The recently announced Capcom Pro Tour will utilize a combination of premier events, rankings events, and online tournaments to establish a year-long foundation for the fighting game community. The tour will focus solely on the Street Fighter IV series, with the early portion of the tour featuring Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, then transitioning to Ultra Street Fighter IV, after it releases in June.
“The fighting community has always been a huge part of the world of competitive gaming, but has lacked global leagues and structure which other esports communities have benefited greatly from,” said Victor ‘Victheslik’ Denchartphan, Twitch’s FGC specialist. “What Capcom is setting out to achieve by organizing a year-long pro tour in tandem with leveraging the Twitch community, is definitely going to change the face of the fighting game scene.”
Capcom Senior Product Manager Matt Dahlgren, who was interviewed last July regarding the company’s future in competitive gaming, spoke to GameSpot’s sister site onGamers about their new venture.
“Capcom has been increasing its involvement with the competitive scene, ever since we executed the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tournament Series in 2012,” said Dahlgren. “Along the way, we have learned a lot and the Capcom Pro Tour is a natural evolution of our plans to get more involved with the scene. The FGC is unique in comparison to other competitive scenes out there, because it was created due to the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of the players themselves. The Capcom Pro Tour is designed to respect this history, and rather than create a structure with the intent of taking the scene over ourselves, our goal is to forge partnerships with existing organizers that will be mutually beneficial.”
“Twitch has been a long-time advocate for the FGC, and we both share the same passion and goals for where we would like the scene to evolve. When they were approached with the opportunity, they jumped on board, and having a partner that understands the community on a deep level helps tremendously. The Capcom Pro Tour could not happen without their help, and we are very excited to work together to grow the competitive scene over the coming years.”
Premier events in the Capcom Pro Tour include the already established fighting game majors, led by the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) in July. EVO is joined by a lineup that includes Final Round, NorCal Regionals, DreamHack Winter, Community Effort Orlando (CEO), The Fall Classic and Southeast Asia Majors.
“The Street Fighter tournament at every premier event will be streamed entirely on Capcom Fighters,” said Dalhgren. “The one exception to this is the Evolution Championship Series, in which only pool play is going to be streamed on Capcom Fighters. One of the goals of the Capcom Pro Tour is to provide opportunities to existing content creators. Everyone that we are hiring to be involved with the Capcom Pro Tour comes directly from the FGC, and Spooky will be streaming some of the events.”
Capcom is excited to bring its tournaments to E3, PAX East and SDCC.
“Trying to incorporate fighting events into trade shows is very exciting for us, as this is a great opportunity to expose the excitement of fighting games to new players. Trade show tournaments will function as ranking events, and the Top 16 will be awarded points which can be used to qualify for the Capcom Cup.”
For those wondering about Marvel vs. Capcom, that game doesn’t look likely to join the tour any time soon. It was reported in early January that Marvel titles associated with Capcom and Activision were no longer online. Dalhgren said, “The Capcom Pro Tour focuses solely on Street Fighter, as that IP is completely owned by Capcom.”
With the World Cyber Games recent closing (as reported by onGamers) and the sale of IPL last year before the Capcom/IPL partnership had matured, Capcom’s partnership with DreamHack remains the only relationship with a major esports league entity. While there may have been bad blood between Capcom and Major League Gaming in the past, Dahlgren says they are currently open to working with the company in initiatives for events going forward.
“There is no animosity toward MLG from a Capcom perspective, and we are open to working with established eSports leagues as long as we are aligned on certain common goals.”
Rod Breslau is an editor at onGamers.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @Slasher
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