Tokido, Daigo, Machabo, Bonchan, Nemo and Itazan all fell short of qualifying for the final stage, so who actually made it in? — Topanga League recap

With such a prestigious list of fallen players, who can you expect to see compete in the finals? Find out in this recap

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • September 30, 2018 at 8:39 a.m. PDT

The Topanga League this year has been as unpredictable as ever.

With the consistently high level Japanese players compete at, though, it would almost be more of a surprise if we didn't see this many top contenders get thrown out before the final stage.

The second stage of groups was played this weekend, and just ended, meaning that the only thing left now is the absolute final stage, which is for the big prize money (which you can find detailed here).

The final stage is set to be played from Monday the 8th of October through Wednesday the 10th of October, so it shouldn't interfere with any other events, meaning you have no excuse not to watch this top level competition happen before your very eyes.

So if you did indeed miss the matches of the second stage, hopefully this article is perfect for you, since it'll be giving a quick recap and detail what exactly went down this weekend, and what we have to look forward to the week after next for the final stage.

Without further ado, let's look at which players conquered the second round, and advanced to the final stage where they'll be joining the previously qualified CYG|Fuudo, OC|Gafro and FAV|Sako, as well as which bodies they left in their wake on the way there.

Topanga League 7 Stage 2 Block X Final Standings


# Player Character(s) Record Game Record GD
1 FD|Fujimura Ibuki 3-0 22-9 +13
2 RB|Bonchan Sagat 2-1 23-20 +3
3 Trashbox Birdie 1-2 12-19 -7
4 SZY|Mizuha Kolin 0-3 15-24 -9

Note: The first tiebreaker is GD. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results.

Note 2: Round 2 is being played in a first-to-7 round robin format, with deuce rules, meaning that you must defeat your opponent by 2 sets to win. However, to avoid sets going on for too long, the limit lies at first-to-10, meaning that the longest a set can go on is 10-9, in which case the first player to reach 10 wins will take the point even without winning by 2.

Block X Recap

Block X was a pretty straightforward affair, where relative newcomers SZY|Mizuha and Trashbox were unfortunately unable to make any proper waves against their opposition, making the whole group basically lead to a final showdown between RB|Bonchan and FD|Fujimura.

As promised beforehand, Bonchan stuck with Sagat throughout the entirety of the Topanga League, and his match against Fujimura ended up being quite the show.

Despite the monumental success Bonchan has had with Sagat thus far in Topanga League, he was unfortunately not quite able to overcome the might of Fujimura's Ibuki, ending the set in a 8-6 score in Fujimura's favor.

It was a pretty close set, but Fujimura was just the better player this day, and it's hard to imagine anyone being surprised to see him take a spot in the finals of Topanga League 7, though it's possible the most memorable part of this year's Topanga League will end up being Bonchan's fantastic Sagat run, so close after the character's release.

Topanga League 7 Stage 2 Block Y Final Standings


# Player Character(s) Record Game Record GD
1 GRPT|MOV Chun-Li 2-1 25-20 +5
2 CYG|Daigo Guile 2-1 26-23 +3
3 Surugaya|Machabo Necalli 2-1 24-22 +2
4 FD|Haitani Akuma 0-3 11-21 -10

Note: The first tiebreaker is GD. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results.

Note 2: Round 2 is being played in a first-to-7 round robin format, with deuce rules, meaning that you must defeat your opponent by 2 sets to win. However, to avoid sets going on for too long, the limit lies at first-to-10, meaning that the longest a set can go on is 10-9, in which case the first player to reach 10 wins will take the point even without winning by 2.

Block Y Recap

Block Y was perhaps the most exciting group as far as storylines went — it kind of had to be, when FD|Haitani ended up with a 0-3 score, unable to win a set against any of his rival competitors.

The first big happening was Surugaya|Machabo managing to overcome CYG|Daigo in a 10-9 set, going to the very last possible game (although the league plays with deuce rules, sets are capped at first-to-10 being the longest any set is allowed to go).

The very next day, we saw another 10-9 set as Daigo went up against GRPT|MOV's elegant Chun-Li, though this time Daigo came out on top.

As such, Machabo went in with a 2-0 score for the final day and looked like the most favored player to win, by far. However, because of the groups only being 4 people strong, the final match being Machabo vs. MOV meant that Machabo was anything but safe.

Indeed, MOV did manage to overcome Machabo in the end, solidifying his final stage presence with a 9-7 victory, putting the Guilty Gear EVO champion out just before the finish line to get to the money.

Although Daigo ended up above Machabo in the score listing due to GD, make no mistake, it was the set between MOV and Machabo that decided everything — had Machabo been victorious, he'd have a clean 3-0 score.

Topanga League 7 Stage 2 Block Z Standings


# Player Character(s) Record Game Record GD
1 Gachikun Rashid 2-1 19-15 +4
2 DNG|Itabashi Zangief Abigail 2-1 18-15 +3
3 FOX|Tokido Akuma 2-1 20-18 +2
4 Liquid|Nemo Urien, G 0-3 14-23 -9

Note: The first tiebreaker is GD. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results.

