One of the five gods in fighting games in Japan and our own Fighting Fox, Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi took the stage in ELEAGUE Group C, named the “Group of Death” by many competitors. Tokido faced solid opponents including Xian, MOV, FChamp, Wolfkrone, and Fuudo.
Tokido’s first opponent was Razer’s Xian. Xian mostly played F.A.N.G in Street Fighter V’s first season but has swapped to Ibuki for Season 2. The change seems to have worked out for Xian as he won 1st place in Final Round 20. Despite Xian’s previous success, Tokido found a way to defeat him using a strategy focused on Demon Flips. Each time Xian strategized around his Demon Flips, Tokido came back with a counter. After a tough match, Tokido claimed a 3-2 victory.
In Round 2, Tokido faced Splyce’s Ryan “FChamp” Ramirez. FChamp played Dhalsim, a character he has used throughout his career. During this match, FChamp attempted to play a rush-type offense but every time FChamp tried to go aggressive, Tokido retaliated with a V-Reversal or Crush Counter. Tokido also utilized Demon Flips to keep FChamp off his game. Tokido took a 3-1 victory and booked himself a spot in the third round.
Tokido’s next opponent was EVO 2016 runner-up, Keita “Fuudo” Ai. Many journalists have described Fuudo as the best R. Mika player in the world. In the first game, Tokido applied the Demon Flip like his previous matches and won Game 1 using a variation of EX Demon Flip. In Games 2 and 3, Fuudo responded using throws and Nadeshiko. It was an even matchup, but Fuudo was able to adapt to Tokido’s strategies, defeating him 3-1 and sending him to the lower bracket.
Tokido faced Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot in the lower bracket. Tokido attempted to use his Demon Flip heavy strategy; but, Wolfkrone read the flips and countered effectively. Throughout the match, Wolfkrone kept the pace up by rushing in and using throws on Tokido. Though Tokido tried to counter Wolfkrone’s offense, the damage coming from Wolfkrone was overwhelming and spelled an end to Tokido’s ELEAGUE run.
In the upper bracket, Fuudo and Xian went toe-to-toe in a close 3-2 series ending with Fuudo advancing to playoffs. Xian was brought to the lower bracket against Wolfkrone for a second chance to advance to playoffs. Like most of Xian’s sets, this one also went to the last game. Wolfkrone used his rush-in offense to take advantage of Xian and defeated him to advance to playoffs.
On May 26, playoffs will start featuring our Fighting Fox Yusuke Momochi. The first opponent on his path to the finals will be Daigo “The Beast” Umehara.