The Poison/Balrog player took the immense pressure in stride, keeping his focus until the very end of the tournament.
Capcom Cup VIII now has its Southeast Asian representative, after Tjie “Oswald” Wai Kit successfully stood his ground in the Street Fighter V Capcom Pro Tour (CPT) Online SEA event on Sunday. Even with the sight of his fallen countrymen clouding his vision, Oswald kept his composure on the way to the grand finals.
Not even a bracket reset by his Malaysian opponent Quan “IamChuan” Ban fazed him, even as both sides of the bracket went down to the absolute wire.
Not the Longest Road, But a Rough One Nonetheless
Oswald certainly had to work for his spot in the grand finals, though. Brandon “Brandon” Chia was the first to bar his way somewhat in Top 8, giving Oswald at least some cause to worry by taking one game against him as Akuma. Nevertheless, Oswald held strong as Poison the rest of the way, taking the match 3-1 in order to move on to the winners’ final.
Interestingly, this was where he and IamChuan would meet in the CPT SEA bracket for the first time. The match transpired in a way that was quite indicative of how things would eventually go, in fact. After going down 2-1 to IamChuan’s Guile, Oswald steeled himself and ran it right back for a close 3-2 victory. IamChuan would take care of Brandon on the other side, showing confident, compact, and surgical play throughout their four-game series.
Runback Special in CPT SEA Grand Finals
The stage was thus set for an epic rematch between Oswald and IamChuan, with two possible matches on the cards. The latter started off extremely strong, taking the first two games by way of his decisive play in the neutral and fantastic reads.
Not wanting to get shown up so quickly, though, Oswald countered with two wins of his own. The Balrog player clearly got a better feel for his opponent as the match went on, blocking his ambitious EX Flash Kick attempts and punishing accordingly. IamChuan would still end up with the match victory, though, thanks to his relentless use of Guile’s crouching light kick.
It was game on, therefore, with the bracket reset confirmed and ready to go. IamChuan fired the opening salvo in the first game of the reset, kicking things off with a clutch crouching medium punch into Critical Art confirm with just a pixel remaining in his health bar. While Oswald jumped right over his Sonic Booms in the second round, IamChuan held fast in the third to close out Game 1.
IamChuan kept the momentum going in Game 2, repeatedly tagging Oswald with the upside down kicks to take a resounding win in the first round. But Oswald would strike back in the second round, applying plenty of corner pressure like Balrog is known to do. He displayed his ironclad patience in the third round, blocking even more EX Flash Kicks on his way to a Game 2 victory.
Shockingly, IamChuan would continue to let them fly in Game 3. He was not afraid of Oswald’s reads at all, and this faith in himself allowed him to take two straight rounds to put his opponent on the ropes yet again. But of course, Game 4 is where both competitors really turned things up. IamChuan looked poised to steal victory from Oswald after the first round, placing himself on tournament point after successfully checking Oswald’s last second dash in with a crouching light punch.
Refusing to be denied, though, Oswald tied the game up by suffocating IamChuan in the corner. A successful EX Dash Straight allowed him to lock his opponent down hard, which proved too much for IamChuan’s Guile to handle. Oswald did more of the same in the third round, using the armor from EX Screw Smash to blow right through his opponent’s attacks and keep him at the wall.
Oswald vs IamChuan series goes down to final game
So, just as it was prophesied, the grand finals between Oswald and IamChuan went down to the final game of the reset. Fortunately for the former, it didn’t turn out to be the cardiac game most were expecting it to be. Declaring himself to be done with the back and forth affair, Oswald simply read IamChuan like a book in Game 5, closing out the series and the championship in two rounds.
As the champion of CPT SEA, Oswald will therefore play for Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia in November 2022. He also bags $2,500 as his prize for winning this CPT online event. IamChuan on the other hand, will take home $1,200.
Incredibly, however, seven-time consecutive Capcom Cup attendee Kun “Xian” Ho will miss out on the event this time around. But as he is undoubtedly one of the greatest Southeast Asian Street Fighter players ever, it’ll only be a matter of time until we see him at Capcom Cup again.