At the IgorMir event in Russia yesterday, Capcom announced that Zangief is joining the roster in Street Fighter V. The inclusion makes Zangief another one of the series' long mainstays, alongside Ryu, Ken, and Chun Li. From the information we have currently, it doesn't look like Zangief's command inputs will be changing drastically like Chun Li's did.
The Red Cyclone will feature the Iron Muscle V-Skill, allowing Zangief to absorb a single attack when players hit medium punch and kick together. The Russian brawler will counter hit if close enough to his opponent and Iron Muscle offers up recoverable health as well. Zangief's V-Trigger is the Cyclone Lariat, which causes him to spin and pull his opponent closer for multiple hits or a well-timed grapple. Both moves bring the mighty mountain into melee range, where he can do the most damage. The Russian skies remain protected!
A number of players, myself included, are a little sad for the 'Gief's inclusion. I personally was hoping for Street Fighter III's Alex as the last grappler in Street Fighter V. As it stands, the SFIII contingent remains woefully unrepresented in Street Fighter V. Of course, there's still hope for Alex or another SFIII alumni as a post-launch release.
"If your character doesn't make it, don't fret," Capcom senior product manager Matt Dahlgren told me during PAX Prime. "Characters are going to be dropping continuously after launch, so we'll get there over time."
The second character mention for Street Fighter V is actually a leak. Capcom teased another character reveal at the Brazil Game Show on October 8-12, but Japanese site Famitsu actually jumped the gun and revealed Brazilian fighter Laura. The pictures of the new character were placed in the site's gallery for its Zangief announcement post and once the error was found, the pictures were removed. Sadly for Famitsu, the internet never forgets.
Laura looks to be an electric-powered (fellow Brazilian Blanka is sad) practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an offshoot of the Japanese judo martial art. This means we could be seeing another grappler, albeit a very mobile one, like Street Fighter IV's El Fuerte. We'll hear more about her specific capabilities, including her V-Skill and V-Trigger, when Capcom actually announces her at Brazilian Game Show.
This leaves us with one classic character and one all-new character left in the roster. Rumors are pointing to Dhalsim as the classic character and a newcomer named Zen taking the final spot. We'll see what happens in the coming months.