Capcom Cup 2017 is almost here! Thousands of players around the world have competed in the Capcom Pro Tour to earn one of just 32 available spots at the event. Up for grabs at this season’s finale is over $370,000 in prize money between the top 8 placements as well as the chance to be crowned Capcom Cup 2017 Champion!
The level of competition at Capcom Cup 2017 will be staggering. Here are just a few reasons why:
Two of the previous Capcom Cup Champions will be present for Capcom Cup 2017. (Liquid|NuckleDu, Capcom Cup 2016 Champion, was automatically qualified for Capcom Cup 2017 but elected not to attend.):
Also, six of the last seven EVO Champions will be competing!:
- 2009-2010 – Hx|CYG BST|Daigo
- 2011 – Fuudo
- 2013 – RZR|Xian
- 2014 – Method RED BULL|Luffy
- 2015 – ECHO FOX|Momochi
- 2017 – ECHO FOX|Tokido
That’s not all. There is still one spot remaining to be filled at Capcom Cup 2017. At Capcom Cup 2017 there will be a Last Chance Qualifier and the winner of that event will join the other 31 confirmed players!
You will not want to miss a second of this event, so be sure to come back here on December 8th through 10th to watch it on the live stream. Stay tuned to this site and to our Twitter and Facebook pages for the latest information on the event.
Now, here is a brief rundown of all 31 players who are currently qualified for Capcom Cup 2017!
PG|Punk – Victor Woodley (USA)
Character(s): Karin, Nash
PG|Punk made his breakout appearance on the Pro Tour at Red Bull Battle Grounds in 2016 where he took 3rd place. Feeling he could have won it, he was emotional about that placement. Fast forward to 2017 and he is without a doubt the best player in the world right now. To illustrate the point, Punk has a lead of over 950 points over ECHO FOX|Tokido in 2nd place on the Global Leaderboard. That’s enough points for two full Premier Event wins plus another top 5 finish. Also keep in mind that Tokido won EVO 2017, which gives him 1,000 points for one event. In 2017 Punk has finished top 16 at 5 Premier Events. Three of those finishes were first place at NCR and Dreamhack Austin in back to back wins and at the very last event of the year at Red Bull Battle Grounds, getting the win in 2017 he so longed for the previous year. He also finished 2nd to Tokido in EVO 2017. Punk is without a doubt the best Karin player in the world but he also has pocket secondary characters that he’s used at events including Nash, Ken, Ibuki, Guile, and more. He has the nickname “The Alpha” among fans for his playful assertiveness toward his opponents before and between matches. His antics are not just amusing to spectators, but they serve a strategic purpose of trying to disrupt the opponent’s mindset. If there is such a thing as a favorite to win Capcom Cup (previous years have proven that even the best go 0-2!), Punk is it. Regardless of what happens, it will be entertaining.
ECHO FOX|Tokido – Hajime Taniguchi (Japan)
ECHO FOX|Tokido is one of several legendary players with long, storied careers to their credit. Tokido is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a long legacy of winning at the game across multiple eras. He is playfully known as “Murder Face” because of the look of absolute seriousness on his face when facing an opponent. This is Tokido’s third Capcom Cup in a row. In 2017, Tokido has earned five top 16 finishes at Premier Events including a win at the Asia/Oceania Regional Finals at South East Asia Major. He is also the EVO 2017 Champion. Lastly, he has earned top 8 at three Ranking Events. As his nickname suggests, Tokido is all-business when it’s time to play and his skill is incredible, with years of fierce competition having sharpened it. In 2017, he switched his main character from Ryu to Akuma, trading some health for the raw damage potential of the latter character. He is without a doubt the best Akuma player in the world. Will he be the first to win EVO and Capcom Cup in the same year?
