It’s been an incredibly busy weekend for the Capcom Pro Tour, with three global ranking events taking place in three of the CPT regions – Toryuken in Toronto, Canada, Saigon Cup 2017 in Ho Chi Min, Vietnam and FFM Rumble 10 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Toryuken: Justin Wong [Team Echo Fox]
It’s no secret that Justin Wong is a great Street Fighter player, but the title of ‘best Karin in the World’ is definitely no longer his, belonging to current Capcom Pro Tour leaderboard topper Victor ‘Punk’ Woodley. It was an impressive Loser’s bracket run by Wong, who got sent there early in a surprise loss to Alex ‘Sin’ Saguero. Wong then went on to beat Sin in the rematch, and also knocked Kenneth ‘K-Brad’ Bradley and Shine out of the tournament, before resetting the bracket and beating Peter ‘Flash’ Susini 3-1 then 3-0 to take first place.
This win puts Justin Wong just outside of the top 10 ranked players in the World right now, but sees him looking quite comfortable in terms of eventual Capcom Cup qualification.
Saigon Cup 2017: Masato ‘Bonchan’ Takahashi [Red Bull]
What a run Bonchan is on right now! Playing as a character that is not only regarded as being pretty low tier since the Season Two balance changes, but also a character that got comprehensively ‘figured out’ by the end of the first Season anyway, Bonchan makes Nash look like an absolute monster. This is his THIRD Capcom Pro Tour event win in three weeks, two Ranking events and one Premier, that puts him up to number two in the World rankings. What is even more impressive, is that he’s never lost a set during that run.
Bonchan has now more than made up for his lacklustre first Season in Street Fighter V, almost guaranteed a Capcom Cup slot already and only second in the CPT leaderboard to Punk, who brilliantly is a big fan of his! It’d be amazing to see those two throw down right now.
FFM Rumble 10: Arman ‘Phenom’ Hanjani [Team BX3]
Phenom solidifies his claim as the best player in Europe right now with his first CPT win of the Season. Already racking up a fair few points by travelling a fair bit already in 2017, as well as making it to the final eight in E League’s Street Fighter V invitational, Phenom finds himself in the top ten ranked players and is the highest ranked European player. He’s about to get a massive profile bump from the televised E League exposure and is already looking likely to make it to Capcom Cup 2017.
He bested Ben ‘Problem X’ Simon, who was playing Laura, in sets 3-2 to reset the bracket and then a decisive 3-0 to take the tournament. A perfect run of form headed into E League this coming weekend.
Match To Watch: Phenom v Problem X, FFM Rumble 10 Grand Final
A fascinating back and forth brawl in the first set, but then becomes a fascinating look into how Phenom is able to adapt to his opponent and inflict his gameplan upon them. A top level Street Fighter player, make no mistake.
As we head into next weekend, where we have the start of the E League finals and Combo Breaker 2017, a Premier event taking place in Chicago, it’s worth seeing who is on a hot streak and who needs to start one as we near Evo 2017.
Bonchan and Nash. Again.
What more can be said? He’s won three back to back tournaments, hasn’t lost a set in ages and is playing with a character that is said to be getting buffed in the Season Two rebalance patch, whenever that drops. A character loyalist, he stuck with Sagat through Street Fighter IV and now, with Nash, he’s starting to be able to do stuff with an apparently weaker character that makes that character absolutely deadly.
Sure, he was runner-up at FFM Rumble, but he’s quietly put together a pretty solid score and sits in twelfth place in the CPT leaderboard right now with 350 points. He’s consistent, always a threat at any tournament he enters and is likely only about 50 points off being guaranteed a Capcom Cup spot for the third year running. The UK’s best.
Olivier ‘Luffy’ Hay will always have the title of the first European to win Evo, but finishing outside of the top sixteen at FFM Rumble was a bit disappointing for the man who regularly battles it out with Phenom as to who is the best player in the region. He lost to a Laura player before running into Packz in Loser’s bracket – a bad roll of the dice to make top 16 if I ever saw one. He’s still in the qualification places for Capcom Cup but could do with one more big finish to hammer that home. It should’ve been this past weekend. He’ll be back.