ESL One: Brooklyn Beatdown
With ESPN covering EVO this year, Capcom offering online items that will go toward CPT prize pools, the plethora of online tournaments and social media outlets dedicated to fighting games, Street Fighter V is flirting hard with becoming a force in the realm of E-Sports. While it still doesn’t hold a candle to games like League of Legends or DotA 2 when you consider both player earnings and fan support, the Street Fighter community is tightly knit, and its fans are some of the most dedicated gamers you’ll find. Indeed, hot off of the Japan Cup leg of the Capcom Pro Tour, fans and pros were treated to ESL Brooklyn Beatdown, a non-CPT New York tournament with $30,000 on the line that had around 18,000 Twitch viewers at its peak.
Being one of the first big Street Fighter V tournaments in New York, and the first offline tournament for ESL, Brooklyn Beatdown attracted international talent as well as some of the best American fighters who would attempt to defend their home turf. We had top-shelf appearances from Infiltration, Tokido, Momochi, Phenom, Fuudo, Alex Valle, Daigo Umehara, Justin Wong and Haitani. With how stacked the lineup was for this event, I don’t think there were any clear winners early on. We did have some early eliminations that surprised people, including that of Infiltration (@INFILTRATION85), who made the seemingly ridiculous decision to ditch Nash in favor of Balrog against Mago in the loser’s bracket. He later told ESPN that he doesn’t have a lot of time to test, and that Mago’s Karin gave him that opportunity (further explaining that Capcom Cup is the only event that really matters).
One elimination that probably didn’t surprise anyone was Daigo’s. The 35 year old FGC legend has struggled immensely as of late, and once again fell short of a big cash prize.
There were also some pleasant surprises at ESL. Brazil’s new superstar, Brolynho, made it to round 5 of the loser’s bracket, defeating both Xian and Alucard before being eliminated by EG’s Momochi. Southern California native Commander Jesse (@cmdr_jesse) made some huge waves at the tournament, making it to round 3 of the winner’s bracket where he was knocked down by EG’s Justin Wong, but eliminated Mago before being eliminated himself by Youdeal’s Haitani in round 5 of the loser’s bracket. While it’s not unheard of for Dhalsim to succeed in tournaments, it’s still fairly rare. The American’s successful run is looked at by some as the all-star performance of note at ESL.
The Grand Finals came down to a foreigner matchup between China’s Xiao Hai (who defeated Tokido – no small task) and Japan’s Momochi (who, well, also defeated Tokido). The match was best-of-five format, and it was fairly tame for the most part. Momochi’s Ken is one of the cleanest out there, and that was certainly on display in the finals. Xiao Hai (@Xiaohai_) matched Momochi with excellent anti-airs and pacing from his Cammy. The matches were at 2 a piece and came down to the final round, with Xiao Hai pulling off the upset against Momochi. Of course, the Twitch feed was full of conspiracy theorists who say it was staged, but I really don’t think anyone would put their reputation on the line like that. Furthermore, there were plenty of upsets throughout the tournament. I, for one, think it was just a clean match between two precision players, and the outcome reflected that, with the health bars and situation in neither player’s clear favor in the end. Check out the match in its entirety here.
That about wraps it up. There are a bunch of tournaments going on this weekend, October 7th – 9th for the Capcom Pro Tour including South East Asia Major, The Fall Classic (in Raleigh, NC), Geek Weekend in Dubai and the Liga Official PlayStation Tournament in Spain. Check back later for results and highlights! Also, we will be live at Capcom Cup 2016 in December! Be sure to follow us on Twitter for updates on Street Fighter and more: @gamer_pantheon