Capcom wants to get in on the popularity of esports giants like StarCraft 2, League of Legends, and Dota 2 by starting up their very own, official Street Fighter league with the online streaming service Twitch as a partner. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out like the Pete Holmes Street Fighter Red Tape sketches. Vega needs his claw.
While the fighting game community is huge and tournaments go on around the country all the time, games like League of Legends and the others mentioned above give out huge prizes due to millions of dollars in sponsorship from the game developers. These top games can give out prizes over $1 million, while fighting games, on the other hand, usually pay out a few thousand. According to The Daily Dot, Street Fighter 4‘s total prizes come in just under $200,000 so far, while League of Legends has payed out over $10 million.
It looks like Capcom wants to change all of that with the Capcom Pro Tour, which could be great for not only fighting game fans, but eSports in general. Online spectatorship of gaming is already exploding now that PS4 and Xbox One both support native Twitch streaming, but it would be huge if the public could be drawn in by fast paced fighting games. It might be hard to follow a StarCraft 2 match if you’re not into games or even that specific game, but everyone can easily understand what’s going on in a fighting game.
Plus, Street Fighter has great brand name recognition. Most adults who grew up in the ’80s and ’90s have at least heard of Street Fighter and probably dropped a few quarters into arcade machines to play it back in the day, so it’s the perfect game to get eSports a little broader recognition.
Specifically, the Pro Tour will use Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and then switch over to Ultra Street Fighter IV following the game’s release in June. There will be 10 “premier” events over the course of 2014, and the winner of each will be guaranteed a spot in the Capcom Cup championship in December. The other 6 spots in the 16-player Cup will be drawn from a point system at smaller, “ranking” tournaments.
Here’s the announcement from Capcom:
Here’s the event schedule so far:
The current line-up of premier events:
- Final Round (Atlanta, GA, USA) – March 14~16
- Norcal Regionals (Sacramento, CA, USA) – April 18~20
- South East Asia Majors (Singapore) – June 20~22
- Community Effort Orlando (Orlando, FL, USA) – June 27~29
- Evolution Championship Series (Las Vegas, NV, USA) – July 11~13
- The Fall Classic (Raleigh, NC, USA) – October 10~12
- Dreamhack Winter* (Jönköping, Sweden ) – November 27~30
The current line-up of ranking events includes:
- SoCal Regionals (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – February 28~March 2
- PAX East (Boston, MA, USA) – April 11~13
- E3 (Los Angeles, CA, USA) – June 11~12
- San Diego Comic-Con (San Diego, CA, USA) – July 24~27
It’s worth noting that the premier events seem to be locked-in, according to Capcom’s official site, but the ranking events work on a point system, so more can be added without messing up the standings. Other tournaments are able to apply for ranking status, so if you think you’ve got what it takes, keep checking to see if there’s an event in your area.
Just make sure you clear your battle cries with the network censors first.
- No, really, they’re very concerned with the things Ryu is yelling
- And the mighty sharpness of Vega’s claw
- There’s a Shaq Fu sequel on Indiegogo, so maybe we can have tournaments of that