John and Nemo at Combo Breaker

May 23 2019

Ah, Spring is here. The air is cool, the sun is shining, the birds are singing and that could only mean one thing. It’s time to FIGHT as COMBO BREAKER 2019 is finally upon us! A community favorite and the first of three mammoth North American Capcom Pro Tour tournaments taking place this Summer. The quest for Capcom Cup is about to ramp up and lucky for us, Nemo and John Takeuchi are entering the fray from an excellent position.

The Capcom Pro Tour is a gruelling world wide affair with events happening nearly every weekend. Glory and pro tour points are the prize and Nemo and John are currently sitting within qualification for the Capcom Cup finale. A lot can change between now and then but it’s nice that they’ve had such an explosive start to the year. Especially young Takeuchi who fell just short in 2018.

To qualify through points for the CPT you have to be in the top 26 (which was 861 points last year) as 26 players qualify for Capcom Cup through the points leaderboard, 4 qualify as regional champions (North America, Asia, Europe, & Latin America), 1 last chance qualifier and the final slot is the winner from the previous year. This sets up the double elimination 32 player bracket where the winner goes home with a life changing chunk of cash, over $250,000 last year.

Last year through Combo Breaker, John only had 82 CPT points despite 2 top 8 appearances and he wasn’t anywhere close to the qualifying range. This year John has already earned 305 points and is currently sitting at 14th in the standings. Historically, if John has just a handful of solid performances to close out the year he’s on pace to qualify.

(2018 vs 2019 Season Comparison through May)

John Takeuchi 2018 - 82 points
9th StunFest (Premiere)
7th Saigon Cup (Ranking)
7th Brussels Challenge (Ranking)
25th Final Round (Premiere)

John Takeuchi 2019 - 305 points
2nd Saigon Cup (Ranking)
33rd The Mixup (Premier)
4th NorCal Regionals (Premier)
13th Final Round 2019 (Premiere)

Nemo 2018 - 330 points
5th Final Round (Premiere)
3rd Fighter’s Spirit (Ranking)
4th Combo Breaker (Premiere)

Nemo 2019 - 330 points
1st Headstomper (Ranking)
3rd Versus Masters (Ranking)
17th The Mixup (Premiere)
25th NorCal Regionals (Premiere)
17th Final Round (Premiere)

Nemo on the other hand is quite literally in the exact position he was in last year where he ultimately qualified for Capcom Cup. Nemo had 330 points through Combo Breaker in 2018 and he currently sits at 13th with… 330 points. While the points are the same, Nemo had a personal milestone to highlight the start of the year as he secured his first tournament win under the Liquid banner.

Nemo felt a lot of relief after his Headstomper 2019 victory, which coincided on Team Liquid’s most winningest weekend in franchise history. That relief of getting a big win on his new team should help alleviate some the pressure and stress moving forward in the year.

Nemo squeaked by last year and qualified for Capcom Cup 2018 in the final hour. Though that’s not uncommon for Nemo, in 2017, he qualified for Capcom Cup through the last chance qualifier. A tournament held the day before finals where the winner takes the last slot. We hope with a strong start this year, for Nemo’s sake, that he qualifies relatively stress free compared to his previous endeavors.

Combo Breaker Challengers

As our players travel to St. Charles, Illinois this weekend for the largest Combo Breaker ever so will a swarm of the best players in the world. As pools have recently been released one thing is clear, there are no free passes. Though all things considered, Nemo scored a huge victory in his first battle; pool assignments.

While everyone can be dangerous in tournament, Nemo is fortunate to have only 1 sponsored professional player in his pool in Alex Meyers. Alex plays an extremely clean Cammy, a character that is traditionally a thorn in Nemo’s side but a character that is well studied so we expect Nemo to be prepared.

On the flipside, John has a few more threats from the jump. First up, Ricki Ortiz, fighting game legend and runner-up at Capcom Cup 2016. She is known to cause headaches for her opponents with Chun-Li, a solid character that can easily frustrate her foes with long normal's and awkward air approaches. John also has to contest with Doomsnake, one of the very few Vega players hailing from Panama. An underused character played by a specialist can be a nightmare in a FT2 format.

Though perhaps John’s greatest threat in pools is yours truly, yes, me, ‘Crms’, the team liquid staff who is ready to transition from staff to player after a dominant performance.

Be sure to catch all the action on where Nemo will go live on Friday, May 24th at 5pm PST, and John Takeuchi takes the stage Saturday, May 25th at 8am PST. The full schedule can be found here.

Writer // Jeff Anderson

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