Captained by the one and only Big Bird, Team NASR brings some of the UAE’s best talent into the fray, alongside another surprising face. Comprised of notable Zeku main Angrybird and Street Fighter League returnee Samurai, this squad boasts both experienced SFL contenders and some of the CPT’s best talent in a single group.
Amjad “Angrybird” Alshalabi (not to be confused with teammate Big Bird) is a shining jewel in the UAE’s talent pool. In fact, captain Big Bird claimed that he and Angrybird together single-handedly put their region on the esports map — a lofty claim that can be backed up by both of their impressive tournament results.
Angrybird broke into the competitive Street Fighter scene in 2016 upon the release of SFV, opting for shoto fighters Akuma and Ryu. However, the pro shocked the Capcom Pro Tour after Zeku’s release in Season Three, bringing the Bushinryu practitioner to the forefront of high-stakes tournaments worldwide.
Taking fifth at 2018’s Sonic Boom and 1st in the European Regional Final, the Zeku main scored a guaranteed spot in Capcom Cup, where he made it into the Top 8 bracket and finished in 7th place. That wasn’t the end of his jaw-dropping performances, though, as he went on to boast an even more successful 2019 season. Taking 1st in Brussels Challenge and scoring top placements throughout the year, he finished 17th in Capcom Cup, proving himself as a consistently strong competitor worthy of heading the UAE’s esports scene.
Among these Street Fighter League newcomers stands Miky “Samurai” Chea, returning to the team-based tournament after competing in both seasons one and two with the most wins in the series. With a wealth of experience under his belt, this Akuma main promises to bring his invaluable strategies — and famous meditative practices — to season three alongside his teammates.
Samurai has been a regular competitor in the Capcom Pro Tour since 2014, where he notably used such shotos as Evil Ryu. His love of this archetype hasn’t changed, as he made a massive splash in the 2016 CPT using both Akuma and Ryu, scoring a whopping 202 Global points. Taking 17th in that year’s Capcom Cup, Samurai has gone on to take top placements in both Premier and Ranking Events throughout his competitive career — but his results aren’t all he’s known for.
The USA-based pro is also hailed for his mental approach to the game, taking time out before competing to meditate and practice breathing control. Having studied up on sports psychology, Chea found that meditation and breath control were hot topics among top athletes to prepare for competition, and took up the practice himself. Using fellow Akuma main Tokido as a major inspiration, Samurai is once again looking like a fierce contender for the Street Fighter League’s third season with his past results in mind.