<
>

Brooklyn Beatdown: JB sends Punk to losers bracket

Jonathan “JB” Bautista beat the No. 1 player on the Capcom Pro Tour, Victor "Punk" Woodley, during Saturday's action at Brooklyn Beatdown 2 during ESL One New York. Imad Khan for ESPN

BROOKLYN -- In Day One of ESL One New York's Street Fighter V tournament, Brooklyn Beatdown 2, Sonicboxx's Jonathan "JB" Bautista sent Panda Global's Victor "Punk" Woodley to losers bracket early into the tournament.

This was a major upset: Punk is currently the highest ranked player in the world in this years Capcom Pro Tour.

"He usually just beats me straight up," JB, the No. 113 player in the world, told ESPN. "I didn't expect the outcome of this game actually."

The reason that Punk is usually able to beat JB so often is because they practice together regularly.

"He's one of my closest friends, so I play him a lot actually. Almost every week," said JB.

But today, things turned out differently.

"I feel that I'm playing really well today. I'm not going to really discredit him," JB said. "But I also feel that he respected me a little more as a player instead of just playing his general game plan, and I feel I was able to take advantage that."

JB is a Rashid player, a character that many discredited as bad shortly after the release of Street Fighter V. But after the Season 2 update, Rashid was given many buffs to help mitigate his weaknesses.

"He has multiple ways to get through fireballs. He has such good jump in. He has such a good anti-air. He has three good anti-airs," JB said. "I think Rashid is, in general, the best character overall."

As for the rest of the tournament, JB feels confident, especially after defeating Punk.

"Actually, he was the only one that I'm worried about at this tournament," JB said. "He was honestly the only one. I feel like I'm ready for anyone else."