They historical norm players is to choose a character they like and gel with and then to dedicate all of their time and energy to learning the intricacies of that character, how they interacted with the game engine, and the way their match-ups were to be played. I think Joe sums it up quite nicely with his quip on Japan’s playstyle from 0:29 – 0:35
Very rarely in the history of a street fighter game has anyone ever been considered the strongest player, playing more than one character…
…. Until SFV.
With Players like NuckleDu running Guile and Mika, and Punk and his tag team duo of Nash and Karin, it seems in this game that there is a very real possibility to play more than 1 character at a high level. SFV, being a very linear game, makes the skill ceiling much lower than other iterations, and making it possible to more fully explore all the aspects of a character in a limited amount of time.
Whatever character you play, you can probably classify them into one of three archetypes: Offense, Defense, Grapple. Though opinions may differ, generally the following is true:
Offense beats Defense
Defense beats Grapple
Grapple beats Offense
You can probably think of your match-up and see that this is likely the case in determining which are advantageous, disadvantageous, and even. In order to cover all of your match-ups, all you need to do is invest time in a character who beats your main character’s weakness. Then rather than grind out match-ups with a secondary character against the cast, save yourself the time and just play only the character’s who beat your main’s style.
Some people might argue, that they want to have the deepest knowledge of the match-up and simply continue with one character, and that is a fair and valid argument, but in a game like SFV where you don’t currently have to spend 3 to 4 years exploring a single character, it’s also a fair argument that you might be doing yourself a disservice in trying to work so hard against a style that clearly dominates yours.
As Joe said, it’s literally, “one character, till death.” Make sure it’s the right one for the job.