'Ever since [Zeku] was released, I've been playing nothing but him' - Big Bird talks about the CPT changes, hopes for Arcade Edition, Zeku and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • November 7, 2017 at 5:36 a.m. PST

Capcom Cup 2017 is drawing closer by the day, and a lot of top level players are ready to test their skills against eachother at the grand event.

In an effort to build hype for this, we've decided to reach out to the qualified Capcom Cup players, and will be bringing you interviews with as many as possible of the players set to participate in the event.

Next up is NASR|Big Bird who in this interview talks about Ken's season 2 status, how he, as a former Guy main, feels about Zeku, how the changes to the Capcom Pro Tour this year feel to a pro player and more.

Here's a snippet to get you started.

MajinTenshinhan: This year, the Capcom Pro Tour was revamped quite a bit with points structure and how the regional points system worked. Do you think this has been a good change, compared to previous years?

NASR|Big Bird: I think it was a good change, but I definitely like having Auto Qualifiers back, because it gave people who couldn't make it to many events due to unforseen circumstances a chance to still make it to Capcom Cup. Like, let's say for example Canada Cup, someone like AW|Nemo with only 200 points, if he went to Canada Cup and won it, he still wouldn't have qualified.

If it was an auto qualifier, he would've been more encouraged to go because he has a good shot in winning a major like that, but since it doesn't auto qualify, he saw there's no point in going so he didn't bother. A lot of players felt that they shouldn't bother much. That's the only thing I miss about the previous years' CPT system.

I liked how Regional Finals was region locked, this is a step in the right direction. The points distribution difference between Rankings and Premiers is a lot, which is understandable, but Rankings 1st place should at least have half of what 1st place in a Premier would get, in my opinion.

From 400 points to 160, that's more than a half, and a bit unfair if you ask me. Overall, I like where they're headed, the CPT system just needs a few adjustments, I think, and it'll be perfect!

Continue below for the full interview.

MajinTenshinhan: When Season 2 of Street Fighter 5 first came out, people lamented about Ken being completely ruined, but you've been playing him this whole season and done pretty well for yourself. How do you feel about Ken's strength as a character right now in the game, and are there any changes you'd like to see made to him specifically?

NASR|Big Bird: At the start of the season, I felt like players were overreacting about Ken. Having made his throw loops auto, keeping his easy corner carry, his damage, etc. There was no way this character could've been weak with all these tools he has.

But, I found him not being able to maintain frame advantage easily an issue here in this season. Mind you, he's always had this issue, but in Season 1, you couldn't see it because of how easy it was to get in with Ken. In this season, since he doesn't have an easy way of getting in anymore, this is bit more clear.

The removal of his 4-frame back medium punch made his +1 situations irrelevant against 3-framers which is annoying, so against characters with 3 frames, he has a hard time staying in. Also, The increased pushback on his standing medium kick > heavy kick target combo is a bit upsetting, like having it whiff even though you get a clean hit. I hope that gets reverted back to how it was in Season 1.

All in all, I think Ken is a viable character, he can win a tournament, it's just he suffers from consistency issues and for a pro player, you have to have a back up character if you're constantly aiming for 1st place... I learned that the hard way, haha.

MajinTenshinhan: There's a bunch of different fighting games being released right now, and a lot of them are picking up steam competitively as well. Are you at all interested in competing in any other game than Street Fighter 5?

NASR|Big Bird: So far, not really. I might look into Dragon Ball FighterZ and give it a shot since I love the series, but that's about it. Our FGC here in the UAE is as limited as it is, I'm barely surviving with Street Fighter 5 due to lack of players, other games barely have any presence here besides Smash.

I liked Tekken, but it requires a lot of work and I don't think I should be steering away from Street Fighter 5 at the moment due to Capcom Cup!

MajinTenshinhan: Although you're known for your Ken play in Street Fighter 5, you used to main Guy back in the Street Fighter 4 series. Although Zeku is obviously a very different character from his pupil, and Street Fighter 5 is a very different game from Ultra Street Fighter 4, are you seeing anything with Zeku that makes you interested in picking up the old Bushinryu style again?

NASR|Big Bird: As a matter of fact, ever since he was released, I've been playing nothing but him, haha. I'm loving the character, Capcom did a great job with him but he needs a few minor tweaks... Either that or the whole cast gets adjusted which is why I'm reserving my judgment of the character till Season 3.

But as of now, I'm adding him to my characters, he's a lot of fun and resembles Guy in some way, though I'd still like to see Guy back again, too.

MajinTenshinhan: With Street Fighter 5 getting a big revision in January in the form of Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, what are you hoping to see change in the game?

NASR|Big Bird: Well, for starters, I'd like to see the Crush Counter system revamped. Crush Counter combined with priority system makes the neutral scrambly and unpredictable.

If they can find a way to adjust between these two, that would be perfect. My suggestion would be lowering the reward of Crush Counters in the neutral and increasing the risk of throwing out heavy buttons, like adjusting the hurtbox or increasing the recovery, similar to how Zeku's normals are.

I would also like to see Jump OS back or any other new defensive options to make the defender more confident. Right now, it's too hard to defend, especially in the corner. You just pray that you get out in one piece, haha.

Also, removal of anti-air jabs. I know that it has nothing to do with jabs but moreso about the hurtbox of jump ins, I just want anti-air jabs to not be viable. I'd add more medium and heavy anti-airs though. I don't think there's anything skillful about anti-airing with jabs.

Meter build and corner carry to be adjusted, getting the corner is very easy now and you don't need to sacrifice anything to get it, your regular BnB does that for you. Meter build needs to be nerfed a bit as well, I've seen characters spend a bar to get the stun sequence and by the time they get the stun, they already get that bar back.

MajinTenshinhan: How do you feel about your chances going into Capcom Cup 2017?

NASR|Big Bird: Until I figure out who my opponent is, I can't say if I feel confident or not. But all I know is, I'm not just going in with Ken, I will have back up characters because this will be the most important tournament since the start of my fighting game career.

I will counter pick when I need to, and I will switch when I have to. I'm not gonna let my pride get in my way again, I'll do whatever it takes to make it far... Anything that's not against the rules, obviously, haha.

Huge thanks to NASR|Big Bird for participating in our interview series and we wish you the best of luck at Capcom Cup 2017. Please look forward to more interviews in the coming days.

Photo credit: Vexanie.

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