Predicting the Street Fighter V Season 2 roster

With the closing of EVO comes the closing of Street Fighter V Season 1. Alex, Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Juri, and Urien were our DLC characters for this season. Each was well received by the community and used extensively in tournament play (except for Urien, who hasn’t officially released yet. He’s just constantly hacked into online play.) The obvious question to ask now is: “Who are we going to see next?”

So we came up with a roster of six DLC characters that we think have good a chance of making it into Season 2. These characters all have their place in the story, fan backing, and many have had some work on their models and mechanics already done. All those factors make us think they are the most likely to be chosen. We also tried to choose at least one character from every past Street Fighter line, as well as a new character with the thought that Capcom is going to want to include as much diversity in the roster as possible.

With that being said, here are our picks for Season 2 of Street Fighter V.

Akuma

We held off on including other “shoto”-style characters on this roster since Capcom has made it very clear that they want every character in Street Fighter V to play in unique and different ways. There is only so much differentiation you can do with the tried and true fireball, dragon-punch, hurricane-kick loadout. But we still think Akuma has a real chance of entering the roster for one specific reason: Tekken. Akuma is not only a guest character in Tekken 7, he is a central part of the story. It seems really weird for Akuma to have such a prominent place in a competing franchise but not a place in his own.

The question then becomes, “how will Capcom differentiate him from other shotos?” Akuma has a bit of a leg up on Ryu and Ken because his moveset already has a lot of interesting additions like dive-kicks, the demon flip, and teleports, but he still needs some work.

Fans probably want to see the raging demon become his super-art, but that’s pretty shallow design in our opinion. Instead, we would like to see the raging demon become his V-Trigger. We’d like to see his V-Trigger enhance his special moves (hadokens become fireballs, hurricane kicks gain the electricity they had in the Marvel vs. series, etc.) and allow the raging demon to be executed. It would have a Guilty Gear-style “insta-kill” feel to it as opponents run away from an Akuma who has unleashed his full power, and that’s exactly how Akuma should feel.

As for the rest of his moves, our thinking is that the demon flip could be converted from a special move into his V-Skill. It has that feeling of being a unique character mechanic that no one else has. We would like to see his super art become the Kongou Kokuretsu Zan (ground explosion) from Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It’s the most unique super that any of the shotos have to offer. We also would like to see him inherit some of the moves of Evil Ryu or Oni – possibly Oni’s ground pound if his super art does become the KKZ. Finally, we want to see the rest of his moves feel fierce, like Balrog’s punches. We want to see his fireballs explode on impact (not actually increasing their hitbox of course.) We want to see his dragon punch shake the screen. We want to see his hurricane kick have a bit of hit-stop on each successful hit. Akuma needs to feel like he’s a monster, not just another guy in a gi.

Abel

We chose Abel for our Season 2 roster because he has such a prominent role in the story. His model is already done, and he already has multiple costumes. It feels like we were supposed to fight Abel at multiple points during story mode, but the camera always cut away at the last moment. Our tinfoil hat theory is that Capcom was trying to add him in, but had to cut his actual fights for time.

Abel has been characterized as having darkness inside him. During his SFIV ultras his eyes turned black, and during the SFV story he was completely controlled by psycho energy. We would like to see this expanded on for his V-Trigger. Put those purple flame effects to good use. Mechanically, all we want it to do is one simple thing: let Abel throw opponents in hit-stun. This will allow him to combo into throws, which was essentially what his ultra 1 was in SFIV anyway. For an extra bit of fun, his throws could leave opponents standing or in a juggle state instead of knocking them down, that way he can combo out of throws as well!

The rest of his moves can be left pretty much untouched, but there’s still the question of what becomes his V-Skill. The rekka-like nature of change of direction might be a good choice, but we actually think his dodge-roll might fit a bit better.

One or More of the Dolls

It should be obvious why we think these characters are going to make the Season 2 roster. They are already almost done, and with a little bit of hacking you can already play as the dolls in the PC version. Fans have been practically screaming for these characters to become playable. It would be foolish for Capcom to pass up an opportunity to satisfy fans while putting in minimal work.

If any doll gets chosen, it’s probably going to be Decapre. She stands as a symbol of Street Fighter IV and has the most unique and complete move-set of any of the dolls.In fact, her Street Fighter V move-list is already significantly different from her Street Fighter IV incarnation. Once again, it feels like Capcom wanted to add her into the game more thoroughly but didn’t have the time.

This is a stretch, but we would love to see her V-Trigger or V-Skill call in one of the lesser fleshed-out dolls to attack, somewhat like R. Mika’s V-Trigger. This would allow you to pull out Enero’s stun projectiles, Aprile’s poison, or Santamu’s anti-air as you need them.

Ed

It was really difficult to come up with a “new” character to add to the DLC roster. We had to choose someone with a prominent role in the story who has a model that is already done. That only gave us two real choices, Azam, Rashid’s butler, or Ed, the mysterious youth with psycho power who seems to tag along with the wrong crowd.

That being said, we have absolutely no idea how Ed would play, so this is largely speculation. In the SFIV plot, he was revealed to have soul power, which is Rose’s power, and in SFV it has evolved into psycho power, M. Bison’s power. He also has a habit of tagging along with Balrog, and over the course of the SFV plot we see that he also has the power of telekinesis.

We would like to see all these aspects combined into one interesting character. Our thought is that he would play midrange, using his telekinesis and psycho power to extend the range of his normal attacks. He would be more punch than kick-based due to the time he spent with Balrog. His telekinesis could give him some sort of ranged throw. Since his powers are slightly tied to Rose, we wouldn’t mind seeing a psycho power version of Rose’s soul satellite as his V-Trigger.

