Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi has officially taken the top spot on the Capcom Pro Tour Global Leaderboard after a dominating win at Ireland’s Celtic Throwdown CPT Premier event.
Bonchan didn’t drop a single set over the entire tournament, besting the likes of fellow Japanese FGC legends, Hiromiki “Itabashi Zangief” Kumada, Daigo “Daigo” Umehara, and Naoto “Sako” Sako to make it to the grand finals.
In the grand finals, he faced Korean pro, Sim “NL” Gun, who was riding the momentum of a dominating 3-0 victory over Victor “Punk” Woodley in the loser’s finals.
In game one, Bonchan opted for his signature character, Sagat, while NL played Akuma. NL started off strong, and his relentless pressure kept Bonchan trapped in the corner, easily taking the first game 2-0.
Unsurprisingly, Bonchan switched back to Karin for the second game, utilizing her speed and counterattacking power to punish NL for any mistake. Bonchan cruised to a 2-0 victory in game two, stunning NL at the end of the round to finish him off.
Bonchan took game three in similar fashion, trapping NL in the corner, and again stunning him to end the game 2-0.
Up 2-1, and just one game from victory, Bonchan showed off his patience and spacing, hit confirming a standing punch into a V-trigger activation to end the first round.
At tournament point, and with five straight rounds under his belt, Bonchan showed why he’s the best player in the world right now, patiently zoning out NL, and then beautifully baiting out and punishing a mid-screen fireball with an EX-dash into a launch combo that pushed NL into the corner.
With NL trapped in the corner, another quick combo and it was all over, with Bonchan taking game four 2-0, and the set 3-1.
For his first-place finish at Celtic Throwdown, Bonchan earned US$7,000 and 700 Capcom Pro Tour points, moving him past Punk to the top of the CPT leaderboard with 3,770 points.
NL won US$3,000 and 350 CPT points, moving him up to 25th with 565 points.