Yukadon – Fujimura Atsushi (Japan)
Character(s): Ibuki, Nash
Yukadon made his big breakout debut at EVO 2016 where his incredible Nash play delivered earned him a 3rd place finish. This season he has largely abandoned Nash and joined the Ibuki revolution. He has had a remarkable 2017 season, with ten top 16 finishes at Premier Events which includes three first place finishes (Dreamhack Summer, SCR, and Dueling Dragons Dojo (D3))! He also finished just outside of top 16 at EVO 2017 (17th place). He is one of the best Ibuki players in the world (perhaps arguably the best going by placements) and also has one of the best Nashs in reserve. He will be a formidable opponent at Capcom Cup 2017.
Haitani – Tatsuya Haitani (Japan)
Haitani is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a long legacy of winning at the game across multiple eras. This is Haitani’s second Capcom Cup appearance in a row, where he took 4th place in 2016. Haitani has finished top 16 at seven Premier Events with two of those being 1st place (Ultimate Fighting Arena and Japan Cup). He also finished 9th at EVO 2017. Among several great Necalli players taking part at Capcom Cup 2017, Haitani is the best in the world right now due to his placements at some of the toughest events in the world this season. He will be a fearsome opponent for anyone he faces.
Mousesports|Problem X – Benjamin Simon (UK)
UK’s Mousesports|Problem X has had an absolutely incredible 2017 season. By the end of the season you could argue that he is the best player in Europe right now and is in any conversation for top 5 players in the world. He has four Top 16 finishes at Premier Events including back to back wins at EGX 2017 and the EU Regional Finals at Milan Games Week. He also has nine top 16 finishes at Ranking Events with three of those being wins (Sonic Boom, Celtic Throwdown, and Street Grand Battle). This is Problem X’s third Capcom Cup appearance in a row. Problem X has competed with multiple characters including Alex, Birdie, and Guile but his main character is M.Bison. He is certainly regarded as the best M.Bison player in the world right now.
CO|Dogura – Ryu Nozaki (Japan)
Character(s): Urien, M.Bison, Necalli
2017 is the breakout year for several players that are qualified for Capcom Cup this year and CO|Dogura is one of them. He did an incredible amount of traveling this year, attending 11 of the 16 Premier Events this season. Of those he made top 16 in seven of them and won two of them in October (TWFighter Major and Canada Cup). He also took top 16 in four Ranking Events. With two Premier wins in October, including the last true Premier Event of the season at Canada Cup, he is going into Capcom Cup on a hot streak. Dogura’s main character is Urien and he’s the best Urien in the world right now (he’s going to Capcom Cup with two Premier wins!), with fantastic use of transitioning between zoning and offense. He also has some of the sickest combos you’ll see using Urien’s Aegis Reflector mirrors. He also has an M.Bison and a Necalli in his back pocket, so he is going to be one to watch out for at Capcom Cup 2017.
Fuudo – Keita Ai (Japan)
Fuudo is one of several players who has now earned a spot to every Capcom Cup to date. This year has been another great one for Fuudo, with him taking top 16 finishes at eight Premier Events this season including three 2nd place and two more at 3rd place. Fuudo plays a very different R.Mika than most other players. He seems to have taken the play style he used for Fei Long during the Street Fighter 4 era and adapted it to R.Mika. His R.Mika is more technical, with use of normal to do damage and back opponents into corners and less about crazy mix-ups. When the R.Mika mix-ups do come into play, they are all the more effective because of the contrast to his main play style. Fuudo gets to Capcom Cup every year because he’s an amazing player. Will Capcom Cup 2017 be his year?
GGP|Kazunoko – Ryota Inoue (Japan)
This is Kazunoko’s third Capcom Cup appearance in a row. He’s the Capcom Cup 2015 Champion and took 3rd place at Capcom Cup 2016. This illustrates that not only is he accustomed to playing in high-stakes events like this, but he thrives there. He has four top 16 finishes at Premier Events and a 3rd place finish at EVO 2017. He also has three top 16 finishes at Ranking Events including a win at Online Ranking Event Asia/Oceania Two. He’s one of the best Cammy players in the world with only Korea’s GFuel|Verloren in the conversation for 2017. He’s an exceptionally composed player that rarely shows emotion while playing and every move he makes is very precise. Can he be the first to win two Capcom Cups? We will see at Capcom Cup 2017.
