Capcom Cup - the Street Fighter Finale - Is Upon Us
This weekend, 32 of the best Street Fighter players in the world are going to do the thing. People often refer to Capcom Cup as “the Super Bowl of Street Fighter”, but it more accurately compares to the Nascar circuit. This is the culmination of a year of tournament play, from which each player has amassed points based on their performance. However they reached this point, each of these competitors is astoundingly good at Street Fighter V, and probably worth watching. Here’s a quick primer of what you need to know in order to enjoy the festivities.
Capcom Cup is a 32-player tournament. Twenty-six of those players were awarded points based on their performance in SFV tournaments throughout 2018. Some players, like Japan’s Fujimura, made it here by placing in the top 8 of damn near every tournament this year. Other’s like the UK’s Problem X, placed into Capcom Cup with singular, impressive victories (in his case, that victory was winning Evo 2018, which actually is the Super Bowl of Street Fighter).
Of the remaining 6 players, 4 were winners of their geographical region’s qualification event, one gained entry by winning yesterday’s last-chance qualifier, and one is the returning winner of last year’s Capcom Cup: MenaRD.
The 32 players will play in a tournament bracket with a double-elimination rule. This means that a player who loses a set will be sent to a losers bracket, where they’ll have a second chance to win their way to the finals. A loss in the losers bracket means elimination.
The players are competing for over $250,000, and for the prestige that comes along with winning the biggest prize in fighting games.
What to look for
There are lots of notable stories coming into this event. I’m sure the commentary team will run some of them down, but here are a couple to keep in mind.
Tokido is probably the favorite. This Japanese player won Evo 2017 (the world’s largest fighting game tournament), placed second at Evo this year, placed second at Capcom Cup 2017, and is the #1 seed in this tournament. He’s placed first or second at over a dozen events this year. His use of Akuma is singularly oppressive, to the degree that he’s the reason people consider Akuma the best, or second best character in SFV. After winning Evo 2017, he delivered the tear-jerking “Fighting games [are] something so great” moment, driving home his point that he chased an Evo victory for 15 years before finally winning, and still loves this thing. He’s a cool guy.
Punk is always a big deal. The barely 19-year-old American player has evolved. He spent most of 2017 being a jerk and dominating the entire Street Fighter world, only to have it all come crashing down when he suffered a humbling loss to Tokido in the Evo 2017 grand finals. He’s the player you see crying on stage in the Tokido moment I linked above. As commentator James Chen predicted in that very video, though, Punk has matured as a person and a player, since that loss. He even went on to sponsor another player, allowing said player to attend yesterday’s last-chance qualifier. ZJZ, the player Punk sponsored, won that event, and will be competing today.
Xiao Hai is the cream of the poop crop. By “poop crop” I mean the Cammy players. Cammy is a character who has always been among the best, but has somehow consistently received buffs in each season of SFV. She’s become a meme unto herself. Xiao Hai, though, plays Cammy in an unbelievably skill-based way. I won’t get too deep into it here, but if you want to know what fighting game terms like “neutral”, “footsies”, and “hit confirm” mean, Xiao Hai is the man to show you. That is, assuming he doesn’t get destroyed by his first-round opponent, CJ Truth, who plays Cammy in a very similar fashion. (Cammy players are fine. I just hate them. But they’re fine. And they suck.)
Problem X won Evo 2018 as Bison. Bison is a dope character, who has tons of versatility, and no other Bison player takes advantage of that like Problem X. He only recently became a major part of the SFV scene, but he’s already one of the most entertaining players to watch, which brings me to…
How to Watch It
I wanted to add a lot more to this article, but honestly, Capcom Cup starts in less than a half hour (as I write this). So, without any further preamble, you can watch the whole thing live on the Capcom Fighters Twitch channels, (here and here) and also on their YouTube channel. You can also catch it all down below, through the magic of embedding. Today’s showing begins at 1 PM EST, and goes until 24 players have been eliminated. The remaining 8 will face off tomorrow afternoon, starting at 3 PM EST.
I’ll be watching the whole thing, and I’m always down to initiate people who may not know what this whole professional Street Fighter thing is about, so feel free to text/DM/Facebook message me, or the Everyone Who Cares pages, to chat about it. Let’s watch some digital fisticuffs, people.