'How I beat Tokido, Fuudo, Itazan and Daigo' - Brian_F bested Japanese players in casual sets, but fears they'll be developing anti-Balrog tech soon

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 19, 2017 at 6:34 p.m. PDT

First thing's first, no this is not at all a conceited "look how great I am" rant from Balrog player Brian_F. The regular streamer/competitor has shown a very strong technical vision for Street Fighter 5, regularly investigating the potential of characters and sharing his findings.

At Final Round last weekend he did get insanely close to defeating FOX|Momochi in tournament, and actually did exceptionally well in casual sets against a collection of Japan's strongest fighters including a 3-1 victory against DNG|Itabashi Zangief, which is especially interesting considering the match up.

After returning home, Brian took to his stream to discuss his experiences in these casual sets. His takeaway? Many of the Japanese top talent did not know how to deal with Balrog's tap attack on wake up. Knowing it'd be foolish to think Japan wouldn't learn quickly, he fears they'll soon be developing option selects to shut down Balrog's tap attack.

For those unfamiliar with Brian_F's work, we've included a video of his below that details Balrog's dreaded V-Trigger mix ups, explaining both how to utilize and defend against them.

Video sources: Brian F.


Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 6:40 p.m.

Hearing Rekkas when talking about Balrog just feels weird

ParabolaBeam said on March 19, 2017 at 6:43 p.m.

Brian is awesome. Love his stream.

Glad to see him on the come up. And hoping for the best throughout season 2.

CODYYY said on March 19, 2017 at 7:07 p.m.

balrog is just way too cheap. how he is going to be the same in the next patch confuses the hell out of me. still plenty of time so there is hope

Chris_P_Lanqs said on March 19, 2017 at 7:15 p.m.

Gotta respect a player that shows people how to defeat them self, cuz that only makes him stronger by making him improve on his tactics and optimization. We all May wanna watch out for this guy in the future.

RafaelBUrena said on March 19, 2017 at 7:19 p.m.

So where is this tricky TAP on wake up setup?

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 7:20 p.m.

Normally yeah, but he plays Balrog, so no respect

Like Dudley would say, "you have no dignity"

Doh_Simpson said on March 19, 2017 at 7:25 p.m.

It's just poor balancing, Brian_F, is this season what Ricky Ortiz was last season.

keebler said on March 19, 2017 at 7:52 p.m.

balrog does too much damage for sure, but let's not pretend there aren't other overall stronger characters in the game.

Fact is that Japan does not have much in the way of strong Rog players, while we have two or three of the best in the world. It's very similar to how Europe had strong laura players in S1 while the US didn't have anyone and we thought she was horrid. Anyone that traveled to Europe saw she was a cheap characters even in S1 and just overshadowed.

I don't know why people like you tend to downplay the players and just attribute everything to characters. Everyone has access to the same characters and people pick who they wish. I don't care how busted you think a character is, it takes skill to sit up on stream and take a player like momochi to the brink. You'd see a lot more randoms in top 16s and top 8s if everything worked like you seem to think it does.

BUYMECAR said on March 19, 2017 at 7:53 p.m.

that's not cool. ricky is a long time pro, has made top 8 dozens of times. sure, her character was top tier but she's very well established in sf community as a threat.

kenkazama said on March 19, 2017 at 7:57 p.m.

He win because he use the god tier... If it was in season one, he never beat Japanese players

keebler said on March 19, 2017 at 8:06 p.m.

balrog MIGHT be top 3 lol. Hes not even best in game, and he does have some losing matchups. This game doesn't have a god tier.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 8:08 p.m.

Idk man, all Balrog players were doing bad in S1, S2 comes and they're suddenly relevant again? There is character involved there

celeon said on March 19, 2017 at 8:10 p.m.

even him can beat top players, lol, he is a good player, more than i for sure, but being able to beat those monster with SFV Rog is a joke.

Xykes said on March 19, 2017 at 8:19 p.m.

Because if they nerf him people will complain that he's garbage, just like they do with Chun now.

Capcom toned down Mika in S2, and people cried bloody murder. Yet, here were are with Mikas still doing very well, and now I've seen people whining that Mika is too good.

No matter what they do, someone will complain and complain loudly. So, they just left him mainly as is, trusting that the player base will hit training mode and learn the match up (like we're supposed to).

