Nemo anti airs with Aegis, Daigo hits five Flash Kicks in a row and Chris T keeps America's hopes alive; Japan Cup day one highlights

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • August 12, 2017 at 8:46 a.m. PDT

We've whittled Japan Cup down to top eight, and already we've seen a ridiculous amount of top tier plays.

When listing CYG|Daigo, AW|Nemo, /r/Kappa|Poongko, Gachikun, GRPT|MOV, RZR|Infiltratio and GRPT|Haitani doesn't even cover half the notable names, you start to get an idea of what you're in for.

We've gone through the first day of the event to grab some of our favorite moments from these unbelievable competitors, and have them to share with you right nonw.

We kick off with the bout between Nemo and ZW|OilKing, Urien vs. Rashid respectively.

It's no secret that Urien's go to gameplan in the late game is to activate his Aegis Reflectors and mix his opponents up as they try to deal with the extra danger(s) on screen.

Even though we've seen this type of thing done 1,000 times before, no one does it quite like Nemo... especially when he uses Aegis for a bizarre, but effective, anti-air:


Click images for animated versions

We move on to the bout between /r/Kappa|Poongko and Gachikun. Looking to go on to match point, Gachikun holds on to both his V-Trigger and Critical Art meter for a tense few moments. When he finally chooses to toss out the dreaded tornado, Poongko fields it quickly with projectile attacks. Maintaining composure, Gachikun launches out a perfectly-timed fireball and follow up to close things out:

Rashid is a somewhat unorthodox character in Street Fighter 5, and certainly not the most popular. Such a combination can oft lead to our seeing players having little to no idea as to how to counter his movements and attacks. Poongko is a shining exception.

Locking down Gachikun at virtually every turn, Poongko and his Kolin have answers for every attempt to attack or escape in this sequence:

Next up we revisit the heartbreaking sequence wherein ZW|OilKing drops a game winning combo on Acqua's Ibuki, and then is promptly reminded why you never, ever leave Ibuki alive in this game:

Though it's an ocean away, America actually has a hope at Japan Cup this year in SoCal's own Chris Tatarian. Facing a loss to GRPT|Haitani, Chris keeps his cool to avoid his foe's Critical Art chip out attempt, and then somehow manages to tame a V-Triggered Haitani Necalli and survive to the next round:

GFuel|Verloren's Cammy is in the discussion for best Cammy in the world, and that's because of moves like this. Behind on life to SPZ|Sandbag's Akuma, Verloren patiently waits for the opportunity to present itself, and then capitalizes with an amazing CA reaction:

We leave you with these highlights of the CYG|Daigo vs. Nemo match. Both players have some outstanding moments, but it seemed almost as though it was going to be a blow out by the Beast. Daigo had crazy moment after crazy moment as he showed off reactions and Ume-Flash Kicks galore:

Live by it, die by it.

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