Best friends and training partners Big Bird and Angry Bird clashed in the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Middle East Grand Finals. It was a closely fought battle and only one secured qualification. Logan Sama has the details.

The Capcom Pro Tour 2021 has already got off to an exciting start with the season in full swing and 6 players already qualified for the grandest stage in Street Fighter. This weekend saw the online tour log in to the Middle East to find the strongest fighter in the emerging region.

Pre-tournament favourites, teammates and best friends Adel ‘Big Bird’ Anouche and Amjad ‘Angry Bird’ Al-Shalabi met in the Grand Finals. Would these best friends become better rivals? The explosive match saw sparks fly with the two players evenly matched all the way up to the very last round of a reset Grand Finals!

With significant balance patch changes and almost a decade of head to head experience against each other, we saw a new character match up as Big Bird reintroduced his Ken to competitive play. Almost entirely missing since he made the switch to Rashid several years ago.

We took a look at some of the new Ken changes that Big Bird made the most of to bring the fight to Seth in this video as well as pick the brain of the winner, Angry Bird, with more exclusive content.

Check out our video below:

“The Birds” are not just rivals, they’re best friends and training partners

Having joined Middle Eastern esports org Nasr together in 2017, ‘The Birds’ as they are affectionately known in the community have travelled the world together competing at the very highest level. But this is certainly not the first time they have faced off in tournament brackets.

In fact they found each other in both brackets for the two CPT events in 2020. After Norwegian player Phenom took the first event of the then ‘Europe East & Middle East’ tournaments, it left the unpleasant reality that only one of these two competitors would be able to take the second and final spot. Angry Bird was the victor that time and the sole Middle Eastern qualifier for the CPT Finals in 2020.

This time round, the Middle East no longer has to share its CPT event with Europe East but that is little solace for The Birds, as they once again have to fight for only one spot at Capcom Cup VIII.

Big Bird and Angry Bird
Grand Finalists Big Bird and Angry Bird both play for NASR Esports

A thrilling Grand Finals in the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Middle East

The Grand Final of the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Middle East was a tour de force of heads up play between two players who know each other’s play style as well as they know themselves. The full half hour set is well worth binging in full on the Capcom Fighters channel.

In the end, only one could qualify, and it was Angry Bird this time after a maxed out set 3-2, final game final round. It was entirely indicative of the set as a whole that, despite taking a quick 2-0 lead in the reset, Angry Bird found himself desperately fighting off the prospect of a 3 game comeback sweep defending two tournament rounds.

This rivalry and friendship will continue for years to come as the two young fighters have much more to offer the world of competitive Street Fighter. But this year, it will be only Angry Bird that has the chance to prove himself at Capcom Cup VIII.

If you liked this content, be sure to check out Logan Sama’s video on how Mr Crimson became the first ever European to win Red Bull Kumite. Stay tuned on esports.gg for more content and articles on the Capcom Pro Tour 2021.

Logan Sama - SFV commentator

Logan Sama

SFV commentator | Twitter: @WSOLogan

Logan Sama has been a fixture on Street Fighter broadcasts for over a decade now. Covering Capcom Cups, Evo Championships and Red Bull Kumites. Most recently creating and hosting the 'Fighting Words' series and 'Round One' pre game show for Capcom Fighters. He also runs his own successful WinnerStaysOn events, which have been a mainstay in London since 2010.