There was no shortage of action on the Capcom Pro Tour this weekend—just a shortage of viewable action.
A trio of events took place this weekend which featured plenty of must-see matches. The highlight was Japan Cup, the first Premier event since Evo in July. The event featured a field loaded with top Japanese talent, as well as several top American players hoping to earn a win (spoiler alert: they did not).
Unfortunately, viewers missed much of the action. A compressed schedule at the Japan Cup meant that many of the event's biggest moments took place off-stream. Meanwhile, delays and other issues at Fighting Fest—one of the weekend's two Ranking events—pushed the conclusion of that tournament off the air and into the wee hours of Monday morning.
If you missed any of the weekend's action )and you probably did) this is your chance to catch up. Here's what happened on the Capcom Pro Tour this weekend.
Japan Cup (Premier)
Bruce "Gamerbee" Hsiang couldn't have picked a better time to end his streak of near-misses.
Gamerbee won the Japan Cup at Tokyo Game Show on Sunday to clinch a berth in the Capcom Cup. The Taiwanese player's win was the first-ever victory for a non-Japanese player at the event, which was known as Mad Catz Tokyo Game Show in previous years.
The tournament was Gamerbee's fifth straight top-three finish at a Pro Tour event in a span of five weeks, but it was his first victory during that stretch. He had two second-place and two third-place finishes over that span.
Gamerbee held off Lee "Poongko" Chung-Gon to claim the title. The two played three sets in the tournament. Their first meeting came in the winners' final, which Gamerbee won 3-2 to reach the grand final. They met again in the grand final, and Poongko scored a 3-1 win in that set to reset the bracket and force a third and decisive battle, which Gamerbee won by a 3-1 margin.
Inoue "Kazunoko" Ryota, the highest-placing Japanese player, finished third, one spot ahead of "Rinta." Hayashi "Mago" Kenryo and Egami "MOV" Joe tied for fifth place, while Nagata "Eita" Hiroyuki and Tsunehori "Gachikun" Kanamori tied for seventh.
The 256-player field was loaded with some of the world's best players. Among them were 11 American players, the largest-ever American contingent at an Asian Pro Tour event. None of the 11 finished asking the top 16 at the event, although Vu “Ranmasama" Tra fell one win short of doing so.
Many of the field's biggest names fell early in the tournament. Justin Wong, Ricki Ortiz, Umehara Daigo, and Ho Kun Xian all failed to reach the round of 64.
What it means
Few players have been as consistent and as dangerous as Gamerbee over the past month, so a Capcom Cup berth seemed imminent. In fact, he had entered the weekend in qualifying position through the Asian leaderboard. But after a pair of famous second-place finishes over the past two years—one at DreamHack Winter 2014 when he needed to win to reach the 2014 Capcom Cup, one at Evo 2015—the confidence of being able to win 'the big one' could make him even more of a threat at this year's Capcom Cup.
With just ten points to his name before the event, Poongko needed a miracle to qualify for the Capcom Cup. He fell just short of that miracle on Sunday. The 128 points he earned is approximately one-third of what he will need to reach the season championship. A win at another Premier event appears possible, but that will be far from an easy task.
Short of winning the tournament himself, the results were about as good as Kazunoko could hope for. Gamerbee's win takes him out of the running for qualification through the Asian leaderboard, which allowed Kazunoko to slide back into qualifying position. Kazunoko is currently sixth on that leaderboard, but four of the five players ahead of him appear likely to qualify for the season finale through other means.
Several players missed opportunities to unofficially lock up their Capcom Cup berths. Mago's fifth-place finish moves him to 390 points, which leaves him not-so-comfortably ahead of my projected global points qualification cut line of 380. Kishida "Go1" Goichi's 13th-place finish leaves him about 30 points shy of that mark, while Eita remains about 90 points below that mark with his seventh-place finish.
Thunderstruck 4 (Latin America)
Ryan "FChamp" Ramirez cruised to victory in the Street Fighter V tournament at Thunderstruck in Monterrey, Mexico on Sunday. The win was his second Pro Tour victory in two weeks after last week's win in the North American online qualifier.
FChamp lost just one game on his march to a title, and that came against David "Gama" Gomez in the winners' final. FChamp would win that set 3-1, then win their rematch in the grand final by a 3-0 margin to secure the victory.
Omar "Goro" Armendariz finished in third place, one spot ahead of German "Koopa" Moreno.
What it means
Although his spot in the Capcom Cup was all but assured last week, FChamp's win moved him into contention for a global leaderboard-based berth. That's good news for the players hoping to qualify through the North American leaderboard as it breathes new life into their chances.
Miky "XsK_Samurai" Chea is the biggest beneficiary of FChamp's win. Should current positions hold, he will control his own destiny heading into The Fall Classic. Eduardo "PR Balrog" Perez and "John Takeuchi" Ryota, both of whom are within ten points of XsK_Samurai on the North American leaderboard, can
Only two other players in the field were real contenders for Capcom Cup qualification. Antonio "Kusanagi" Medrano could have moved into qualifying position with a top-three finish, but a seventh-place performance keeps him on the outside looking in. Sebastian "ElTigre" Aguilera needed a win to put himself in the drivers' seat for a Capcom Cup berth, but he bowed out in 13th and earned just one point.
Fighting Fest (Latin America)
It may have come much later than expected, but Dominican fighting game fans had reason to cheer at the conclusion of Fighting Fest.
Lenny "Crossover" Almanzar won the Street Fighter V tournament at Fighting Fest in Santo Dominigo early Monday morning. He defeated Saul "MenaRD" Mena in an all-Dominican grand final, much to the delight of the local fans who were able to stay up.
Unspecified issues caused massive delays in the tournament. The one-day event was scheduled to conclude at 10pm local time but did not end until 3am.
The local favorites held off a trio of high-profile players from outside the Latin American region. China's Zeng "Jiewa" Xijie finished third after falling to Crossover in the winners' final and to MenaRD in the losers' final. Darryl "Snake Eyez" Lewis of the United States, who was originally scheduled to compete at Japan Cup this weekend, finished fourth. Kevin "Dieminion" Landon, also of the U.S., tied for seventh place alongside Christopher "Caba" Rodriguez.
Multiple issues with the internet at the venue also forced the event's Twitch stream offline well before the conclusion of the tournament. Some of the tournament's final matches were broadcast on the group's Facebook page via a cell phone.
What it means
Crossover earned his first Pro Tour points of the year with his victory. He earned a place in the Latin American regional final, and he'll almost certainly need to win that event to reach the Capcom Cup as he appears unlikely to attend either of the two remaining Ranking events in the region.
MenaRD's 64-point haul gives him a shot at qualifying for the Capcom Cup through the Latin American leaderboard, but he'll need to win one of the last two Ranking events in the region to give himself a chance.
The handful of points earned by both Jiewa and Snake Eyez aren't enough to make up for their early season struggles. Both players remain well outside of Capcom Cup qualifying position and will need to find at least one win to have any hope of reaching the $250,000 championship event.