The health nerf, BTW, isn't trivial. We've seen plenty of matches on stream recently where Urien or Balrog have survived with a sliver left, only to make the comeback. In S2.5, they'll just die.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 8:22 p.m.

I for sure won't complain if Balrog were garbage

Green016 said on March 19, 2017 at 8:23 p.m.

TAP should never be safe. That's just broken but it's perfectly normal in this game sadly.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 8:26 p.m.

I hate Balrog, but i'm going to try and not be biased here, i'm fine with TAP being safe if he fully charges it, unless that happens, making it safe is just retarded

CWSapp757 said on March 19, 2017 at 8:37 p.m.

I just want to make sure I understand you:

Brian F, who beat a few top players in quick casual sets and didn't even finish top 64 at Final Round is this season's Ricki Ortiz who placed high at multiple events and placed 2nd at the 2nd biggest (or biggest according to some) SFV tournament of the previous season??

That is what you are saying right???

ledhendrix said on March 19, 2017 at 8:37 p.m.

Wait, so this guy beats some top players in casual sets, brags about it and gets a piece done on him by eventhubs? WTF? Either its tournament or theres money on the line or it doesn't matter. This is not news.

Themysciran said on March 19, 2017 at 8:53 p.m.

Well this is a no-brainer. Isn't it obvious that he beat the legendary Japanese players because of his insanely easy-to-use, safe-all-the-time, high-damage and low-risk-high-reward character? It's really that simple.

Chris_P_Lanqs said on March 19, 2017 at 8:57 p.m.

That's actually why I respect it. He's literally telling you how to beat rog without having to grind training room.

With everyone complaining about balrog it's nice to see there are plenty of options to stop his pressure. All of this coming from "someone with no dignity" sounds like an oxymoron to me.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 8:59 p.m.

Sounds more like he's telling his fellow Balrog players to not do dumb stuff against players that grinded in the training room

And yeah, Balrog = no dignity, even if the character was complete trash, all his matches were 10-0, people that played him would still have no dignity

HooliganComboFTW said on March 19, 2017 at 9 p.m.

Where were all these Balrog player success stories in S1?

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 9:01 p.m.

Getting a bunch of Ls

Doh_Simpson said on March 19, 2017 at 9:10 p.m.

Ricki Ortiz started off the exact same way keep in mind that the season has only started and Brian F will be very similar.

ParabolaBeam said on March 19, 2017 at 9:11 p.m.

What an unfair comment.

Balrog wasn't even around for the first couple months of season 1.

It's like asking where were all the Ibukis? Or where are all the Kolins right now?

What happened to giving people time to learn the characters?

PRrog was still learning Balrog most of season 1. But he was overall playing Necalli. Smug was playing Karin.

Now that they learned the character people take all credit away.


ParabolaBeam said on March 19, 2017 at 9:13 p.m.

They were playing other characters because they were still learning Balrog... who came out like in the middle the pro tour.

Bohemio said on March 19, 2017 at 9:16 p.m.

Buried under mika and chun's bullshlt.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 9:17 p.m.

Both started playing Balrog almost as soon as he came out, and that was at the first day of July, which means they had more time with S1 Balrog than S2 one, so no, I don't believe it

Also, what a coincidence, they get good at the character as soon as he gets stupidly buffed, not in any of the 6 months he was there in S1 and they weren't winning

oscuro said on March 19, 2017 at 9:20 p.m.

Personally I think eventhubs tier list with guile,urien, and rog as top 3 is right. Few characters like cammy are up there, but man the damage rog deals and his buttons are so good.

Brian_F said on March 19, 2017 at 9:20 p.m.

Balrog success story = drowning in pools apparently. I've done nothing but play online, don't worry about me lol

ParabolaBeam said on March 19, 2017 at 9:26 p.m.

It. Was. The. Middle. Of. The. Pro. Tour.

Wow, haha.

You saw Final Round. Not one single Kolin.

But do you think some of those people aren't practicing their own Kolins in the lab behind the scenes?

I remember PRrog's Balrog in the first few months. He was definitely not ready for primetime, so he stuck with Necalli.

The same with Smug and Karin. And he was known as a Dudley player, not Balrog.

There are only about 4 or so actual quality Balrogs on the scene. And you're downplaying them as being mindless.

I feel that's unfair.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 9:31 p.m.