RZR|Xian – Kun Xian Ho (Singapore)
Character(s): Ibuki, F.A.N.G.
RZR|Xian made a big impression at the very first event of the 2017 season by winning the Premier Event Final Round 20. He did it with Ibuki, a character which saw very limited use in 2016, and started an Ibuki revolution. By late 2017 Ibuki is a pretty common character to see among high level play. In addition to the win at Final Round 20 Xian would go on to make top 8 at two further Premier Events and three Ranking Events. All three Ranking Event placements were 1st place finishes with the events being VsFighting 7, Online Ranking Event Asia/Oceania Three and Thaiger Uppercut. Although he’s only brought it out perhaps one or twice in 2017, Xian also has arguably the best F.A.N.G. in the world as a secondary character.
RED BULL|Bonchan – Masato Takahashi (Japan)
While 2016 was pretty quiet for RED BULL|Bonchan, he’s regained his momentum in the 2017 season. Like several veteran top players from the Street Fighter 4 era, gaining solid footing in Street Fighter 5 competition took some time. He started playing Ryu but switched to Nash in the middle of the 2016 season. In 2016 Nash was pretty popular, but in 2017 he’s fallen out of favor. In fact, many regard Bonchan as the last Nash standing. Bonchan can do incredible things with the character and that’s reflected in his results for the year and his earning a spot at Capcom Cup 2017. He’s taken top 16 at three Premier Events this year including a win at BAM 9. He got 9th place at EVO 2017. He also took top 8 at four Ranking Events including wins at both Saigon Cup and The Colosseum. Will the last Nash be standing with a trophy at the end of Capcom Cup 2017? Tune in to find out!
GFuel|Verloren – Hyungsuk Kong (South Korea)
With GRPT|Infiltration not qualified for Capcom Cup this year (so far), GFuel|Verloren and NL have been representing South Korea on the Pro Tour in 2017. NL narrowly missed qualifying for Capcom Cup 2017 by one spot, so it will be Verloren holding the torch. Of all the Cammy players currently out there, Verloren is right up there with Japan’s GGP|Kazunoko as the world’s best players of the character. 2017 has been a breakout year for Verloren with eight top 16 finishes at Premier Events and 9th place at EVO 2017. He also got a top 8 finish at a Ranking Event.
DNG|Itabashi Zangief (Itazan) – Hiromiki Kumada (Japan)
DNG|Itabashi Zangief (sometimes known as Itazan) is a die-hard Zangief loyalist. The character’s right there in his name! He’s also a crowd favorite for several reasons. First of all, his Zangief is arguably the best in the world. Even last year when other Zangief players struggled, Itazan made him work and did very well at major events. Itazan has a sixth sense when it comes to reading his opponent’s intentions, which almost invariably ends in a grab with Zangief planting his opponent into the ground. Itazan also has a charming happy-go-lucky attitude. Win or lose, he always looks like he’s having a lot of fun! This year he’s finished top 16 at four Premier Events with three of them being top 3 finishes. He also got 4th place at EVO 2017. No matter what happens, Itazan will have a huge groundswell of support from spectators. If anyone can win Capcom Cup with only Zangief, it’s most likely going to be Itabashi Zangief.
ECHO FOX|Justin Wong – Justin Wong (USA)
ECHO FOX|Justin Wong has a long and distinguished Street Fighter career and has been a top player (if no the top player) in North America for many of those years. Justin Wong has earned a spot to compete at every Capcom Cup so far and is looking for 2017 to be his first win. As usual he’s had a great season, earning top 16 at five Premier Events including EVO 2017. He’s also earned top 16 at seven Ranking Events and has gotten wins at Toryuken 6 and Buenos Aires True Salt. For Street Fighter 5 Justin has been playing Karin, a very powerful character in a skilled player’s hands. Justin’s play style is more defensive and patient, looking for openings and exploiting mistakes.
