The rise of Ibuki at DreamHack Austin

Ibuki, pictured above, is a playable character in Street Fighter. Provided by Capcom

Hundreds of the best Street Fighter V players in the world gathered at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas to take part in DreamHack 2017, the third North American premier event on the Capcom Pro Tour. Saturday was the first day of the tournament, and it featured the opening pools phase up to the top eight.

There were a few notable surprises coming out of pools, but we were left with a very strong bracket of usual suspects in the end. The top eight to fight for their share of the $15,000 prize pool on Sunday will be Alex Myers (Cammy), Kun Xian "Xian" Ho (Ibuki), Justin Wong (Karin), Tatsuya "Haitani" Haitani (Necalli), Goichi "GO1" Kishida (Ibuki), Arman Rabiee "Phenom" Hanjani (Necalli), Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis (Zangief), Victor "Punk" Woodley (Karin).

Surprises and Upsets

One of the biggest surprise performances at DreamHack came from Chris "CJ Truth" Jayson, someone we haven't seen a lot of since Street Fighter IV. His Cammy play was phenomenal, even defeating breakout Karin star and NorCal Regionals champion, Victor "Punk" Woodley, in pools. He went on to win two decisive matches against Li-Wei "Oil King" Lin's Rashid in the winners top 48 before getting dropped to the losers bracket by Alex Myers, then eliminated in the top 16 by an impressive display of Zangief skills by Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the evening was Brian "Brian_F" Foster's elimination of Bryant "Smug" Huggin in the losers top 48 Balrog mirror match. The fan-favorite Smug had no answers for Brian_F in the one-sided loss. Amateur Alex player, Angel "Windalfr" Ortega, also forced one of the most well-traveled Ken players, Xijie "Jiewa" Zeng from DreamHack in the losers top 48.

The Rise of Ibuki

The young ninja didn't have a great 2016, but that's not the case anymore. Many pros have now switched to Ibuki for tournament play including one of the best F.A.N.G. players in the world, Singapore's Kun Xian "Xian" Ho, who's perhaps the best of the converts. He defeated Fujimura "Yukadon" Atsushi, a former Nash main, in an Ibuki mirror match in the winners top 48 before advancing to the top eight. Former Chun-Li star, Goichi "GO1" Kishida, had an oppressive Ibuki for the duration of the tournament, even defeating teammate Ryo "Dogura" Nozaki's Urien in the process.

One notable absentee from DreamHack was Seonwoo "Infiltration" Lee, who is rumored to be developing his Ibuki game for future tournaments.