Defend the North was the Capcom Pro Tour North American event to watch this past weekend. There were plenty of intriguing stories that came up, but the best one followed the winner of the tournament.
Ricki Ortiz dominated this past weekend. The Evil Genius Chun-Li player made short work of the entire playing field. She was the headline for all the stories.
What does domination look like? Ortiz finished her tournament run in the top eight with a ridiculous 9-1 record. She demonstrated many of the positive strengths of Chun-Li, whether it was her spacing with normal moves in neutral, hit confirms into either special moves or v-trigger, or just suffocating space control.
Ortiz's performance against fellow teammate, Kenneth "KBrad" Bradley, was enough of an indication that she was the best player at Defend the North. It was a 3-0 sweep, with her controlling the match's pace and space.
At this point, it's clear which players typically show up for finals day. Evil Genius KBrad, Echo Fox' Julio Fuentes, Team Liquid Du "NuckleDu" Dang, and Team Naventic Peter "Flash" Susini look like fixtures for any North American tournament. They're the cream of the crop and share many similar attributes: great reactions, good optimization of meter, correct punishes and strong spacing.
The differentiation only comes with character selection and individuality within those choices. There are certainly a few other names, not named Evil Geniuses' Justin "Jwong" Wong, that consistently place in the top eight of major North American tournaments, but a standard is set, with Ortiz joining the upper echelon.