Note 2: Round 2 is being played in a first-to-7 round robin format, with deuce rules, meaning that you must defeat your opponent by 2 sets to win. However, to avoid sets going on for too long, the limit lies at first-to-10, meaning that the longest a set can go on is 10-9, in which case the first player to reach 10 wins will take the point even without winning by 2.

Block Z Recap

After putting on an amazing show with G throughout the online portion of the league, hopes were high for Liquid|Nemo going in to this second stage, but to the surprise of some, he ended up going with his classic main Urien for the league, and unfortunately fell very short with him. He only used G briefly against DNG|Itabashi Zangief on the last day when he was already guaranteed to be out of the running, before going back to Urien as well after losing three matches straight.

Although Itabashi Zangief still had a chance to qualify during the last day, FOX|Tokido was in the lead and was the most likely to advance, though Gachikun beating him in a 10-9 could have led to a three-way-tie which would complicate things and demand another form of tiebreaker between the three players.

Of course, as we're all aware by now, this did not come to pass, as Gachikun took it over Tokido in a 7-4, sending the 2017 EVO champion out of the running entirely.

As perhaps the most successful Rashid player in all of Asia, where the character is most popular at high levels, Gachikun has a lot to prove going in to the final stage of the league. It's new territory for him, but based on his matches so far, he seems more than prepared to put on a really good show.

Now that we've covered what happened in the stage that's already over, let's look to the future instead — the finals group, and what we might expect to see when it occurs the week after next.

Topanga League 7 Final Stage Standings


# Player Character(s) Record Game Record GD
CYG|Fuudo R. Mika 0-0 0-0 ±0
OC|Gafro Balrog 0-0 0-0 ±0
FAV|Sako Menat 0-0 0-0 ±0
FD|Fujimura Ibuki 0-0 0-0 ±0
GRPT|MOV Chun-Li 0-0 0-0 ±0
Gachikun Rashid 0-0 0-0 ±0

Note: The first tiebreaker is GD. The second tiebreaker is head-to-head results.

Note 2: The final stage is being played in a first-to-7 round robin format, with deuce rules, meaning that you must defeat your opponent by 2 sets to win. However, to avoid sets going on for too long, the limit lies at first-to-10, meaning that the longest a set can go on is 10-9, in which case the first player to reach 10 wins will take the point even without winning by 2.

Topanga League 7 Final Stage Preview

The absolutely amazing level of play we're about to see is practically unprecedented for Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, since all of this is set to be played in a first-to-7 setting, and no online disturbances to interfere with the game itself, but everything being played face-to-face in an offline setting.

CYG|Fuudo has been one of the most consistent players throughout the life of Street Fighter 5, and as a former champion of both EVO and Topanga during the Street Fighter 4 days, he's definitely proven himself beyond any level of doubt. Although he's had trouble locking in those victories in Street Fighter 5, often ending up in second or third, he finally got his big break when he won the eSports Festival Hong Kong last month, so he has momentum on his side.

While at first glance you might see OC|Gafro as an underdog, he's actually the one and only player who managed to go undefeated in his group of the first stage of Topanga League, meaning he has the most impressive record so far of the early qualifiers. This young up-and-comer will have to battle his nerves being on such a big stage, but his skill is undeniable, and hopefully he can show us the same dominance he was able to during the first stage.

FAV|Sako has had an amazing year, although his latest tournament appearance at the Tokyo Game Show 2018 Premier Event left something to be desired, he's mostly shown us amazing performances and placements. As is often brought up when talking about Sako, he also fights for his family, with a wife and child to support, so obviously his motivation is through the roof — and that might make the difference.

Seen by many as the best Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition player in the world, FD|Fujimura is a mainstay in top 8s of basically any event he attends, and he's won many tournaments this last year. Although he hasn't been able to get a EVO or Capcom Cup-level victory just yet, Topanga League 7 may just be where he manages to get that gigantic win he's been hungry for.

GRPT|MOV is a true fighting game veteran, and we've seen his play, with Chun-Li in particular, throughout many games. As an old 3rd Strike master, you know his skills are for real, and as one of the few people who did not abandon the character after her nerfs in Season 1, his mastery of the first lady of fighting games is unparalleled. He's another player who hasn't been able to land that big win, and in fact, based on results he's on the lower end out of these 6 players, but he'll likely show through his play just how much he deserves to be standing right next to them.

Finally, Gachikun is a player who's really come into his own these last few years with Street Fighter 5. A strong Sagat player in Street Fighter 4, he very rarely travelled outside of Japan, but in Street Fighter 5 and with Rashid, a character he's played since the start of the game and enjoys immensely, he's been showing up all across the world, competing in big events despite not having a sponsor. Truly, you can tell his love for the game and the competition is genuine, and with that level of heart, we could very well see him pull off something amazing on this big stage.

That's all we've got for this final recap of the Topanga League 7 — all that's left is the final itself, happening slightly more than one week from now. Thanks for reading, and hopefully you'll be able to tune in and enjoy it alongside me, and bring the hype in the comments.

Load comments (17)