Hiroki “Kichipa-Mu” Asano is a Japanese player that all Street Fighter V fans should keep an eye out for.

He started competing since 2016, but only decided to commit to tournaments outside of Japan in 2018. His breakout performance took place during EVO of this year, where he pulled off the best comeback of the tournament.

Kichipa-Mu has stuck with Zangief, a grappler type fighter that is deemed as a low tier character by many SFV pros. Even players who’ve used Zangief for years have now switched, such as Hiromiki “Itabashi Zangief” Kumada, who has gone with Abigail during tournaments.

It is also important to note that Kichipa-Mu uses a controller — instead of a fight stick — which is unique, as most of Zangief’s input commands require 360 and 720-degree spin motions.

While Kichipa-Mu may have lost to Yeh “Hotdog29” Man Ho during PPL Fighter Masters 2019 in the Grand Finals, he still had an unbelievable tournament run where he eliminated some of the best players in SFV at Shanghai.

Kichipa-Mu versus Oil King (Pools)

Early in the competition, Kichipa-Mu faced top tier Rashid user, Li-Wei “Oil King” Lin. The match was decided on the final round, where Oil King opted to play defensively and tried to keep the life advantage. Oil King used as much space as he could, but Kichipa-Mu was still able to close the gap and deal a significant amount of damage, which forced Oil King to throw a desperation ex-DP.

Kichipa-Mu versus Tokido (Top 8)

After losing to Hotdog29 in the upper bracket of Top 16, Kichipa-Mu had to face Japanese God, Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi. Kichipa-Mu rose to the occasion and demolished the FGC legend.

Kichipa-Mu’s playstyle with Zangief is incredible. He knows his normal attacks and grab distances well. He is also able to pull off insane comebacks because of Zangief’s high damage output.

Kichipa-Mu earned the major upset against Tokido. It’s fair to say no one saw him winning the match 3-0 against one of the best Street Fighter players in the world.

Kichipa-Mu versus NL (Top 8)

Sim “NL” Gun tried a different approach and decided to play aggressively against Kichipa-Mu. But this did not work out well for him, because he was constantly counter-hit up until he was stunned.

Kichipa-Mu versus Mago (Losers’ Final)

Kichipa-Mu also showcased the best usage of Zangief’s V-Trigger against Kenryo “Mago” Hayashi. Instead of holding the V-Trigger for extra damage, he only uses it to pull his opponent towards him so they are within throw range.

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