Six teams started STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE season five and after fifteen weeks of intense competition during the regular season four teams have moved on to the Playoffs. NASR X BANDITS had been at the top of the standings for virtually the entire season having only taken two Team Battle losses. They went into the Playoffs as the number one seed and with a ton of momentum. ENDEMIC had a rough start to the season with the first three weeks being losses but managed to rebound and finished the regular season in second place. Team UYU is without a doubt the comeback story of the season. They finished near the bottom of the standings the last few seasons and had a rocky start to this one as well, having lost three of the first four Team Battles. They believed in one another, fought hard and earned their first Playoff spot in the team’s history. Rounding out our top four is CL GAMING, who had a good start winning three of their first four but had some rough patches along the way. They have proven to be resilient and have earned the final Playoff spot at fourth place.
The changes to the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE format to focus more on points than on wins and losses as well as the caliber of players taking have resulted in this being the most competitive season yet! Every single player that made it to this week’s Playoffs is among the very best. It was go big or go home this week as the top team will move on to the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE World Championship to compete against the teams from SFL Europe and Japan.
Here was the format of this week’s Playoffs. The top two teams on the standings are both the home team of their Team Battles, which just like the regular season allows them to see the away team’s player order and character selection in order to counter-pick. 1st place seed goes against 4th seed and 2nd place seed takes on 3rd seed as seen below. The two teams that make it to the Finals will compete in a best of three Team Battles to determine the ultimate winner!
If you missed any of season 5 and want to get caught up before reading further, check out the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE: Pro-US Season 5 Archive or the Capcom Fighters YouTube channel’s STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE: Pro-US Season 5 video playlist for the full episodes.
NASR X BANDITS (HOME) vs CL GAMING (AWAY)
Away Team Player and Character Order: 1) Samurai (Luke), 2) Filipinoman (Rose), 3) ChrisCCH (Luke), SUB) Justakid
NASR X BANDITS came into the Playoffs in the number one seed as well as being the defending STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE Champions. Here in the Playoffs the regular season record no longer matters and it’s all down to just the one Team Battle. This first Team Battle was a real thriller but CL GAMING pulled off an incredible 30-10 upset win to eliminate NASR X BANDITS.
The first match between AngryBird’s Ken and Samurai’s Luke set the tone for the rest of the Team Battle. Both started off being cautious, playing the neutral game and looking for openings or whiff punishes to get real damage. AngryBird got more of these opportunities early and only a few errant EX Dragon Punches being blemishes on a very solid gameplan, winning the first game. In the next game it was Samurai getting the better end of things although the game was close. AngryBird got Samurai backed into the corner in the last round and threw an EX fireball. Samurai made a sick read to Critical Art through the fireball to win the game to tie it up. In the last game AngryBird upped the tempo and became far more aggressive. The tactic was effective as Samurai seemed to be on the back foot much of the last game and AngryBird would go on to win to give NASR X BANDITS the early lead.
NASR X BANDITS narrowly came away with the first match but in the second match between Big Bird’s Rashid and Filipinoman’s Rose the momentum of the Team Battle swung in favor of CL GAMING. This was an absolutely intense match full of energy emanating both from the players as well as from their teammates supporting them. Unlike the previous match which started off with patient play this one was kinetic throughout. Both players fought well with Rashid having some success getting Rose into the corner and Rose putting his opponent into many mixup situations. This was close throughout but Filipinoman just made more of the big reads or sick mixups in the make-or-break moments. CL GAMING exploded with enthusiasm as Filipioman came out on top 2-0.
As the final match of the Team Battle began you could feel the energy on CL GAMING’s side. MenaRD and ChrisCCH took their seats and paused for a short time on the character select screen with both selecting Luke. Before the match began you could hear ChrisCCH’s teammates giving him encouragement. This Luke mirror-match was off the charts with tension and early on it looked relatively even but as time went on ChrisCCH seemed to create more and more opportunities for damage than MenaRD. ChrisCCH was highly effective with EX uppercut to reverse any momentum MenaRD tried to build. By the third game ChrisCCH looked focused while MenaRD looked a bit unsettled. ChrisCCH would go on to win this match with a 3-0 score to secure the win for CL GAMING and eliminate the seemingly unstoppable NASR X BANDITS. This was an incredible upset, proving that with players of this skill level no team is safe here in STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE.
|1||AngryBird||NASR X BANDIT||Ken||defeated||Samurai||CL GAMING||Luke||2-1|
|2||Filipinoman||CL GAMING||Rose||defeated||Big Bird||NASR X BANDITS||Rashid||2-0|
|3||ChrisCCH||CL GAMING||Luke||defeated||MenaRD||NASR X BANDITS||Luke||3-0|
ENDEMIC (HOME) vs UYU (AWAY)
Away Team Player and Character Order: 1) Xian (Seth), 2) DCQ (Urien), 3) NL (Luke), SUB) Oil King
ENDEMIC had a strong season and came in at the second seed facing off against a resurgent UYU and their feel-good story of going from multiple seasons at the bottom to making the Playoffs for the first time in the third seed. The storybook season continues for UYU this week as they deliver a crushing 40-0 defeat to ENDEMIC in the Playoffs.
