Street Fighter League-US Season 3 officially starts October 8th. 2020 has been an… unconventional season for the FGC, and we’re still rolling with the punches. Due to the ongoing global pandemic and current travel restrictions, our competitors from the United Kingdom and Norway will not be able to take part in Street Fighter League’s third season. America’s NuckleDu and Korea’s NL have also decided to withdraw from the season. As such, five alternative faces will be fighting in place of our previously assigned players — and they promise to bring the heat.
Europe’s affected fighters — Norway’s Arman “Phenom” Hanjani, alongside the UK’s Benjamin “Problem X” Simon and DC “Infexious” Coleman — will be interchanged with Singapore’s Niel “SKZ” Chong, the Domincan Republic’s Cristhoper “Caba” Rodriguez, and Taiwan’s Bruce “Gamerbee” Hsiang, respectively. In place of NuckleDu, Dominican pro Saul “MenaRD” Segundo will be taking a stand, interchanging Guile for Guile. In place of NL, the United States’ JB will be taking a stand with his indomitable Rashid. These five players have already made a huge name for themselves in the scene, with one being a Capcom Cup champion, and we can already tell they’re going to shake up the stakes in a major way.
Few Street Fighter fans haven’t heard the name “MenaRD.” The young Dominican pro made waves upon SFV’s release in 2016, taking part in the Capcom Pro Tour to test his strength against some of the franchise’s best players. However, he didn’t begin to turn heads until 2017, when he barged into the top standings with Birdie’s EX Bullhorn. Quickly taking high placements at tournaments around the world, Mena found himself qualified for Capcom Cup later that year, with a chance to earn a spot in the hallowed annals of Street Fighter history.
In a run that dropped jaws across the fighting game community, Mena blazed his way through the competition to defeat none other than Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi in Grand Finals — taking home a massive victory not just for himself, but the entire Dominican Republic. Now, Mena uses his influence and expertise to build up his country’s esports scene, where he’s hailed as an icon of competitive gaming.
MenaRD will be representing Team “Dynamite” in place of NuckleDu, swapping out one of America’s best Guile mains for the chain-slinging Birdie. Side-by-side with Gamerbee’s quick and agile Cammy, alongside Smug’s possibility-postulating Boxer, Mena’s Birdie might be the final element his team needs, providing a grounded grappler with a unique — and sometimes unpredictable — moveset.
Considering his whirlwind 2017 season, along with his ability to hype up his fellow players, there’s no doubting that Mena will trip up the opposition with Birdie’s deadly chains.
Gamerbee is nothing less than a legend in the world of competitive Street Fighter. While he’s been in the scene for quite some time, the player first Jaguar Kicked his way into the spotlight at EVO 2010, taking out the one and only Justin Wong with his Adon during the days of Street Fighter IV to land in Top 8. While he would go on to finish in 5th place, Gamerbee became a hugely popular name in the community, known for his skill with both Adon and Elena — and later, Necalli for SFV.
Having put his name on the map at EVO 2010 — a trip he paid for all on his own — Gamerbee went on to take top placements at tournaments throughout the years, even scoring second place at EVO 2012. With the release of SFV, the pro turned to Cammy and Necalli, characters with whom he continued his prowess — and now, he’s taking his talents to the Street Fighter League.
Gamerbee will also be representing Team “Dynamite” in place of Problem X, swapping out the UK’s Bison/Abigail main for yet another dual-main pro. Paired with Mena’s Birdie and Smug’s G/Balrog combo, having a rushdown character like Cammy — combined with a grappler like Necalli — on the team could spell trouble for their enemies, rounding out the cast in a way that’s almost too perfect.
Hailing from Taiwan, Gamerbee is also known for organizing his own tournaments, and has represented such organizations as Cygames Beast, ZOWIE, and more. With this extensive resume and history as an OG, fans can bet that Gamerbee will bring his A-game and experience into the fray.
