The first Capcom Pro Tour premier event of the 2017 season is in the bag and if it is anything to go by, this season is going to be ridiculous. Final Round, which takes place in Atlanta, US, is twenty (!) years old, meaning there are entrants in this year’s event that were born after it, and it is impressive to see it going strong (and much improved, after last year’s space issues). There’s no better place to kick off the 2017 Pro Tour.

WINNER

Xian

2016 wasn’t the best year for Xian. He did well, sure, but made nowhere near the impact someone of his standard should be making. A large part of this was due to him stubbornly sticking with F.A.N.G, who is widely regarded as one of the worst characters in the game. With the Season 2 update making F.A.N.G no better, Xian has turned his attentions to Ibuki, one of the trickier characters, who in the right hands is wildly dangerous.


Xian’s Ibuki was near flawless through the entire tournament, utilising tricky bomb mix-ups and creating some extremely difficult to block situations to go straight through winner’s bracket and take first place and a whopping 1000 points under the new CPT rules. He also managed to sneak in a teabag against master taunter extraordinaire and Capcom Pro Tour champ NuckleDu. Good work, sir.

MATCH OF THE TOURNAMENT

K-Brad v Wolfkrone

You’ve almost certainly seen this by now, and it was so one-sided it was barely competitive, but you absolutely must check out K-Brad v Wolfkrone. Whoever decided to put Yipes on commentary for this match – you the real MVP.

And if you only came here to see K-Brad popping off, we’ve got you covered.

(Chris G v Tokido and Brian F v Momochi are worth checking out too!)

We’ve had a look at the victor, the best match of the tournament, and some of the other key moments. Now let’s take a look at who’s up and who’s down after the first stop on the Capcom Pro Tour calendar.

UP

801 Strider

In the final year of Ultra Street Fighter IV 801 Strider was really making some waves, qualifying for Capcom Cup and beating some real names on his way to doing so. However, in 2016, the first year of Street Fighter V, he basically went missing. Like a lot of Abel players, was there a bit of character crisis going on, or just a whole bunch of life stuff that prevented him from dedicating fully to the game? Regardless, it’s the first event of 2017, and his name is back in the top 8. A strong return, and hopefully more to come.

K-Brad

No one had a greater jump in stock this weekend than the already incredibly popular K-Brad. Decisively beating Wolfkrone, with his subsequent pop-off going viral, drawing plenty of eyes to the tournament and, of course, himself. With these potential extra eyes on him, he had a pretty good showing in the Top 8, finishing 4th overall. Hell, even Capcom’s official social accounts were dining out off the back of K-Brad v ‘krone, which if you really think about it actually goes against their CPT rules for ‘thuggery’. It Just goes to show how important personality is in any competitive endeavor. Even better when you have the skills to back it all up.

R.Mika

‘She’s dead’, cried the internet, immediately after seeing the Season 2 patch notes. Her f.MP grab is minus on block and she can no longer do the jump-back tech to cause a corner wall bounce mid-screen – two of her most deadly tools in Season 1 – so the character absolutely must be non-viable, right? Turns out, Fuudo and NuckleDu had other ideas, and made R. Mika look like an absolute monster, still forcing some wild guessing games on their opponents. It’s just a bit more fair, this time!

DOWN

Team Echofox

Tokido made it into Top 8, but outside of that you’ve got Momochi just outside of Top 16 and Justin Wong in Top 64. Of course, three team members inside the Top 64 isn’t a bad day out all being said, but after the pre-Season hype behind the signings and a team that, on paper, looks like it is going to be a dominant force, this was just, average. An okay performance. Nothing more.

Daigo Umehara

Daigo got eliminated in the round of 64 after sticking – almost stubbornly – with Ryu throughout the tournament. By his own admission, Ryu isn’t very good since the Season 2 patch and there’s plenty of footage showing that Daigo has a pretty handy Guile, but we didn’t see it. I’m not sure what exactly Daigo is trying to prove by standing by his man, but finishing outside of the Top 8 isn’t going to do it.

Nash

Number of Nashs in the Top 8 at EVO 2016: 3

Number of Nashs in the Capcom Cup 2016: 2

Number of Nashs in the TOP 64 at Final Round XX: 0

Season 2 really did a number on him.
The Pro Tour returns on the weekend of the 7th April, with West Coast Warzone, a US ranking event and the first European Premier event of the season – Ultimate Fighting Arena in Paris, France, which is expected to attract a who’s who of the EU scene and likely other global talent.

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