Sean

Sean didn’t have a very large role in the story mode, but his model is done and fans are clamoring for more Third Strike characters that didn’t get to be in SFIV. Once again, we run into the shoto problem but, like Akuma, Sean is pretty unique. His move-set is supposed to mirror someone who hasn’t yet mastered Ryu and Ken’s fighting style. The rest is filled in with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and plain old tenacity.

So here are our thoughts for converting Sean. Like his Third Strike incarnation, his moves would all be “half” moves. He has to use two fists in order to dragon punch, and he spins wildly. He uses both legs while doing a hurricane kick and it doesn’t go quite as far. The rest of his moves, like his overhead turn kick, tackle, and roll, would make up his core move-set out of V-Trigger.

In V-Trigger, Sean’s shoto moves become the more familiar versions we already know and love. His hurricane kick travels farther and only uses one leg. His dragon punch uses one fist and has more startup invulnerability. He also gains the ability to throw fireballs. Outside of V-Trigger, his only projectile would be his basketball V-Skill. It would be interesting if Sean’s V-Trigger didn’t reduce over time, like Necali’s, but instead reduced every time he used a shoto-style move.

C. Viper

Finally, we have the poster child for Street Fighter IV, C. Viper. In the story mode, she is working a recon mission when she is found by Bison, and after that her story just sort of peters out. Even though she doesn’t have a model, we think her popularity last generation and her unique moveset make her more than a likely pick for the Season 2 roster.

C. Viper is a character that needs very little work. Her move-set is already unique. Her V-Skill should probably be a Street Fighter IV-style focus attack, complete with the ability to FADC. For a while we wondered what her V-Trigger could be, but why not make that operate like Street Fighter IV as well? Instead of activating V-Trigger and going into a powered-up state, her V-Trigger meter could be used like an ultra-meter in SFIV, giving her one big desperation attack that can turn the tide of battle. Converting her over from Street Fighter IV intact would be a fantastic compromise for fans that enjoyed that system better.

Runners Up

The following characters didn’t make our list, typically because of lack of story relevance. However, we would love to see them added to the roster eventually.

Dudley

Dudley is the polar opposite of Balrog. While Balrog is a hard hitting berserker, Dudley is a swift striking gentleman. While Balrog is a charge character, Dudley uses standard motions. Having both in a roster just creates a delightful contrast between two boxers. Dudley’s V-Skill could be his ducks and sways and his V-Trigger could increase his juggle ability, allowing him to pull off the crazy 6 hit c.HK loops that he had in Third Strike.

Q

Q would be an amazing fit on the SFV roster. His defense-increasing taunt could be his V-Skill, and his V-Trigger could be a variation of his Total Destruction super art, where he has limited time to grab the opponent and explode. Unfortunately, he has absolutely nothing to do with the story and despite his popularity with fans Capcom doesn’t seem to be rushing to bring him back.

The Final Fight Crew

Guy, Cody, and even Mayor Mike Haggar would be fantastic additions to the roster, but SFV seems to be staying away from the Mad Gear storyline. Still, we can imagine some interesting mechanical interpretations of this trio. For example, instead of picking a knife off the ground, Cody could equip it as his V-Skill.

Azam

An important character in the story, a model already created, a voice actor already picked out, so why didn’t we put Azam on our original list? The answer is simple: we have no idea how he would fight. In fact, Azam’s entire character is a bit of a mystery. Heck, he only ever says two words! Still, Capcom drew character art of Azam in wrestling attire, so if he ever made the roster we could assume he would be a grappler.

Street Fighter 1 Characters

Everyone likes nostalgia! Birdie technically came from Street Fighter I so why not add some more retro picks? Retsu, Genki, and Joe are all characters that have never been brought back in any other Street Fighter title. Maybe it’s their time to shine. Honestly, we would also be fine with Eagle from the CVS series making an appearance, or even Mike, Balrog’s strange kind-hearted twin. (No really, that’s Capcom’s story and they are sticking to it.)

Max and Scott

Who the heck are these guys? Well, Capcom says that Max and Scott are the names of the two characters fighting during the Street Fighter II intro sequence. They have full backstories and Capcom even gave them updated character art! They were literally the first thing we saw when the most popular fighting game of all time booted up, and yet we never actually got to see them fight!

Sakura

Sakura has a cameo in the story, and it would seem like she should become a part of the roster if Karin is such an important part of the game. However, she too runs into the shoto problem of having a move-set that is far too similar to Ryu’s. If she does get added to the roster, expect her moves to have a drastic overhaul.

Goutetsu

Street Fighter IV brought back Gouken, Ryu’s teacher, so it would be the natural progression of things for Street Fighter V to bring back Gouken’s teacher, Goutetsu. Capcom even has a number of moves that Goutetsu can use that he never passed down. They include the Goushouken (a blast unleashed from the base of the palm), the Sensoshippukyaku (a swift horizontal flying kick), and the Sensokujinkyaku (a violent aerial kick from above). He has also been known to use a staff in combat. He would certainly be the game’s most unique “shoto”-style character.

Oro

Street Fighter III suggested that Oro was going to be Ryu’s next great master. This hermit is 130 years old and may be the most powerful being in existence. He even made a cameo in Dhalsim’s story. He’s only tangentially related to the plot, however, and there are many other Third Strike characters that fans want to see enter the roster before him.

That’s all for our Street Fighter V Season 2 roster picks. Who do you want to see released as a DLC character? Let us know in the comments.