UYU started strong with a 2-0 win by Xian’s Seth over GamerBee’s Lucia. Xian played exceedingly patient here, often just standing or down-blocking in front of GamerBee in anticipation for him to make a move. Xian waited for each opportunity and at times had bursts of offense but seemed careful not to overextend when it was blocked or otherwise countered. This match was in Xian’s control for almost its entirety.
Shine stepped up next selecting Ibuki from his deep bench of characters against the Urien-phenom DCQ. This was a very close match with both players adapting often to the actions of the other, resulting in a very fluid and exciting match. Ibuki is rarely seen in high level play in recent years and this is the character’s first appearance this season. At times DCQ seemed to have trouble figuring out how to slow her ranged and mixup pressure, even using the upward angle fireball multiple times trying to catch Ibuki in a jump. Both players did some big damage to the other when their opponent was in the corner but DCQ had some highly effective EX tackles to catch Shine off guard. DCQ would win this 2-1 to give UYU a 20-0 lead.
iDom has had to put a lot on his shoulders this season in the anchor position, time and time again bringing his team from a 20 point deficit to victory. This time it was not to be as NL once again showed that he can stand up against the best and win. iDom had early success with Laura’s usual Thunderclap and throw-mixup pressure to win game one but after that NL adapted and won three straight games. NL used spacing, his Sand Blaster ranged attacks and uppercutts to effectively get around the Thunderclaps applied constant offensive pressure to keep iDom on the back foot. NL would go on to win 3-1 to send ENDEMIC home.
SFL PLAYOFF PLAYOFF FINALS
It was now time for the Finals with UYU and CL GAMING going head to head for the chance to advance to the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE World Finals and a chance at the $75,000 prize pool. The format for the Finals was a best two out of three set of Team Battles with each of those Team Battles having the scoring seen through this season. Since UYU had the better record on the standings they get the home team advantage first.
The first Team Battle started off with a 2-1 win by NL’s Luke over Justakid’s Jiri. Justakid seemed to have NL on the back foot for the first game and the first round of the second, but after that NL got his offense going and was able to close out the win in the second game and cruise through the third game in two rounds. CL GAMING came roaring back in the second match with Samurai’s Luke having little trouble besting Xian’s Seth 2-0. With the score now tied it was all down to the anchor position with DCQ’s Urien against ChrisCCH’s Luke. ChrisCCH has been a phenomenal player this season and has pulled out some big wins but DCQ seemed to have his number here. DCQ won the first two games to take a strong lead. ChrisCCH had some flashes of momentum here and there and he even won the third game but DCQ quickly shut it down, winning the final game two rounds straight to win the first Team Battle for UYU.
CL GAMING now had it’s turn as the home team in the second Team Battle. It was win or go home for them while UYU just needed one more Team Battle win to move on to the World Finals. Once again UYU got off to a good start with NL’s Luke defeating Filipinoman’s Rose 2-0. It was a very close match despite the score but NL had some big reads including several successful wakeup EX uppercuts to stop momentum. ChrisCCH stepped up next with his Luke to take on Oil King’s Rashid. The first game was all Oil King but after that ChrisCCH adjusted and won the next two games four rounds straight. Once again the score was tied and once more it is up to the anchor position. To noone’s surprise UYU had DCQ in the anchor position but for CL GAMING they decided to send in Samurai. Samurai has a tremendous success in the anchor position over the course of his STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE career so the choice made sense but this season UYU had its own closer and his name was DCQ. This one was very one sided with DCQ having control virtually the whole set, winning 3-0.
UYU is now the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE US Champion and will go on to face off against the Champions from Europe and Japan in the World Finals. All of UYU’s players have stepped up and played well in the latter half of the season but NL and DCQ have been standouts, delivering for the team again and again. UYU is firing on all cylinders and we will see if they can complete their Cinderella story at the STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE World Finals.
FIRST BATTLE RESULTS: UYU (HOME) vs CL GAMING (AWAY)
Away Team Player and Character Order: 1) Justakid (Juri), 2) DCQ (Urien), 3) NL (Luke), SUB) Oil King
SECOND BATTLE RESULTS: CL GAMING (HOME) vs UYU (AWAY)
Away Team Player and Character Order: 1) NL (Luke), 2) Oil King (Rashid), 3) DCQ (Urien), SUB) Xian
|2||ChrisCCH||CL GAMING||Luke||defeated||Oil King||UYU||Rashid||2-1|
TUNE IN FOR THE STREET FIGHTER LEAGUE WORLD FINALS!
Please join us on @CapcomFighters Friday, February 17th and Saturday, February 19th at 3:00 PM Pacific for the Street Fighter League World Finals at Capcom Cup.