to win is going to be very hard for anyone to dominate”.

The Japan training arc

A promotional material for Red Bull Kumite 2024

“I’m still very much a threat” he adds. Prior to Capcom Cup, Big Bird and teammate Angry Bird went to Japan to train their skills. “When you go to Japan, you have access to all matchups with no exception, and it’s high-level as well.” He continues to state that he intended to gain more training for his main character, Rashid, who dropped during Street Fighter 6’s first season as DLC.

But, since his other character, Marisa has been “solved”, he needs to access a more advanced gameplan against Japanese players. “The meta is so developed there, that the mind games and everything against Marisa kind of hurt me.” Noting that overseas players have a different gameplan, befuddling his mental stack. “It was a bit of a struggle… I needed to dumb it down a bit” he continued. “Because of perfect parry, I was rarely able to use some of her charged normals” Anouche says, “that’s what I was struggling with at first.”

Big Bird’s Street Fighter 6 Season 2 wishlist

A screenshot from the game Street Fighter 6

When quizzed on what he wanted to see from Street Fighter 6 Season 2’s inevitable balance changes, Big Bird quickly remarked: “Perfect parry, drive rush, damage scaling, wakeup drive rush, drive rush jab, drive and rush medium combos. They need to work on that damage scaling” He replied.

But, it’s not all about the drive system, but both the super gauge and drive meter gain. “I feel like meter gain is way too much. There are rounds where I finish with level three, and get level two in the second round.” Big Bird’s main, Rashid, has access to one of the most powerful level two super moves. “I get two level two [supers] per round, and that’s very wrong”. He bemoans the level of meter gain characters have access to: “There’s no smart way to use your super meter… with regards to the level two, I just throw it out because I know I’ll build another one”, Anouche said.

“There needs to be more repercussions on going crazy. Because when you have the drive gauge and you have all the EX bars and everything from the start of the round, nothing is stopping you from going crazy.”

“I would like to see C.Viper come back”

Street Fighter 6’s next season not only heralds balance changes, but new characters, too. “I would like to see C.Viper come back.” Big Bird quickly says. “I played a lot of SF4, and she was my favorite character to watch” He continues “She’s one of the most-liked characters, she was even in Marvel!” But, before that, one character looms on the horizon before season two lands. The notoriously high-damaging Akuma.

“A lot of Ken players will be switching to Akuma”

Tokido doing a murderface on a grey background

Speaking in passing about Tokido, we asked Big Bird what he thinks about one of Street Fighter’s strongest players getting his main back at the end of season one. “I mean, it’s not just Tokido, it’s Angry Bird!” he said, with a hint of trepidation. “It’s not going to be very fun playing them. I mean, at first, it’s going to be fun, because they won’t know what the hell’s going on. But, later on, when they develop the character, it’s definitely not going to be fun. Akuma is known to be strong, he’s never been weak in any game. At worst, he’ll be A-tier, and at best, he’ll be S-tier.”

Whatever happens, at least with Angry Bird as a training partner, Big Bird will have significant matchup experience against Akuma.

Luke is still the strongest character in the game

After Capcom Cup X concluded, Capcom dropped a small balance patch to balance the game slightly ahead of season two. One character, in particular, is notorious for having every tool in the book, Luke. “Luke is still top one, but the crouch medium punch change was great. It made the character more sensible. It’s still very good, you just can’t whiff it.”

But, Luke needs more nerfs, according to Big Bird. “I would like to see his crouching heavy punch anti-air taken away, as well as both of his jump-heavy attacks being nerfed.”

Looking beyond Street Fighter 6

Project L fans beg riot to revert 2XKO

With 2XKO’s grand reveal recently, we wondered if Big Bird has his sights set on Riot’s fighting game. “I mean, I’ll try 2XKO, I mean, it’s gonna have a lot of eyes on it, and making content on it would be amazing.” He continues to say that he’ll “definitely play it”, to make content, and potentially even enter tournaments. But, tag battlers are not Big Bird’s usual forte. “I only really played DragonBall as a fighting game, so I feel like I have some experience in it. But, it’s still something out of my comfort zone.”

Big Bird will compete in Red Bull Kumite 2024, which takes place on March 16 and 17 in New York.