Fighting Game Genre Launches into E-Sports with Capcom Pro Tour
Pro Gaming is a thing now, in case you didn’t know. We’ve got League of Legends, DOTA, StarCraft… And now Street Fighter. Sure we’ve always had singular events like the Evolution Championship Series, but now we have: the Capcom Pro Tour. Capcom and Twitch are collaborating to deliver the first ever Street Fighter-focused fighting game league. These league is going to be way more than the annual tournaments the fighting game community is used to. Comprised of a combination of premier events, ranking tournaments, and online tournaments, the Capcom Pro Tour establishes a year-long foundation for the fighting game community, culminating with the grand finals at the Capcom Cup this December.
This news isn’t really surprising. E-sports has been on such a rise, that it’s only natural that an established competitive environment like the fighting game genre was going to get in on it. It was only really a question of when. The answer to that question apparently being: now. The Capcom Pro Tour is going to provide an infrastructure to help support tournament organizers and deliver increased production values (for those of you not sure what that means: Fighting game tournaments are usually two guys on a stage with a tiny TV between them. Not a smoke machine or laser light show to be found, unlike their RTS or MOBA equivalents). Along with these additions, we’ll be seeing a slew of new supplementary video content, new opportunities for players, content creators and sponsors. Basically they’re getting up to speed on all fronts.
The only bad news? The tour will focus solely on the Street Fighter IV series, with the early portion of the tour featuring Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, then transitioning to Ultra Street Fighter IV after it releases in June. That’s an issue because the fighting game genre isn’t dominated by a singular game like the MOBA and RTS genres are. Fans of MvC, Soul Caliber, or Mortal Kombat are going to have to wait a bit longer it seems.
A total of 16 spots will be available at the Capcom Cup this year, and there are two different ways that players can qualify. Players who win a premier event will instantly qualify, and the remaining spots will be determined using a new point structure which tracks the rankings of players that compete in the tour.
The current line-up of premier events includes:
· Final Round (March 14~16 – Atlanta, GA, USA)
· NorCal Regionals (April 18~20 – Sacramento, CA, USA)
· Southeast Asia Majors (June 20~22 – Singapore)
· Community Effort Orlando (June 27~29 – Orlando, FL, USA)
· Evolution Championship Series (July 11~13 – Las Vegas, NV, USA)
· The Fall Classic (October 10~12 – Raleigh, NC, USA)
· DreamHack Winter (November 27~30 – Jönköping, Sweden)
There will be a total of 10 premier events in the Capcom Pro Tour, and the remaining 6 spots will be determined using a point structure. All premier events retain their independence and core values, and will be collaborating with Capcom and Twitch to deliver the Street Fighter live streams via the Capcom Fighters Twitch channel. Further details about these events will become available as we get closer to the actual event dates.
These points that will be used to dictate the participants in the premier events will be awarded to the top 16 placements at both previous premier events and ranking events. Ranking events are comprised of both trade shows and independent tournaments which are managed and streamed separately from the Capcom Pro Tour. Basically, if you run an unaffiliated tournament, you can become registered to become a ranking event and winners of these smaller tournaments will earn points that will seed them for the Capcom Pro Tour.
The whole thing is reminiscent of how Tennis works, if you ask me.
If you happen to be one of these Tournament organizers, may apply to become a ranking event by emailing: [email protected]
The current line-up of ranking events includes:
· SoCal Regionals (February 28~March 2, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
· PAX East (April 11~13 – Boston, MA, USA)
· E3 (June 10~12 – Los Angeles, CA, USA)
· San Diego Comic Con (July 24~27 – San Diego, CA, USA)
Points will be awarded to SoCal Regional placements retroactively, and more details about additional ranking events will be announced at a later date.
Fighting game fans and players can keep track of the action and receive all of the latest news and information at the official Capcom Pro Tour website: www.capcomprotour.com