Sure, Ken, Luke, and JP are the to dogs and then Cammy, Guile, Juri, Dee Jay, and Chun-Li are hot on heels after that, but why then are seeing such low tier losers as Ryu, Zangief, Kimberly and others placing first in major events?
Balancing is weird in Street Fighter 6, at least relative to its predecessors. Content creator MC Mura dives into why this seems to be the case in his latest video and comes up with some interesting takeaways while doing so.
There seems to be at least one clear path to being higher tier in Street Fighter 6’s meta, and that’s essentially to have a strong “low forward confirm into Drive Rush combo into corner carry for throw loop mix ups” game. Ken probably does this better than anyone, which is why he’s arguably the best in the business, but others who excel here tend to rank high on tier lists as well.
Normally those who can take the most advantage of a game’s given meta wind up being the best, obviously, but Street Fighter 6 has a handful of interesting examples where characters deviate from the mold and can still hold their own. Enter JP.
JP tends to rely much more on zoning to get his game plan started, and proceeds to mix up enemies with his teleports and delayed portal spikes from both the mid screen as well as the corner.
As opposed to some of the characters mentioned above, JP plays a more defense footsie game at first until he’s able to create a more advantageous zoning or offensive situation for himself. Guile doesn’t “Street Fighter 6” quite as much as other high tiers, either, resorting primarily to more zoning and poking fundamentals that get the job done differently, but effectively.
Characters like Ryu play a similar style to Ken, but just aren’t as good at it. That said, it seems they still have enough juice (when played by a skilled enough player) to overcome the tier list gap and win major events.
Mura has a lot to say here and also brings up other examples like Marisa and Zangief in his video. Check it out in full below and let us know what you think of the general feel and flow of Street Fighter 6’s balance in the comments afterwards.