With the Capcom Cup fast approaching, the world’s best Street Fighter V players have been traveling the world in search of league points and tournament victories to ensure their spot at the final event of the Capcom Pro Tour in December. Last weekend, October 15-16, two absolutely insane premier events took place: The EU Regional Finals at the Milan Game show in Italy, and the SoCal Regionals in Santa Ana, California. Both events were full of attendees, full of surprises, and, of course, full of fun, even if you were just watching on a stream. With plenty on the line, everyone brought their A-game to the table and did not disappoint.
The EU Regional Final were simply dominated by the performance of The Beast himself, Daigo Umehara. From start to finish, Daigo basically kicked the world in the face and reminded everyone who he once was. Coming off of several disappointing tournament outings this year, Daigo had to have been out for blood, and he gave everyone the performance they know he’s capable of. His last couple of games against Norway’s premier Necalli player, Phenom, were particularly electric. Phenom had absolutely no answer for Daigo’s Ryu the first time, losing horribly with one round even going the way of the dreaded Perfect K.O., ultimately leading to his being knocked into the loser’s bracket. Phenom would rally, beating Japan’s Bonchan (Nash) only to face Daigo again in the Grand Finals. He would take one round from The Beast, but other than that he was completely dominated once again, having to settle for second place. For anyone wanting to learn the game, you need to watch some of his replays from this tournament. He’s living proof that you don’t need much more than solid fundamentals and good timing to do well in Street Fighter.
Another very bright spot of the Milan tournament was England’s Imstilldadaddy, one of the best Guile players in the world. Regarded as a poor character by many, it’s good to see Guile being well-represented as of late (no bias here…it’s not like Guile is my favorite character or anything…#TeamGuile). ISDD would go on to place fourth in the tournament.
While the EU Regionals were steamrolled by Daigo, the SoCal Regionals had their own monster to deal with in the form of China’s Xiao Hai. Often thought of as the best Cammy in the world right now, Xiao Hai proved that he’s just a general menace to the FGC, taking first place in the King of Fighters 14 Grand Finals before switching gears to win the Street Fighter V tournament like it was just another Sunday for him. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit. He had to get through Japan’s Haitani, yet another vicious Necalli player. The match was a little tricky, as Haitani actually did get a Perfect against Xiao Hai’s Cammy, but with precise confirms and pokes, Xiao Hai was able to wiggle off the hook and stand victorious.
One of the biggest and most pleasant surprise performances of the SoCal Regionals came from team EG’s K-Brad (Cammy). As they say, “sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good,” and there was definitely a little of that going on for K-Brad as he made some critical mistakes late in the tournament that didn’t get punished. But he had everyone rooting for him either way, and he did the USA proud, taking third in the tournament as the highest-ranking American at the SoCal Regionals. Other notables are PR_Balrog taking 7th with solid Balrog and Necalli play, and Korea’s XYZZY tying for 7th with a very unique Birdie. I think I’m forgetting someone…oh, right. NuckleDu placed 5th (#TeamGuile).
Since Daigo qualified outright for Capcom Cup by winning the EU Regionals, that opened up a spot for someone else to get in with points. It’s going to be interesting seeing what unfolds over these next few months as some players, like Chris Tatarian (Ken), dropped out of Capcom Cup point standing after these two tournaments. Literally every single point matters right now, and there aren’t a ton of CPT events left in the season. Who will we see this December at Playstation Experience in Anaheim? Who will fall just out of reach? Who do you want to see? Will there be any Guile players (you can do it, NuckleDu)? I’m very excited to see how all this plays out over the next couple of months . As usual, please enjoy the Grand Finals of both tournaments in the videos below.