Street Fighter Legend Nuckledu Retires Following Serious Car Crash
Du “Nuckledu” Dang has announced that he is retiring from competitive gaming and social media in general following a serious car crash in Florida earlier this week.
“I will be putting my controller down now,” Nuckledu said. “Furthermore, I will step away from social media in general since I can’t offer you guys anything anymore. Life is short and unforgiving. Call loved ones, make amends, go outside, and don’t let social media consume you.”
Nuckledu leaves behind a seriously impressive legacy for such a short career, having won several key tournaments at various points in Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5. He is one of the so-called “new guard” in Street Fighter, having risen up among legends and defeated many of his rivals on his way to the top.
Serious Car Crash Costs FGC Cornerstone in a Dark Time
In the midst of all of the drama in the FGC, including several Super Smash Bros Ultimate players being outed as sex offenders, various members of the FGC being canceled, and more, even worse news came in: that Du Dang had been in a serious car crash, as reported by his good friend and later confirmed by various community members.
While it was clear that Du would go on to survive his injuries, which are not public knowledge, it’s clear that he felt that the near-death experience was enough to cause him to hang up the controller for good. Of course, the feat from a near-death experience is often enough to cause someone to make serious life choices and lifestyle changes, especially for a new father, as Nuckledu was.
It’s also possible that the near-death experience caused Nuckledu to examine what was happening in the FGC and decide that he didn’t want to be a part of it anymore, and that he wanted to retire on his own terms. Given that Nuckledu was such a paragon in the community and no one has ever had a bad thing to say about the young man, it’s unlikely that he was going to be outed as some sort of sex offender or anythign like that at only age 24. However, many of the people and friends that he associated with may have been, and that’s surely something that gave him pause to continue in the meantime.
Outpourings of support have come in from across the FGC, both before it was known if Nuckledu was okay, and after he announced he would be retiring.
“Whether you want to stick around is up to you of course,” commentator David “UltraDavid” Graham said on Twitter. “But it’s just not true that you can’t offer us anything anymore, whether you can play or not. Your gameplay isn’t the most important thing about you, and it never was. As someone who quit competing in 2012 due to my own physical issues, I know how mentally and emotionally hard it is.”
Nuckledu could easily transition into a new role as a caster in the FGC now that he’s retiring, but given all of the community issues and what’s sure to be a long road to recover, it could be quite some time before we see him back in any capacity.
Du’s Legacy: A Young Man’s Game
Nuckledu represented something special in the FGC. As one of the oldest competitive gaming scenes, the Fighting Game Community more than any other has an old guard that people aspire to and equate to greatness. Du grew up in the long shadow of legends like Daigo Umehara, Justin Wong, and others. But leave it to the Florida scene to generate one of the most hype and yet still humble figures to grace the FGC in Nuckledu. Having grown up in the Tampa area and training with folks like Dexter “Tampa Bison” James, as well as attending almost every CEO since its inception, he honed skills that made him a force to be reckoned with, even in Street Fighter IV. He was the youngest Capcom Cup competitor back in its inception in 2014, and that quickly attracted the attention of Team Curse, before the Team Liquid merger.
All of this set Du up to be in an excellent position heading into Street Fighter V. He was known for being a very aggressive Guile player in SF4, and that trend carried over into the much more aggressive Street Fighter V perfectly. He went on to dominate the game’s first year, bringing home victory at Capcom Cup 2016, and a majority of tournaments he attended that year.
While his performance has dipped in recent years as he’s focused more on growing his new family, his record is among the best in the entirety of Street Fighter V. Across his time in the game, he had:
- 15 first-place finishes, including Capcom Cup
- 13 2nd place finishes
- 5 3rd place finishes
- 18 top eight appearances (not including the above.
- Earned $331,0999.20, with a majority of that coming from SFV and his Capcom Cup win.
He was with Team Liquid for a majority of his finishes since his 2014 appearance at Capcom Cup, and only left in January of 2018. He remained teamless until July of 2018, when he made a brief stint on Ghost Gaming, before joining Echo Fox for the last solid year of their existence. He left that team when it disbanded back in October, and had been teamless since.
Du was one of the most outspoken critics of how Capcom was handling the switch to online in the wake of the Coronavirus, as he fell victim to lag during the event and ended up finishing 9-12th in the NA East 1 qualifier. This was after 2020 started looking like it might be a return to form for Du, when he finished 4th at Evo Japan 2020. The car accident cut that short, and robbed all of us of perhaps one of the best players to touch the game, and surely one of North America’s brightest Street Fighter players.