Niel Chong — otherwise known as SKZ — is a relatively new face in the Capcom Pro Tour. Although the Seth main tried his hand at the Tour in 2017, coming in 9th place in Asia/Oceania’s Online Event 1, he didn’t turn heads until 2020, when he took his talents to the CPT Online circuit.
SKZ, hailing from Singapore, qualified for Capcom Cup by taking the Asia South East 1 event in June. Having cemented his place in Street Fighter’s most prestigious event of the year, SKZ is a relatively wild card among the Street Fighter League’s competition — but his victory against “IamChuan’s” Guile was proof enough that he has what it takes to hold his own against the best of the best.src=”https://clips.twitch.tv/embed?clip=HedonisticArborealAppleKeepo&parent=www.example.com” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen=”true” scrolling=”no” height=”378″ width=”620″>
SKZ will be representing Team “All In” in place of Phenom, putting a Seth into the mix in Karin’s stead. Paired with Capcom Cup 2019 champ iDom and his deadly Poison/Laura squad, alongside 801 Strider’s jaw-dropping G, SKZ’s Seth could be the deciding factor that turns this team into a downright deadly combination.
With Seth’s wild moveset in mind, alongside SKZ’s status as an up-and-comer, there’s no telling what we can expect from this player, but we can be sure that he’ll shake the table — especially considering his top-tier teammates.
Wherever he goes, Cristhoper “Caba” Rodriguez is known for bringing the hype. Always cheering on his fellow Dominican competitors, Caba has become an icon of the country’s esports scene due to his unabashed support for his friends — as well as one of its best players. Although he’s been competing since 2016, Caba made waves in 2018 after the huge success of MenaRD at Capcom Cup, taking top placements at tournaments throughout the year.
In fact, Caba got into the Top 8 at EVO that season, marking a huge achievement for the up-and-coming pro, and even took home first place at that year’s First Attack. However, these achievements paled in comparison to his 9th place finish at Capcom Cup that same year, further solidifying his status as a hard-hitting World Warrior.
Now, Caba has earned a qualifying spot in Capcom Cup 2020, having won the Central America Block C Online Event. With a straight shot at the year’s most prestigious Street Fighter competition, there’s no telling how Caba will Sonic Boom his way into the fray — but this Guile main is bringing his talents to the Street Fighter League before that.
This season, Caba will be duking it out in Infexious’ place, trading out the CPT’s most electrifying Zeku players for the Sonic Boom-throwing Guile on Team “Psycho Shinobi.” Side-by-side with one of the CPT’s strongest Bisons and OG pro Xian’s deadly Ibuki, adding well-rounded character like Guile — and a high-intensity one, at that — could be the very thing that brings this team of heavy-hitters to the top.
Jonathan Bautista, better known as JB, is one of the most explosive Rashids in the CPT. Having officially competed in the circuit since 2017, JB is a wielder of the turbulent wind through and through — and he’s made his mark in the Street Fighter scene in a huge way.
While JB has been a fighting game player since his childhood days, the pro made a name for himself in Street Fighter V, choosing to take up Rashid, as he was “the only character that I felt represented my style of play.” JB would go on to take top placements throughout the 2017 – 2018 seasons, but 2019 was when his power truly shined, seeing him win first place at Texas Showdown and finish in 25th at Capcom Cup.
That’s not all; JB has also competed in the Street Fighter League previously on Team “Inferno,” meaning that he’s got ample experience with the 3v3 team format. This year, JB is taking up NL’s mantle on Team UYU, alongside teammates Oil King and Kami. With two Rashids in the mix — alongside Kami’s Necalli — this squad is looking to be at the center of Rushdown station, and their opponents would be wise to be wary.
Having already showcased a few preliminary fights, Season 3 of the Street Fighter League is ready to cast off in October for 16 weeks of action-packed matches. With five fresh faces shaking up the competition and warriors from around the world taking part, fans can bet that this season will bring the hype like none other.