ZOWIE|Oil King – Li-Wei Lin (Taiwan)
ZOWIE|Oil King traveled everywhere for the 2017 season! Of his many placements, he has three top 16s at Premier Events including a 2nd place finish at Dreamhack Summer. He also has eight top 16 finishes at Ranking Events including a win at FV Cup. Oil King started his Capcom Pro Tour career in 2016 with Rashid and has been loyal since. His Rashid play is spectacular and aggressive with lots of mix-ups to keep opponents off balance. He will be one to watch at Capcom Cup 2017!
Gachikun – Kanamori Tsunehori (Japan)
Gachikun was known for his Sagat play back in the Street Fighter 4 days. For Street Fighter 5 he started playing Rashid when it wasn’t hip and cool. Last year it was a rare sighting, but 2017 is the year of Rashid and Ibuki. The extra year of Rashid experience over the competition may make the difference in an event like Capcom Cup. This year Gachikun has finished top 16 in six Premier Events, including two 2nd place finishes at Esports Festival Hong Kong and EGX 2017. He’s also placed top 16 at three Ranking Events. Gachikun has an amazing Rashid, which will be difficult to handle for his opponents but fun to watch for spectators!
Hx|CYG BST|Daigo – Daigo Umehara (Japan)
Character(s): Guile, Ryu
Hx|CYG BST|Daigo, also known as “The Beast”, is one of the most decorated players in Street Fighter history. He holds a Guinness World Record for being the most successful player in major Street Fighter tournaments and is one of the “5 Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter. His book “The Will to Keep Winning” was recently published in the West and he has won several EVO Championships including 2009 and 2010 for Street Fighter 4. He’s a stoic, consummate professional player who rarely shows emotion during a match and has skills honed over decades of competition. He’s a pillar of the fighting game community as well. After taking 2nd place at Capcom Cup 2016 he even donated his winnings to the EVO Scholarship Fund to give back to the community which had done so much for him. This year he stunned almost everyone by switching from his iconic Ryu character to Guile. In 2017 he’s earned top 16 finishes at three Premier Events, including a win at Esports Festival Hong Kong, and at three Ranking Events with two of those being wins at Abuget Cup 2017 and Fight Club NRW –VIII-.
F3|Brolynho – Thomas Proenca (Brazil)
Brazil’s F3|Brolynho has been dominating the Latin America region in 2017. He has eight top 8 finishes this year at Ranking Events including five wins at Online Ranking Event Latin America Four, Fight in Rio, Lima Salty 4, Never Give Up and TRETA. He hasn’t done a lot of traveling this year outside of Latin America, with EVO 2017 being his only international event. This is his second Capcom Cup appearance in a row. Brolynho has a fearsome Necalli that is sure to be a big threat.
CO|Go1 – Goichi Kishida (Japan)
Character(s): Ibuki, , Menat, Chun-Li
Japan’s CO|Go1 was one of the best Chun-Li players in 2016 and earned a trip to Capcom Cup 2016 with the character. Since the Ibuki revolution started by RZR|Xian at Final Round 20 this year, it’s been almost all Ibuki as the primary for 2017. He still uses Chun-Li in events from time to time and has recently added Menat. Go1 has traveled a lot this year, and even though a first place finish has eluded him so far he’s earned a lot of points by the sheer number of events he’s placed at. He has an incredible nine top 16 finishes at Premier Events and eight more at Ranking Events. With a top-tier Ibuki at his side and Menat and Chun-Li to draw from as needed, he will be a challenge for his opponents at Capcom Cup 2017.
