✖ Close

Life of a Low Tier Hero #3 - Sean in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

Join Jeff on his quest to explain why it's not always about the highest tier when you play fighting games in this third installment.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike is a beloved game amongst many fighting game fans both new and old. The combination of fluid graphics, booming music, new characters that fit right into the universe, and solid gameplay made is an instant classic among the entire fighting game community. One of those new characters, Sean, was an interesting take on the “shoto” archetype and was among the top characters in the game’s prior iteration, Street Fighter III: Double Impact. However, for whatever reason, Sean’s changes in Third Strike left him much weaker than his prior state. I took to the Internet for answers to my question, and stumbled upon a fifteen year old Shoryuken forum post for some answers.

It turns out Sean has tons of weaknesses according to these players. They are, in no particular order:

  • A poor jump arc
  • The worst normals of all the shotos (Ryu, Ken, Akuma)
  • The worst mixups in the game
  • His dragon punch (Shoryuken, loses to throws
  • No safe non-EX special moves
  • Poor ability to deal damage without ex attacks or supers
  • No ability to punish a whiffed, blocked, or parried attack without meter
  • Difficulty building meter for EX attacks and Supers
  • Bad Super Arts
  • Overall weaker character than Ryu, Ken, and Akuma.

I compared Sean to Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s Black Panther - a character who is perceived to be too much work to be worth playing, when other characters can do what BP can do easier. Fellow r/salty and dedicated Sean main SithPL agreed, and had a bit to say about Sean’s status in the game.

“Sean is literally the worst Shoto in the game,” he said. “He has 2-3 good buttons, but all the others can do exactly what he does, but better. But there is just something about using that to your advantage, like the lack of a tools being a tool itself. He has the worst DP, so why would you ever use it - except for that one time when you do and it completely f---s the guy up.”

Like most characters that are perceived to be weaker, Sean should take advantage of the game’s mechanics when looking to be successful. Said SithPL, “Parry [is] a universal mechanic, everyone has access to. A good Sean will know how to parry and punish. For example, parry -> st.cl.MP xx HK xx SA3 is half your life.”

“When I first started with 3S, I devoted a lot of time to frame data and technical knowledge. I knew every fight was automatically an uphill battle, so I wanted to know my options.The problem with that is your brain turns into a CPU constantly filtering every single button, and it turns into, I should have done that, or this, or why didn't I do that? So I broke it down to ‘What do I need to worry about the most with this guy’ and from there it's about feeling the opponent out.”

That being said, high-level Sean play is awesome to watch. It’s rare that a character’s taunt can be used as a zoning tool, but watch Tokido (who is one of the aforementioned insanely-skilled professionals) use it expertly in this video compilation here:

Still interested in some high-level Sean play? Here’s JR Ramirez, aka PikachuAkuma, a highly ranked Third Strike player using Sean in a series of matches.

So, like I always tell you, get in that lab, learn your character, and stop making excuses. For his one last parting shot, SithPL reminds Sean players to keep some things in mind:

  • You are never better than 5-5 in a matchup. Everything else is speculation. Recognize your character is not good.
  • Learn your opponents and their characters to gain the advantage in a match.
  • Learn what buttons you don't need to press. Forward.HK is great, but you can quickly abuse it.
  • Play him and don’t listen what everyone else says. As long as you are having fun, f--- a tier list.”

Think we missed the mark on our Sean analysis? Want to prove Sean isn’t as weak as we think he is? Or, maybe you agree? Let us know!

Join us