Wow. What a week that was. Three of the biggest Street Fighter V events of the year and every single one of them delivered high end and extremely exciting Street Fighter action! Normally we run down the events and split them up into who won, what the best match was but to be completely honest, there was so much hype over the past few days, it’s hard to know exactly what to focus on and where to even start. So, let’s start with the first final of the weekend…
E League Finals
After two months of build up and eliminations, we finally crowned our first ever E League Street Fighter V champion. Panda Gaming’s Victor ‘Punk’ Woodley came back from being sent to loser’s bracket by Arman ‘Phenom’ Hananji only to beat him in the Grand Final! It was somewhat controversial, as the televised E League considered the ‘bracket reset’ formula to be too confusing for the casual viewer who may have tuned in, so they opted for a first to four game, with Phenom starting a game up. It meant very little, as Punk had clearly adapted from their game earlier in the night and made fairly short work of him, taking home the whopping $150,000 prize.
An interesting wrinkle to this was that Daigo Umehara had a pretty disappointing performance, getting eliminated in straight sets by Yusuke Momochi, before putting out a statement saying that he vowed to quit drinking and get in shape, as his tournament performances were starting to take a hit. Hmm…
The Combo Breaker Capcom Pro Tour Premier event was a hard fought affair, with some of the USA’s finest players battling it out for a major boost in their Capcom Cup qualification efforts. A handful of top Japanese players made the trip, but other than Naoto Sako, who finished fifth overall, it was an all US top eight. This is another indicator of the recent power shift to the US in the high level Street Fighter stakes.
Darryl ‘Snake Eyez’ Lewis and Du ‘NuckleDu’ Dang had a legitimate match of the year contender in Winner’s Final when Snake Eyez fought back from match point THREE TIMES to knock Du into Loser’s bracket. Du then fought back to rematch in the Grand Final, where he reset the bracket 3-0 and then had an extremely close deciding match, where Du reminded everyone why he is the current reigning Capcom Cup champion. If you watch one Street Fighter match, make it this one.