CYG BST|Snake Eyez – Darryl Lewis (USA)
Character(s): Zangief, Akuma, Ryu, Alex
This longtime Zangief loyalist had a bit of a character crisis in 2016. He didn’t get the results he wanted from the character so he tried using other characters such as Ryu and Alex to help with bad matchups. It’s hard to say if it is due to balance changes to Zangief or if he got a better handle on how to play him (perhaps both), but Snake Eyez has reached a whole new level with the character. He’s also added Akuma to his arsenal of secondary characters for bad matchups. Snake Eyez is a great competitor and has had a big 2017, earning three top 8 finishes at Premier Events including a win at CEO 2017. He also has four top 8 finishes at Ranking Events.
Ponos|Moke – Naoki Nakayama (Japan)
2017 is Ponos|Moke’s first year of competition on the Capcom Pro Tour and what a year it has been! He has earned two top 16 finishes at Premier Events and five more at Ranking Events. He also took 5th place at EVO 2017. What’s even more impressive is that aside from a few Japanese events he’s only been seriously competing since late June and traveling to events since July. He’s done so well that he’s earned a sponsor, Ponos, in that short span of time. It’s all because of his incredible Rashid play, which is incredibly fun to see in action. He’s a young player but has already proven that he can hang with the veterans he will be facing at Capcom Cup.
BX3|Phenom – Arman Rabiee Hanjani (Norway)
Character(s): Necalli, M.Bison, Guile
This is BX3|Phenom’s second consecutive Capcom Cup appearance. He started 2016 using both M.Bison and Necalli but in 2017 it’s almost been all Necalli, only returning a few times to M.Bison and even trying Guile once or twice. Phenom is a fierce competitor with an exceptionally strong main character and a few pocket secondary characters. This season he’s earned five top 16 finishes at Premier Events and a further four in Ranking Events, including a win at FFM Rumble 10.
Mago – Kenryo Hayashi (Japan)
Mago is a Street Fighter legend born of Japanese arcades, where he was once known as Mago “2DGOD”. This is Mago’s third straight Capcom Cup appearance earned this season with seven top 16 finishes at Premier Events and another four top 16 finishes at Ranking Events. Mago’s precision and spacing, honed by playing Fei Long in the Street Fighter 4 era, have translated well to his Karin play. Karin is a dangerous character, but in the hands of a player like Mago she’s a force to be reckoned with.
RISE|Smug – Bryant Huggin (USA)
2016 was a quiet year for Smug, but 2017 was great with three top 16 finishes at Premier Events and another six top 16s at Ranking Events including a win at Texas Showdown 2017. Aside from playing Balrog, which is an exciting character to watch because of his crushing, kinetic combos, Smug is popular because of his mannerisms between matches. His humorous banter with other players makes him a likeable player to watch even when he isn’t putting boxing gloves on his opponent.
RISE|MenaRD – Saul Leonardo Mena Segundo (Dominican Republic)
RISE|MenaRD has an almost supernatural ability to know the perfect time to pull off Birdie’s EX Bull Head headbutt to catch his opponent off guard. It makes you wonder if he has some kind of telepathic ability. His Birdie is dangerous and aggressive, which will be a big problem for his Capcom Cup 2017 opponents. This year he’s traveled to compete at international events, earning three top 16 finishes at Premier Events and a further five top 16s at Ranking Events, including wins at Game Over Tournament and Online Ranking Event Latin America Three.
NASR|Big Bird – Adel Anouche (United Arab Emirates)
NASR|Big Bird has traveled to a lot more to international events this season and it has paid off greatly, as he qualified for his very first Capcom Cup! He has earned three top 8 finishes at Premier Events as well as four top 8 finishes at Ranking Events including a win at Geek Weekend 2017. He is a player who isn’t afraid to take big risks to get big rewards, which makes him a perfect match for his main character, the fiery Ken.
