Daigo Red Bull SFV

Photo via Red Bull (All rights reserved, used with permission)

The win, his first of the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour, puts him right in the thick of the qualification race.

The idea of the world's most famous Street Fighter player failing to qualify for Capcom Cup was a very real possibility just two weeks ago. Now, that idea seems like a distant memory.

Umehara Daigo surged into Capcom Cup qualifying position with a win in the Street Fighter V tournament at E-Sports Festival Hong Kong on Sunday. Daigo secured the win, his first of the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour, with a pair of victories over Hiroyuki "Eita" Nagata—a 3-0 win in the winners' final and a 3-1 triumph in the grand final.

Since both Daigo and Eita had already qualified for the Capcom Pro Tour's Asian regional final, the spot on the line in Hong Kong fell to third-place finisher Bruce "Gamerbee" Hsiang of Taiwan. Gamerbee, who was signed by Zowie just before the event, is the only player outside of the top 40 in the Pro Tour global standings currently qualified for any of the four regional finals.

China's "UD" finished in fourth place. Jonny Lai "Humanbomb" Cheng and Ho Kun Xian tied for fifth place, while Nozaki "Dogura" Ryo and Kevin "Saunic" Souvanheuane tied for seventh.

This win, coupled with his second-place performance at Well Played Cup last weekend, moves Daigo into the top 20 in the global standings. At least ten players will qualify for Capcom Cup 2016 through their position on the global leaderboard.

The victory also places Daigo second on the Asian regional leaderboard, trailing only Hayashi "Mago" Kenryo. Two players in each of the tour's four regions will qualify for the season championship via the regional leaderboard. If Capcom Cup 2016 were held today, Daigo would qualify for the event this way.

Daigo's current position is a far cry from where he was just two weeks ago. With only 73 points to his name at the halfway point of the season, Daigo needed big results to keep his hopes of a third-straight Capcom Cup appearance alive. His victory this week, coupled with a second-place finish at Well Played Cup last weekend, is just what the doctor ordered.

Daigo has an opportunity to strengthen his position even further over the next few weeks. He is scheduled to compete at OzHadou Nationals in Australia next weekend, East Coast Throwdown in the United States the following weekend, and Lockdown in Portugal the week after. After his performances over the past two weeks, he will be favored to do well in all three events.

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