I'm not saying they should have showed results in the first month, but what about the 5 other months before S2? No results, S2 comes and out of nowhere they start doing really well, yeah... I don't buy it

We can believe it was a really weird coincidence that all Balrog players just learned the character as soon as S2 hit or we can believe that they already learned him in S1, but improved in S2 because of the buffs, the second one makes more sense to me

Chris_P_Lanqs said on March 19, 2017 at 9:43 p.m.

As someone that knows for a fact that s2 balrog is cheap. Can u please explain to me his specific s2 buffs and site a few tournament match examples of how they were relevant to said balrog winning the match strictly due to s2 buffs? Not trying to insult you by any means, I am seriously curious to what u know and see that I do not.

CWSapp757 said on March 19, 2017 at 9:45 p.m.

What Balrog players other than Smug have won anything though. Brian F himself said he still drowns in pools. He just lost a FT5 against Art's Dhalsim on his stream. PR Rog didn't finish top 16 at Final Round and Smug and Alucard don't even win their weekly locals.

FeverAyeAye said on March 19, 2017 at 9:50 p.m.

Dude showing off about beating people in casuals... man, they were just stealing your tech and learning the Rog matchup in meaningless matches.

Gellus said on March 19, 2017 at 9:56 p.m.

Video from the same dude showcasing the buffs he got https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhFlD...

"and site a few tournament match examples of how they were relevant to said balrog winning the match strictly due to s2 buffs?"

Strictly because of them? There's no such thing as "he wouldn't have won if it wasn't for this move" if that's what you're asking, it all comes together, his previous moves + the buffs + the changes other characters got, nothing is in a vacuum

keebler said on March 19, 2017 at 10:02 p.m.

Yes and no. Certainly, matchups are easier from both extra damage, higher frame advantage for frame traps and pressure, and system changes. There's no doubt that Balrog is a much better character in S2. But also keep in mind that Smug was largely absent from S1 due to school, and he played Karin for much of it. He barely traveled compared to prior years as well. PR Rog was not at all focused in S1 for numerous reasons, but he's making strides to take the CPT more seriously throughout the year and is getting over the whole "Sf5 sucks" mentality. Alucard is strong, but not "top 8 at a premier" level quite yet. It's hard to judge his success with balrog as well because he played necalli and birdie almost equally depending on the matchups he came across.

My point more is it's a bit naive to attribute everything to the character, especially at high level. It also really downplays the amount of work these guys put in. Balrog is top tier, but there are several top tier characters that are just as viable with ridiculous tools. A lot of characters are much more relevant because the meta of S2 is overall different.

keebler said on March 19, 2017 at 10:09 p.m.

I do consider Balrog's health nerf to be laughable, and he does need a damage nerf. But you do make a point considering the match between Champ and RB over the weekend for 4th place or whatever ended up with both characters in pixel health for a Time over. Since Urien had 1025 health, his "pixel" was worth more and he outright won instead of a tie. So it can definitely make a difference.

He definitely needs less damage though lol. His frame advantage throughout the moveset is ridiculous, and his dp makes NJ basically a non factor and risky against him. I like the options he has though. I don't want them to pull a ryu or chun on him and make the character borderline useless at high level.

isaaclee said on March 19, 2017 at 11:10 p.m.

That doesn't seem true. Did you even watch PR Balrog at Evo and SCR last year? He beat a good number of Japanese players.

delamarche said on March 19, 2017 at 11:45 p.m.

It's hard to tell which articles will attract the most mind-numbingly stupid commentary. For example, I expected this one to turn out alright, but boy was I wrong.

ZaFuuru said on March 19, 2017 at 11:50 p.m.

the game is random, that's how you beat them. Try to breat them in SF III or SF IV and see what happens

nebbiez said on March 20, 2017 at 3:02 a.m.

'How I beat Tokido, Fuudo, Itazan and Daigo'

Pick Balrog

mUpKnrush said on March 20, 2017 at 3:26 a.m.

How is it random? This dude clearly has consistently taking down all of those top players. He's simply good at the game an with his character. The guys who are top players are still top players. Also half the mentioned players whereby SF3 players to my knowledge. SF5 is a different game then SF4, just cause you're good at one doesn't automatically mean you'll be good at the other. Not having an invincible backdash, invulnerable uppercut that can make you safe and crouch tech doesn't make the game random, it makes it that you have to commit and your at a serious disadvantage on defense, which is how it should be after someone earns Oki in my oppinion.

That_guy_who_plays_DOA said on March 20, 2017 at 4:01 a.m.

