NuckleDu: "I definitely haven't been relaxing."
December 02 2016
We’re nearly at the finish line: The Capcom Cup Finals! This weekend, we will witness the rousing conclusion to Street Fighter V’s (SFV) inaugural season. In addition to filling the vacant SFV throne, this is the largest single-event prize pool in Street Fighter history, with $350,000 on the line and $120,000+ of it going to the champion. With unimaginable stakes and prestige on the line, our hero, Liquid`NuckleDu is ready to bring the BOOMS.
This year, NuckleDu solidified himself as North America’s top player with recent back-to-back Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) Premier wins at both Canada Cup and the North American Regional Finals. With the big tournament coming up, he sets his sights on joining a distinguished club of fighting game legends including Momochi and Kazunoko as a Capcom Cup champion, and consequently, become the best SFV player in the world.
For most players, NuckleDu’s recent success signals a paramount year. However, NuckleDu isn't 'most players' and those wins were just the final touch on his stellar march towards the Capcom Cup Finals. NuckleDu collected an impressive (15) top 8 finishes and a stunning (8) tournament wins this season. This rock solid consistency landed NuckleDu an admirable #4 seed out of the 32 best players who will be competing at the ultimate showdown. If everything goes to plan, NuckleDu's dominance will continue so that he can qualify as a top 8 contestant for the Grand Finals on Saturday, Dec 3rd at the Sony PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, California.
It goes without saying that NuckleDu’s path to victory will be treacherous. Capcom has spent the last year cultivating the 32 best players to throw them into one final double elimination bracket of doom. While Evolution might be the most grueling of the major tournaments with its massive 5,000+ entrants, the Capcom Cup finals is certainly the most dangerous as there are no ‘freebies.’ Everyone is a contender and everyone will be prepared. Check out the bracket for yourself to see NuckleDu’s route to glory. (http://challonge.com/capcomcup2016).
NuckleDu was kind enough to give us some time during his final preparations for Capcom Cup, see that exclusive interview below. Make sure you tune in at 10:00am PST on Friday, Dec 2nd and at 6:30pm PST on Saturday, Dec 3rd on twitch.tv/capcomfighters. If you miss the action, catch the top 8 replay on ESPN2 at 5:30pm PST on Sunday, Dec 3rd.
Official Capcom Cup Trailer
Interview with Du "NuckleDu" Dang:
(Editor's Notes: The following interview was conducted via text and was edited for clarity.)
Jeff "crms" Anderson: This is a big year for Street Fighter with the release of SFV. Heading into the CPT Finals, if you were to win, would it be more significant to you to be the first NA player to win the CPT or to be the First Champion of the new SFV era?
Du "NuckleDu" Dang: Kinda just hit me that this year is the first year of SFV. Long year haha. I think being the first SFV champion ever would be way more significant for sure
crms: Capcom recently made a press release that they have funding to support SFV through 2020. What do you think went well in SFV's first year, and what do you hope for the future? Do you have any sort of 'wish list' for the future seasons?
Du: I think the community supporting the game helps a lot. I wish the pro tour would just qualify through points. No regional spots or anything. It's honestly really confusing. If everyone were to just qualify through points, it would be a lot simpler.
crms: I agree, I think the players and the fans would enjoy a more streamlined process for qualifications as it would be easier to follow along. Speaking of the tour and the qualifications, do you have any thoughts on the substitute rules and the bracket constantly changing? Has it affected your preparations at all?
Du: Definitely. My opponents changed about 3 times. So it's hard to really be prepared for the right person. It's not Capcom's fault for the players' visas not being approved though.
crms: How have you prepared for the finals? You mentioned in an interview for 'Capcom Fighters' that you mostly relaxed before the CPT NA Regional Finals and considering you won, will you adopt the same 'relaxing' practice regimen for the CPT Finals as well?
Du: I definitely haven't been relaxing. I had been training very hard after the Red Bull finals but then I felt like I was getting burnt out so I took a break. But trying to get back into form is really hard. I feel like I'm not at my strongest at the moment. I just hope I can play my best when the time comes.
crms: When you try to get into form, are you more of a lab monster or do you prefer live games with training partners?
Du: Live games with training partners for sure; I find myself playing around in training mode doing nonsense haha.
crms: It's no surprise the CPT Finals are stacked, there are no real 'freebie' matches, is there any particular player or character you're worried about facing in the bracket?
Du: There's no one in particular that I want to avoid. I want to go up against everyone to see where I truly stand with the other players.
crms: This is the largest single event prize pool in SF history at $350.000 and will have ESPN2 exposure. How do you deal with nerves? Do you get nervous? If so, is it the money, the prestige, the viewers, or friends and family watching at home or something else entirely?
Du: Dealing with nerves is tricky. I thought after going to all these tournaments it would eventually go away. But it doesn't. You just have to learn how to contain every bit of nerve you have and try to perform on top of it all at the best of your ability.
Now for some fun questions!
crms: If you could add a character to season 2 who would it be?
Du: I would like to add Decapre . Extremely cool looking character!
crms: I'd be stupid not to ask a pro while I had the chance to level up my own game, so.. how do I win with Bison?
Du: How to win with Bison? You already lost by picking this character haha
crms: OK, ok...I'll stick to my day job and leave the pro gaming to you, do you have anyone you'd like to shout out so you can get back to training?
Du: Shoutouts to all the players who helped me train this whole year, especially leading up to Capcom Cup. You know who you are. Also shoutouts to my family, friends and all of my supporters in the community who are always behind me every step of the way. Big thank you to Team Liquid for providing me such great opportunities. Can't thank them enough. I'm looking to close out this year the best way possible. Thank you!
Don't forget to keep checking TeamLiquidPro.com for the latest in TL news, events, and features! And don't forget to follow us on social media to keep track of our teams.
Team Liquid Partners with Verizon Verizon is Team Liquid's official 5G Partner. Verizon is already present and large in esports—they’re also the official 5G partner for Riot Games across the LCS, select World competitions, and Valorant esports. Initiatives they support at Team Liquid include optimizing the network of our streamers, pros, and facilities, engage in our community initiatives and promote Liquid to fans across the world.
StarCraft 2 Pole Position: 4 Top Contenders at TSL 7 In StarCraft 2, the battle to the best is playing out over razor-thin margins. Many of StarCraft's best players have fought to qualify for TSL 7 - Team Liquid and Shopify's own premier tournament. Of the field of 16 players, 4 stand out in particular. Learn about their styles, their strengths, their histories, and their hurdles here.
Fortnite Good in Games TL x AW Careers Programs Alienware and Team Liquid are launching a series of programs. These are tournaments, internships, a chance to earn scholarships, and content that helps you learn about esports careers. We’ve designed them to make a space where all of us are welcome: TL.GG/GIG
League of Legends The Next Generation in League Content The next generation of League of Legends content has a new home. Starting today, Team Liquid is migrating to its own YouTube channel: TL.gg/LOLYT. With the new YouTube channel will come new series and some expansions on old ones. To learn more, read the full announcement.