ECHO FOX|Momochi – Yusuke Momochi (Japan)
ECHO FOX|Momochi is the Capcom Cup 2014 Champion and has had a great 2017 season, with four top 16 finishes at Premier Events. He’s also done well at Ranking Events, winning Online Ranking Event Asia/Oceania Four and Fighter’s Spirit 2017 and taking top 16 in three others. Momochi is known for being a calm, exceptionally precise player. When you marry those traits with Ken, who has the capability to do tremendous amounts of damage, it will be a tremendous challenge for every opponent he faces.
Method RED BULL|Luffy – Olivier Hay (France)
Method RED BULL|Luffy dominated Europe in the Street Fighter 4 era with Rose and he hasn’t stopped winning, having earned his way into every Capcom Cup to date. Although he only has one top 16 placement at a Premier Event this season, he’s more than made up for it at Ranking Events with wins at Hypespotting 6 and Online Ranking Event Europe One in addition to a further six top 16 finishes. A veteran player such as Luffy playing a mix-up heavy character like R.Mika that can inflict a lot of damage quickly will be big trouble for the competition at Capcom Cup 2017.
801 Strider – Gustavo Romero (USA)
2015 was 801 Strider’s breakout year in the Capcom Pro Tour, making it to Capcom Cup 2015 with his thrilling Abel play. After a quiet 2016 he’s back to form this year with three top 16 finishes at Premier Events and a further seven at Ranking Events, including a win at NA Online Ranking Event Three. His main character is Laura and the same precision that elevated his Abel during the Street Fighter 4 era makes him dangerous with this character in Street Fighter 5.
Scarz|Sako – Naoto Sako (Japan)
Character(s): Akuma, Chun-Li
Scarz|Sako is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a long legacy of winning at the game across multiple eras. This season he’s done well, with four top 13 finishes at Ranking Events and another three at Ranking Events. He’s also earned 13th place at EVO 2017, which is no small feat. This year he’s made the switch from Chun-Li to Akuma, which has served him well.
AAG|DidimoKOF – Renato Periera Martins (Brazil)
AAG|DidimoKOF earned his qualifying spot to Capcom Cup by winning the Latin America Regional Finals. Outside of that he has had a great season with four top 8 finishes and a further 3 finishes just outside of Top 8 at Ranking Events. DidimoKOF’s Dhalsim is adept at switching between zoning and going on offense, which will make him a challenging opponent.
EG|Ricki Ortiz – Ricki Ortiz (USA)
EG|Ricki Ortiz had a sensational 2016 season, earning her way to Capcom Cup 2016 where she took 2nd place. That second place finish turned out to be more meaningful than most would realize. 2016 Capcom Cup Champion Liquid|NuckleDu elected not to attend Capcom Cup 2016, which according to CPT rules gave Ricki Ortiz the automatic qualifying spot! In 2017 she had a top 16 finish at the Dreamhack Austin Premier Event and another Top 16 finish at the Defend the North Ranking Event. She also has three Premier Event finishes that are just outside of Top 16. Of the 31 confirmed Capcom Cup 2017 players she’s also the only dedicated Chun-Li player, as other Chun-Li players from previous years like CO|Go1 and Scarz|Sako have adopted new main characters this year. EG|Ricki Ortiz is one of the best Chun-Li players out there, is a veteran used to the pressures of big events, and has a lot of fans that will be rooting for her!
Last Competitor to be Determined at Capcom Cup 2017!
The rundown above is for the 31 players who have so far earned a spot at Capcom Cup 2017 but there is one more player yet to be determined that will join them! Capcom Cup 2017 will have a Last Chance Qualifier event that will give any player who is up for the challenge one more opportunity to earn a spot! The player that takes 1st place at the Last Chance Qualifier will be the 32nd player to take part in Capcom Cup 2017. Tune in to watch Capcom Cup 2017 to find out who will earn the opportunity to attend the Capcom Pro Tour finale!