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Rise of MenaRD - Capcom Cup 2017 Recap

Written By: David “DeeJay” Goldman (@DJxGoldman)

The Capcom Cup is the largest Street Fighter tournament of the year and the culmination of a full season's worth of effort. 32 competitors from all over the globe battled it out for the right to call themselves the best in the world. Representing both Rise Nation and the entire Dominican Republic FGC, 18-year-old Saul “MenaRD” Segundo attempted to do what many believed would not be possible and walk away with a victory. Coming in as the 24th seed, MenaRD was able to fight his way all the way to the Grand Finals and shock the world by winning two best of five series to secure his place atop the Street Fighter world.

Playing as Birdie, MenaRD was able to advance to the Winner’s bracket from the Round of 32 by defeating 9th seeded Xian in an extremely close matchup. MenaRD’s success would carry over to his next matchup against Kazunoko and his Cammy with a 3-1 victory. MenaRD would go on to win his next two matches, advancing him to the Winner’s Finals.

Meeting MenaRD in the Winner’s Finals would be 2nd seeded Tokido, a long time veteran in the Street Fighter scene. Unlike MenaRD up to this point, Tokido has been in high-pressure situations like this one having won championships in two separate decades. After an extremely close matchup that came down to the final set, it would be Tokido’s veteran experience that would lift him above MenaRD and knock him into the Loser’s Bracket. Although it was a heartbreaking loss, MenaRD still had the opportunity to reach the Grand Finals with a victory in the Loser’s Finals.

Facing off against Alienware’s Nemo for an opportunity at the Grand Finals, MenaRD would make quick work of Nemo’s Urien by way of a 3-0 victory, setting up a rematch against Tokido in what promised to be an epic showdown.

Having made it from the Loser’s Bracket, MenaRD had the difficult task of having to win two best of five series if he wanted to lift the Capcom Cup trophy. Losing in heartbreaking action only minutes before, MenaRD proved he was up to the task defeating Tokido in yet another extremely close series serving him his first loss of the tournament and resting the matchup. Riding a wave of momentum from the first best of five MenaRD was able to defeat Tokido and his Akuma 3-1, securing him a tournament victory and all the accolades that come with it.

MenaRD, clearly shocked about what he had just accomplished, was rushed by his fellow Dominican Republic representatives as confetti fell from the sky. After the presentation of the runner-up trophies, the 18-year-old was handed a large check for $250,000 followed by the Capcom Cup trophy. As the camera zoomed in on his face, you could see a wave of emotion wash over him as he hoisted the cup for the whole FGC to see. All of his hard work, from bringing the Dominican Republic’s fighting scene to the world stage, to this championship victory, came to ahead in this one moment: the rise of MenaRD.

From everyone at Rise Nation, we would like to congratulate MenaRD for a tremendous weekend and one heck of a year. We look forward to what the future holds.

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