What do EVO 2017’s results say about Street Fighter 5’s balance?

Street Fighter 5 has undergone a couple of significant balance changes over its 15 month lifespan, and as with any fighting game, countless debates as to which characters are the best have raged over forums and comment sections.

Taking a look at EVO 2017’s final brackets, we’re actually having a hard time figuring out which characters should be feared most.

In the top eight finals there were eight different main characters, and top 16 featured 13 different mains.

While there surely is merit in general perception and online experiences, characters that have been revered as the game’s best are certainly not prevalent here, if present at all.

Compare this to last year’s EVO finals, where there were three Nash players, two Chun-Li players and a total of only five different characters in the top eight, and you at least have an argument that Street Fighter 5 is heading toward a place of at least decent balance.

Here are the top 16 brackets for both EVO 2016 and 2017:

Evo Char Results image #1 
Click images for larger versions

You may have noticed that there were no Ibukis and no Balrogs in top 16 this year. Does that mean they aren’t all that great of characters? Not for a minute.

The Street Fighter community is used to having a small selection of viable top tiers as most players could easily rattle off names like AE Yun, Third Strike Chun or Old Sagat and instantly inspire a shudder from most anyone familiar with playing against those characters in their respective games.

Street Fighter 5 does have its apparent top tiers, and I wouldn’t go as far as to say every character is 100% viable, (we didn’t see a single F.A.N.G, Juri or Alex in top 64) but compared to the likes of most any other Street Fighter game, its tier list doesn’t seem nearly as polarized right now.

To have stronger and weaker characters is ultimately a good thing, it’s rather when you start seeing characters that are so strong that they leave all others in the dust that you run into trouble.

If I were a brand new player looking at the EVO results this year, I would feel as though I could go confidently to the character select screen, and not necessarily feel like I was starting out at a major deficit simply because of my character choice.

EVO is a nice sample, but it isn’t everything. Even before the Season 2.5 balance patch dropped, the community remarked multiple times at how the “robbery characters” (Urien, Laura and Balrog) were not nearly as prevalent in latter brackets at majors as expected.

We’ll also look to future events for more information as Street Fighter 5’s story unfolds, thus garnering an even clearer image of how balanced the game is.

What do you think of Street Fighter 5’s balance right now? I really don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, but I will say that the skies do seem pretty bright right now in this avenue. Let us know what you think on the matter in the comments below.

Source : Eventhubs
Written by: John ‘Velociraptor’ Guerrero