Only two characters haven't been part of top 8s at CPT events since Season 3.5 launched - let's compare pre-patch and post-patch character placings

The initial Season 3 patch had a few huge events played, but has character usage really shifted much with the balance changes we got this spring?

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • July 6, 2018 at 7:32 p.m. PDT

Although the initial release of Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, also known as Season 3, became a fairly shortlived affair after the much-requested Season 3.5 released, we still had some really big events take place within that first version.

EVO Japan, with over 2000 entrants, was the first big test of how Street Fighter 5's 3rd season held up, balancewise, back in January.

We also had two majorly stacked Premier events take place after that, but before the latest patch, in Final Round 2018 and NorCal Regionals 2018, both back in March.

With all the hubbub of a certain number of characters in Season 3, perhaps most notably the fearsome four of Rashid, Guile, Akuma and Abigail, people were on a rampage against them in comments and posts, although there were obviously some other characters considered quite strong, such as Menat and Cammy.

In the 3.5 patch, Rashid and Abigail got notably toned down, while strong contenders Menat and Cammy actually got stronger. Akuma and Guile got some changes, but general opinion seems to place them around the same they were before the patch.

But how are the actual tournament results looking since then? Let's take a look at what we can gleam from the events we've seen so far.

In this article, I'll be counting the characters that have appeared in a top 8, first during the short-lived Season 3, and then the currently ongoing Season 3.5.

For a character to count to a top 8, they must've been used at least one match. In other words, if a player used one character in every match until top 8 began, and then used a different character for all of their top 8 matches, the first character will not be counted.

In this comparison, all CPT events that have been played thus far this year, up to CEO 2018, have been counted, with the addition of the non-CPT EVO Japan 2018 because of what a big event it was.

Besides just number of appearances, they will also be divided by the number of events to show a percentage ratio. Any percentage exceeding 100% would mean that the likelihood of seeing more than one of said character exceeded the likelihood of seeing none.

Now, without further ado, let's first take a look at the four-event strong Season 3, and how the balance looked to hold up at the very top levels for that version.

Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition — Season 3.0 Tournament Placings

Akuma
Top 8 appearances: 5
Top 8 appearance percentage: 125%
Represented players: FOX|Tokido, Aziz

Cammy
Top 8 appearances: 5
Top 8 appearance percentage: 125%
Represented players: Fursan|Verloren, Ghost|K-Brad, NuckleDu, CYG|GamerBee

Menat
Top 8 appearances: 5
Top 8 appearance percentage: 125%
Represented players: PG|Infiltration, FAV|Sako, FOX|Justin Wong

Abigail
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 75%
Represented players: AB|StormKubo, DNG|Itabashi Zangief

Guile
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 75%
Represented players: CYG|Daigo, NuckleDu

Juri
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 75%
Represented players: PG|Infiltration

Rashid
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 75%
Represented players: Liquid|John Takeuchi, Gachikun, NASR|BigBird

Chun-Li
Top 8 appearances: 2
Top 8 appearance percentage: 50%
Represented players: GRPT|MOV, Humanbomb

Kolin
Top 8 appearances: 2
Top 8 appearance percentage: 50%
Represented players: DATA|Neon, Aziz

Balrog
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: Tse4

Ibuki
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: FD|Fujimura

Nash
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: RB|Bonchan

Necalli
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: CYG|GamerBee

Urien
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: Liquid|Nemo

Zangief
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: DNG|Itabashi Zangief

Zeku
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: NASR|BigBird

Events counted: EVO Japan, Final Round, Thaiger Uppercut and NorCal Regionals.

Obviously, with only four events to count from, the results are pretty easy to calculate. Based on what we're seeing her, for the most part, it aligns with what people thought were strong characters, with a few outliers from characters like Juri, who were represented solely by PG|Infiltration.

Now, moving on to the Season 3.5 patch, from which we have a lot more data to look at, things are going to be a bit more interesting.

Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition — Season 3.5 Tournament Placings

Cammy
Top 8 appearances: 21
Top 8 appearance percentage: 105%
Represented players: UYU|NL, Fursan|Verloren, DouyuTV|Xiao Hai, GGP|Kazunoko, Tempo|Alex Myers, Ghost|K-Brad, WBG|CJ Truth, FOX|Punk, FNATIC|Shakz, Umbrella|Stunner, VS|NekoXX

Akuma
Top 8 appearances: 17
Top 8 appearance percentage: 85%
Represented players: FOX|Tokido, FD|Haitani, Epsilon|Takamura, iG|Jiewa, Rise|MenaRD, FNATIC|Zera, Tiger|Jochy, CYG|Chris Tatarian, Brandon, PBE|Don, R.R. Keekay, DR|Droker

Menat
Top 8 appearances: 13
Top 8 appearance percentage: 65%
Represented players: PG|Infiltration, FOX|Justin Wong, FAV|Sako, CO|Go1, MJMaster, Jot, Shodown|Zenith

Guile
Top 8 appearances: 12
Top 8 appearance percentage: 60%
Represented players: CYG|Daigo, NuckleDu, GAM|Caba, FNATIC|Akainu, NVD|Phenom, Chuan, ChrisCCH

Abigail
Top 8 appearances: 11
Top 8 appearance percentage: 55%
Represented players: Mouz|Problem X, AB|StormKubo, DNG|Itabashi Zangief, RB|Snake Eyez, Flash, RB, Jan, IND|Shady

M. Bison
Top 8 appearances: 11
Top 8 appearance percentage: 55%
Represented players: Mouz|Problem X, Furia|HKDash, Talon|HotDog29, VS|Somniac, GGEA|Toi, DT|Picoro

