Our very own Logan Sama breaks down Mister Crimson’s massive win at CPT France, qualifying him for Capcom Cup VIII.
After we featured his historic Street Fighter V win at the Red Bull Kumite in London this May, Nathan "Mister Crimson" Massol added qualification to the season end Capcom Cup VIII by taking victory at CPT France/Spain/Portugal.
Another masterful Dhalsim display saw Mister Crimson navigate the losers bracket after an upset loss to training partner Akainu in the top 16 on the winner's side. He made it all the way back to Grand Finals where the legend of French Street Fighter and former Evo Champ Olivier ‘Luffy’ Hay was waiting with his R Mika sitting comfortably with the winner's side advantage.
In what has become an epic French rivalry, we break down this incredible set of Street Fighter V play by play, including exclusive insights from Mister Crimson himself on the match-up and his psychology during the most crucial moments.
A heartpounding rematch in an epic rivalry
Crimson had a very difficult record against Luffy in recent history. He recently lost 5-0 in a longer set for a French online league event and was only able to defeat Luffy 4-3, last game, last round, at Red Bull Kumite finals. He was by no means confident in being able to beat Luffy in Grand Finals not once, but the two times needed to secure the Capcom Cup qualification spot from out of the Losers bracket.
The Dhalsim vs Mika match-up is a stand-out example of the concepts of zoning and rush down in Street Fighter. This dynamic played out immediately in the very first round of the Grand Final. Crimson was able to keep Luffy's Mika out using his extended limbs and projectiles, whilst also evading her approach using his teleport and slides to maximize mobility and run up a huge life lead.
However, as soon as Crimson made a single mistake, Luffy was ferocious. Crimson found himself cornered and guessing for his life in a lightning-fast come back. This was to set the pace for the rest of the Grand Final set.
While we saw Crimson utilize the new V-Shift mechanic expertly in his victorious Red Bull Kumite performance, in this set he displayed an array of ingenious neutral options that kept Luffy frustrated and often times desperate in his attempt to close the distance here.
Luffy was unable to effectively deploy Mika's dangerous Drop Kick as a deterrent to Dhalsim's long limbs and it led to a far riskier aerial approach. This meant that the life lead Crimson was building up was much larger and therefore the chances of Luffy mounting a comeback once he did get inside were much slimmer. The consummate casino gambler, Luffy, would not be deterred and made some incredible plays to take himself to tournament point in the reset bracket of Grand Finals.
Playing and paving his own way to victory
Crimson said, in his own words; "I was just going to play my game... if you win you win... GGs!". It was this laissez-faire attitude and freedom from nerves and pressure that allowed Crimson to play with the type of conviction that was necessary for him to bring it back from tournament point down against former Evo champion, Luffy.
Crimson's refusal to take the command grabs from Mika was a real highlight of the stubborn defensive decisions made in this set. Time and time again, Luffy would go for his signature EX Rainbow Typhoon to secure a stun or finish a round. However, Crimson had them scouted and was proving about as easy to grab as smoke. This evasive quality left him many times still in the game at the point of death, but with the resources needed to steal the round back. And in Street Fighter V, survival is one of the most important skills as a come back could be on at any moment with the high damage output available.
In the end, a frustrated Luffy felt compelled to gamble his tournament life on a hard read frame trap which Crimson again managed to not fall for and punish him for the tournament victory. After the explosive first round of the Grand Final set which saw Luffy make a series of correct reads to wrestle back the life lead, it was a fitting end to the tournament to see Crimson keep his composure and not fall for what was a desperation maneuver from Luffy in those final moments.
Back to Capcom Cup, at last
A jubilant Crimson took to Twitter immediately following the match, stating for all the world to hear that he was returned to take his Capcom Cup slot. The last time Mister Crimson qualified for Capcom Cup was in 2016, where he finished 13-16th. This time, he's aiming for the top.
Logan and Jammerz spoke to Crimson immediately following his victory for the Capcom Fighters stream.
Popular community artist Richard Suwono celebrated Crimson’s win with this One Piece reference, a subtle nod to his opponents Akainu and Luffy.
All is not lost for Luffy though, as there will be a second chance to qualify later this year when the Capcom Pro Tour Online returns to France / Spain / Portugal. You can find out more about this season’s Pro Tour at capcomprotour.com