Check out an exclusive interview with this remarkable Street Fighter 6 player.

DreamHack Summer 2024 brought Big Bird an Esports World Cup 2024 qualifying spot — thanks to the top 8 placement. He did not stop there and went right to the tournament victory, which proved his level as one of the best Street Fighter 6 competitors in the world. After the event, we reached out to Big Bird with a few questions. The player gave some very interesting and insightful answers.

Adel "Big Bird" Anouche is a fighting games professional representing NASR eSports and Red Bull eSports. He is well-known in the community thanks to his top-level play in Street Fighter 5. The new competitive era already brought Big Bird exceptional achievements. Here is our interview with the Street Fighter 6 DreamHack Summer 2024 champion. Could you please share your emotions after DreamHack Summer 2024? Has the result met/exceeded your expectations — like not only qualifying for EWP but also winning? And beyond the placement, are you happy with your match-to-match performance? 

Big Bird: Honestly, I didn’t think I’d win the tournament especially since it was my first ever tournament using Rashid full-time, and my recent performance at DreamHack Dallas was disappointing. I was feeling a bit down about my level and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to qualify for the World Cup. My aim was just to qualify for EWC, but after making the top 8 by only losing one game and achieving my objective, I was like wait, I can win this whole thing. I know a lot of people did not have me winning at all, only my close friends believed I could do it! And I cemented myself again as an actual threat to everyone with Rashid. Winning that event was a great confidence booster for me, I really needed it! 

In the top 8, you faced Ken of Xiao Hai, Akuma of Kawano, and Luke of Bonchan. Which was the most difficult matchup? Does taking a new character like Akuma to a tournament give an opponent some extra advantage? 

Big Bird: Thanks to Angrybird… he uses both Akuma and Ken, and I feel like playing with him prior to traveling to DreamHack really helped me a lot against Kawano and Xiao Hai. I was fully prepared and ready. And I even told him and a couple of my friends that I’m going to win as long as Itazan does not make it to me. I could still beat Itazan, but I wasn’t as prepared versus the new Zangief as I was prepared versus Ken and Akuma! 

It was notable that Japanese players perform Perfect Parry pretty successfully. It's like a reliable option for them. Have you noticed some unique features of different regional traditions of competitive Street Fighter 6? Something you need to get prepared for to play versus North American, South American, EMEA, or Asian players? 

Big Bird: I think every region plays slightly differently but overall the same. You can pick up habits depending on where they’re from. Japan, for example, usually plays very reserved, carefully, and without many risks. NA has a mixture of safe and heavily offensive. South America is heavily offensive, etc. But I feel like a lot of them use the mechanics the same way. The only difference I feel as a Rashid player is how well they deal with him! 

It was great to see you playing Rashid again. First, gachikun won DreamHack Dallas with this character. Now you’ve succeeded with him. Is this something connected to the most recent Battle Balance update? Why did you make this decision to play Rashid at DreamHack Summer? 

Big Bird: I made the decision to play Rashid because I felt Marisa was too volatile and the Bo3 format does not help her or benefit her. In fact, it makes her weaker. Rashid is actually my style since I’ve historically played heavy rushdown/fast-paced characters. Playing Marisa was out of my comfort zone and I realized that a bit late. I would’ve switched a lot sooner had I traveled to more events and competed more back in Season 1, but I’ve only been to one open bracket event, which is Evo.

Compared to Street Fighter 5, are you happy with how they implemented Rashid in the newest game? 

Big Bird: I think Rashid in this game is a lot more fun, a lot more dynamic, and he has more swag to his gameplay compared to Street Fighter 5. His pressure does have counter-play, but I feel like it’s much harder compared to Street Fighter 5. And he has counter-play to counter-play. I’m enjoying him a lot and I don’t know why it took me this long to make the full switch. 

What is the current condition of Marisa? Is she still viable for top-level esports and for more casual matchmaking? If a beginner to Street Fighter 6 asks for your recommendation of who to play, would you name Marisa, Rashid, or someone else?

Big Bird: Honestly, she’s still viable, but I feel like if you’re looking to win big events, she won’t be the character for you. She’s too volatile and unstable, lack of reversal and lack of a proper anti-air plus poor walk speed are recipes for disaster. I feel like she’s good in longer formats, but not in a Bo3 format. I wouldn’t recommend these characters for beginners because Rashid is a bit difficult and technical and Marisa does not teach you how the game works since she plays her own game. I’d recommend Luke or Juri for beginners! 

Are you excited about the characters in the new season? Do you plan to practice with someone seriously? 

Big Bird: I do want to try Bison, but none of the characters interest me, sadly. The only one I’m remotely interested in is Terry, so that’s a character I’ll give a real shot with and see!

What are your plans for the Capcom Pro Tour this season? Where can we see you competing beyond the Esports World Cup? 

Big Bird: I’ll be attending Evo and hopefully most of the Capcom Pro Tour stops this year. I feel like this is my year and I feel very good level-wise! 

Does being physically fit help you compete in fighting esports? What would you say to someone who claims that gym time could be spent in the Street Fighter lab instead? 

Big Bird: Gym time only lasts about 1 to 2 hours max a day. You can even go less than that, so it doesn’t really get in the way of anything as long as you’re managing your time correctly! I feel like it helps me because I do feel more productive and more clear-minded after the gym. Plus it’s a great place to let all the negative thoughts out of your head. And on top of that, you’ll look a lot better and your health will thank you! 

The Street Fighter 6 tournament at the Esports World Cup 2024 happens between Aug. 8 and 11. The Capcom Pro Tour 2024 offline majors start with Evo 2024, from July 19 to July 21. It’s interesting to follow Big Bird at these and other tournaments. Stick around on for everything about competitive Street Fighter 6!