Gather the best Street Fighter players around the world and put them in a year-long competition, cultivating in one grand tournament to decide who is the ultimate road warrior. This is the premise behind this year’s Capcom Cup.
Throughout this entire year, players have been vying for a spot in the Capcom Cup that will take place this weekend. Some came just short of making it, AVM|Gamerbee, EG|K-Brad and PIE|Smug being some notable names left out of the 16 entrants.
But the positions have been solidified, and the brackets are set. The event is being held in San Francisco, starting at 11:30 PST.
The tournament will be a best two out of three double elimination event, with the Grand Finals being three out of five. Below are those 16 who have qualified and their first round match-ups.
- 1 MD|Luffy vs 16 Nishikin
- 8 EG|PR Balrog vs 9 EG|Ricky Ortiz
- 4 SnakeEyez vs 13 EG|Momochi
- 5 DIG|Prodigal Son vs 12 CRS|NuckleDu
- 2 Bonchan vs 15 RZR|Fuudo
- 7 Infiltration vs 10 CNB|ChuChu
- 3 RZR|Xian vs 14 GL|Valmaster
- 6 EG|Justin Wong vs 11 MCZ|Daigo Umehara
The winner will take home $30,000, in addition to the pot bonus. We can’t predict what the final matches will be, but we can analyze these opening match-ups.
1 MD|Luffy (Rose) vs 16 Nishikin (Blanka)
Defending Evolution Championship Series 2014 champion MD|Luffy is set to go off against Nishikin, known for his aggressive Blanka play. Luffy has no doubt had one amazing year, with his Rose winning on the biggest stage of them all at EVO this past July. Luffy is the heavy favorite to win, according to a poll on oneframelink.com, with 75% of fans predicting Luffy’s first round victory.
8 EG|PR Balrog (Balrog/Evil Ryu) vs 9 EG|Ricky Ortiz (Rufus)
The battle of the Evil Geniuses, PR Balrog vs Ricky Ortiz. These two teammates have been around for a long time, but PR Balrog has recently been using Evil Ryu in companion with his previous main, Balrog. Ricky is still being Ricky, with her divekick heavy character, Rufus. This is a close match to call, with the oneframelink poll divided down the middle, even fans can’t be to sure who will take this one.
4 SnakeEyez (Zangief) vs 13 EG|Momochi (Ken/Juri/Decapre)
The character loyalist versus the counterpick specialist. Who do you go with? It is a classic argument within the fighting game community whether a player who knows one character inside and out has a better chance of winning than a player who adapts to the situation.
SnakeEyez has had one a strong 2014, dominating almost all of the local Wednesday Night Fights tournaments as well as placing high in many major tournaments, including his third place finish at NEC 15 last weekend. Momochi is known for adapting to situations very well between matches, and his three different characters show it.
The best two out of three rule works against Momochi, as he’ll have less time to analyze SnakeEyez’s Gief.
5 DIG|Prodigal Son (Sagat/Yun) vs 12 CRS|NuckleDu (Guile/Decapre)
Recently sponsored new-blood NuckleDu has also had a strong year and is one of the few that has capitalized from the new character Decapre. Prodigal Son, Ryan Hart has been around for a long time, and is the only entrant who is known for having a solid Yun. Yun is considered the best character in Ultra Street Fighter 4, but has yet to win a major tournament.
Both players have both offensive and defensive based characters in their pocket, as well as unique playing styles with those characters.
2 Bonchan (Sagat) vs 15 RZR|Fuudo (Fei Long)
The runner-up of EVO 2014 Bonchan preps for a match against Fuudo, the last person to qualify for Capcom Cup. Coming off hot from his recent win at Dreamhack, Fuudo and his solid Fei Long hopes to upset Bonchan, who was close to the glory of being the EVO champ. The poll shows Bonchan as a heavy favorite, even though he’s using Sagat, a character that has gotten less powerful in this edition of Street Fighter 4.
7 Infiltration (Akuma/Chun-Li/Ryu/Hakan) vs 10 CNB|ChuChu(C.Viper/Chun-Li)
The ultimate counterpick specialist, Infiltration, is set to face one of the biggest underdogs of the event, ChuChu. With almost 80% of fans believing that Infiltration will win, no matter what character he uses. ChuChu will have a chance, if he comes out strong and forces Infil to question the character he is picking, he might surprise us all.
3 RZR|Xian (Gen/Poison) vs 14 GL|Valmaster (Chun-Li)
Valmaster will have to bring his best as he’ll go up against the EVO 2013 champ Xian. Xian is one of the trickiest players to go up against, especially if he plays Gen, a character that is still a mystery to some. Valmaster hopefully has some experience or is prepping before the event to fight one of the most unknown characters in the game.
6 EG|Justin Wong (Rufus) vs 11 MCZ|Daigo Umehara (Evil Ryu)
The two men who created EVO moment #37, will go at it again, but this isn’t Third Strike anymore. The fourth Evil Genius Justin Wong is more known for his Marvel vs Capcom play, but his Rufus is no joke. He is up against Daigo, the Beast, a heavy favorite in every event he enters. Daigo has switched from his signature Ryu to Evil Ryu in Ultra Street Fighter 4, making him an even bigger threat than he was before, thanks to E.Ryu’s damage output.
The two played exhibition matches a few weeks ago at 37 Reloaded, but the stakes are at an all time high. JWong vs Daigo will always be a classic, and that rivalry could be reignited soon.
Capcom Cup is diverse in both its players and its characters. Top-tiers and obscure characters alike were all represented in the tour, and now we have a vast pot of characters to cheer for on Saturday.
It doesn’t matter where they are from, these 16 fighters will go at it in front of thousands of viewers in hopes to take home that grand prize, as well as the recognition of being the Capcom Cup 2014 champion.