Ibuki
Top 8 appearances: 10
Top 8 appearance percentage: 50%
Represented players: FD|Fujimura, RZR|Xian, EG|NYChrisG, GAM|DR Ray

Rashid
Top 8 appearances: 10
Top 8 appearance percentage: 50%
Represented players: UYU|OilKing, Liquid|John Takeuchi, Gachikun, NASR|BigBird, SB|JB, Leslie

R. Mika
Top 8 appearances: 8
Top 8 appearance percentage: 40%
Represented players: CYG|Fuudo, RB|Luffy, NVD|SaltyKid, NuckleDu, Mo-Joe, FluxWaveZ

Birdie
Top 8 appearances: 7
Top 8 appearance percentage: 35%
Represented players: Rise|MenaRD, Umbrella|Dark, SunMate

Ken
Top 8 appearances: 7
Top 8 appearance percentage: 35%
Represented players: CYG|Chris Tatarian, EnVyUS|JonesArcade, FOX|Momochi, NASR|BigBird, CeroBlast

Urien
Top 8 appearances: 7
Top 8 appearance percentage: 35%
Represented players: Liquid|Nemo, CO|Dogura, Tommy2Step, AAG|Pr3da, CESC|BKSama, Sabour, Duwactik

Necalli
Top 8 appearances: 6
Top 8 appearance percentage: 30%
Represented players: NVD|Phenom, F3|Brolynho, FNATIC|Brick, Choco

Chun-Li
Top 8 appearances: 5
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: CO|Go1, EG|Ricki Ortiz, PG|Infiltration, Terrence, Chi-Rithy

Nash
Top 8 appearances: 5
Top 8 appearance percentage: 25%
Represented players: RB|Bonchan, AronManurung

Dhalsim
Top 8 appearances: 4
Top 8 appearance percentage: 20%
Represented players: Commander Jesse, Method|Broski, Tiger|LuiMan20, SFC|EvilDhalsim

Karin
Top 8 appearances: 4
Top 8 appearance percentage: 20%
Represented players: FOX|Punk, RB|Bonchan, FOX|Justin Wong

Alex
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: Juanfraroth, AG|CogumerLim, Maumas

Balrog
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: Rise|Smug, BK9999, K0Lder

Juri
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: PG|Infiltration, DedPetren

Kolin
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: FOX|Momochi, Flash

Laura
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: FNATIC|Shakz, DrGulag, Raptor E-Sport

Vega
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: SB|DoomSnake, GAM|DR Ray, TOSFHQ|VastEnd

Zangief
Top 8 appearances: 3
Top 8 appearance percentage: 15%
Represented players: DNG|Itabashi Zangief, FNATIC|Brick

F.A.N.G
Top 8 appearances: 2
Top 8 appearance percentage: 10%
Represented players: VegaPatch, SwagSkheletor

Falke
Top 8 appearances: 2
Top 8 appearance percentage: 10%
Represented players: FOX|Justin Wong, UYU|OilKing

Zeku
Top 8 appearances: 2
Top 8 appearance percentage: 10%
Represented players: NASR|BigBird, TSD|Serpentaurus

Ryu
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 5%
Represented players: GAM|Caba

Sakura
Top 8 appearances: 1
Top 8 appearance percentage: 5%
Represented players: Flaquito

Blanka
Top 8 appearances: 0
Top 8 appearance percentage: 0%
Represented players: N/A

Ed
Top 8 appearances: 0
Top 8 appearance percentage: 0%
Represented players: N/A

Events counted: Brussels Challenge, Fighting Spirit, CPT Online Latin America North 1, Saigon Cup, CPT Online North America West 1, Game Over, CPT EU West Online 1, Texas Showdown, CPT Latin America South 1, Battle Arena Melbourne 10, Stunfest, Toryuken, Combo Breaker, DreamHack Austin, CPT Asia South East Online 1, The Fight, CPT Online Europe East 1, CPT Online Asia East 1, Northwest Majors X and CEO.

There are many interesting points to look at from this data. One is that characters like Urien, Chun-Li and Dhalsim have had all of their top 8 placings made by entirely different players, while you have characters such as Ibuki and Nash where the players using the character in top 8 are less than half of their top 8 placings, pointing towards the same loyalists often reaching top 8 with them.

Another point worth mentioning is that while Ed hasn't been in any Top 8s this year, he did show up a time or two last year, courtesy of FOX|Justin Wong, meaning that as of right now, Blanka is the only character that's been eligible for tournament, with Cody being too now so far, that hasn't been part of any top 8 since his release.

Obviously, these statistics don't speak to how good or bad characters necessarily are overall. All of these events have had different players attending, of different skill levels, some have been online while some have been offline, but the common thread is that each of these characters and players have reached top 8, and thus also been eligible for Capcom Pro Tour points in each situations.

As for comparing pre-patch and post-patch, it's looking near identical, with Cammy, Akuma, Menat and Guile leading the top in both iterations, with the outlier being that M. Bison has had much better placings during the 20 post-patch events than the 4 pre-patch events.

Of course, this can be attributed to how few events we had before Season 3.5 hit us, but it's an interesting trend to note, nonetheless.

Overall, as far as tournament placings go, there doesn't seem to be a massive difference between the two seasons, at least going by the limited pre-patch data we can actually use.

In general, players have stuck by their previous characters, and even Rashid and Abigail who a lot of people were worried may have gotten nerfed a bit too hard seem to be placing relatively similar to how they were before.

Whether this will hold up or not is anyone's guess, but for now, the meta seems to be relatively maintained.

What are your thoughts after consuming this data? Do you have any particular hopes for the balance changes for Season 4? Sound off in the comments.

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