Ignore him. Simpson is either 14 or just lowkey autistic, in which case responding and flaming isn't okay. All he really brings is how much he dislikes Americans and sometimes SFV when the article is on US players. Chime in sometime when he talks his French origins, then calls every American he's ever met rude lol. Ever been to France? Aside from actually being the capital of hobo-opolis, everyone's a d-bag.
But I don't generalize so disregard that.

NP_Duim said on March 20, 2017 at 5:43 a.m.

accept that this game is noob friendly (not saying that Brian is noob, he is an awesome and dedicated player), but new faces now can beat anyone. It's not the char, it's the player itself (balrog helps a little, but Urien, Cammy, Guile and Laura are even better and yolo than him).

Montsegur said on March 20, 2017 at 6:33 a.m.

Then why does every single tournament have top players come out of pools? You don't have some random new guy winning things. Players like Punk, Du, etc having been up and coming for some time now. Du is established and Punk will be too.

TWOB1GUNZ said on March 20, 2017 at 6:34 a.m.

Capcom has accomplished what they set out to. The bar for entry into fighting games is lower and the gap between Joe's and pros has closed. There will be a lot of new faces popping up in sfv. If not Just new faces then maybe old faces that didn't do so well in the pass but will do well now. More players more money. It's about time we all get a chance to share the fight money!

ikarinokami said on March 20, 2017 at 7:44 a.m.

the health nerf is huge, on a character with limited wake up options in this game.

SFV is about MU.

Guile and Cammy are the god tiers in this game, no bad MU.

Balrog is top 10 no higher, command grabs are too good in this game, and too many characters have great v-triggers that can destroy him if you get knockdown.

Balrog is not cheap if you cant play defense you are not going to win.

SMUG won because he can play hella defense.

ParabolaBeam said on March 20, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.

And play every single day, streaming for hours on end.

Zephyrus said on March 20, 2017 at 8:54 a.m.

Shame is many other will. Dyring seaaon 1 pr rog convinced people that rog was bottom 5 at worst, low tier at best. And those people complained that the dlc characters were worthless compared to the initial roster.

So capcom buffed them. Didn't take long fof people to complain that the game was pay to win.

Honestly, he should just get some minor damage nerf and leave him as is. But like always, in the fgc, if a character wins he's broken. If he doesn't, he's dead.

NP_Duim said on March 20, 2017 at 9:47 a.m.

We have a lot of new faces on SFV man.
The game proposes this to happen, and it's happening.

NP_Duim said on March 20, 2017 at 9:47 a.m.

100% agreed !

allero said on March 20, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.

throws loops for one, throw loops for all, I'm sorry I feel its necessary to highlight this

AAKZ said on March 20, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.

Hmm, rank 12... Probably knows what he's talking about.

OkieScrub said on March 20, 2017 at 11:36 a.m.

Yeah cus there were so many Boxers in Topanga and boxers in the top 8 at Final Round... Oh wait.

Only bads think a character with little defense and mediocre mix ups is top 5. There is scrubiness involved here.

NoizyChild said on March 20, 2017 at 11:37 a.m.

I see a lot of bad and scrubby players on this post.

Sillender said on March 20, 2017 at 11:42 a.m.

you should change your avatar if you're going to be retarded, stop disrespecting my man gyro

TheMonkey said on March 20, 2017 at 11:47 a.m.

Game is bad, let's move on

CrimsonCross said on March 20, 2017 at 12:15 p.m.

Lol, mad props for you my man for that comment. I'm guessing it's Gyro because it's supposed to be subtle that he's "breaking balls" hurdur.

Montsegur said on March 20, 2017 at 1:17 p.m.

Which new faces that have consistently made Top 16-32? Xyzzy, Brian F, Punk, etc are new, but play a ton. Games bring in new people, was Du, Chris T. Chris G. just playing a scrubby game in SFIV? Was made for noobs right? No Joe Schmoe I randomly play SF is going to knock off the pros. A Joe Schmoe who's put in a ton of time to get on a pro level, sure.

Everyone's gotta start somewhere. Some of these Japanese guys were also present for SF2/3, but skipped 4.

ZaFuuru said on March 20, 2017 at 5:51 p.m.

rock-paper-scissors is the core of the game and it is random, execution is non-existent and input lag is still too much

mUpKnrush said on March 21, 2017 at 9:16 a.m.

Punk and du must be damn good at rock paper scissors in that case lol.


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