'Not even 30% of top players [in the Dominican Republic] have competed internationally' - MenaRD on his home region, Birdie's top 10 status and more

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • November 8, 2017 at 5:18 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 is Rise|MenaRD from the Dominican Republic. In this interview, he talks about his home region, Birdie's top 10 status, player mentality and more.

Here's a snippet to get you started.

MajinTenshinhan: You use Birdie, who isn't exactly the most common character at high level, though we do see him from time to time. How good do you feel Birdie is right now in Street Fighter 5, and is there anything you'd like Capcom to change about him?

Rise|MenaRD: I feel that Birdie is a top 10 character for sure, but most people don't get how he is supposed to be played in most match-ups, and that's why he doesn't shine as much.

I would like Capcom to give Birdie some defensive tools or real pressure tools. His defense is really bad and with his offense you have to make too many reads compared to the rest of the top characters.

Continue below to read the full interview.

MajinTenshinhan: If there's one thing we've learned in the Street Fighter 5 series, it's to not underestimate the Dominican Republic, with GAM|DR Ray making Capcom Cup last year, you yourself making Capcom Cup this year, and GAM|Caba always being a strong contender in events as well.

Why do you think it is that we haven't heard much from the Dominican Republic in fighting games before Street Fighter 5, and how do you feel about your country's increased exposure in the FGC now?

Rise|MenaRD: The Dominican Republic has an amazing FGC. We were really good at Street Fighter 4 and a lot of other games, but we didn't have much international exposure because it's hard to get a visa.

Now, we get some exposure, but not even 30% of the top players here have competed internationally.

MajinTenshinhan: You've shown very clear consistency, and are a master at staying a step ahead of your opponents, but it's hard to deny that your playstyle differs quite a bit from other high-level Birdie players. What do you think it is that gives you the edge, leading to you being the only Birdie player at this year's Capcom Cup?

Rise|MenaRD: I think confidence is my biggest strength. Players in Street Fighter 5 that don't achieve success tend to blame the game too much and not their approach in the match-up or their own decision making.

MajinTenshinhan: How long have you been playing fighting games, and what was you first fighter?

Rise|MenaRD: I have been playing fighting games for as long as I can remember, but I started playing competitively in 2009 with Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The first game I started doing well in was Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in 2013.

MajinTenshinhan: With Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition coming out early next year, what changes are you hoping to see made to the game?

Rise|MenaRD: I just want better defensive options for the cast.

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

Rise|MenaRD: I believe in myself. It's a really hard path, and all the players in the field are amazing, but I still believe that I have what it takes to take the cup.

Huge thanks to Rise|MenaRD 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.

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