Five players on the bubble for Capcom Cup

Michael Martin

The crowd performs the customary Shoryuken with Ono-san at Evo 2016 (Stephanie Lindgren)

We are nearing the end of Street Fighter V’s Capcom Pro Tour 2016 and the playoff picture is finally starting to take shape.

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As is the case with a complicated qualification system like the one for Capcom Cup, a handful of players remain on the bubble. With Canada Cup coming up fast and only three other Premier events left, the time is now for players to take their fates into their own hands — or hope for a little help from the Street Fighter gods.

Canada Cup also happens to be the final event to offer points on the Global Leaderboard, so it’s even more important for certain players to put on a good showing.

Before we dive in, here’s a quick recap of how players can qualify.

There are 32 total spots for Capcom Cup. Half of those players can qualify from the Global Premier Tournament Circuit and another 16 come in from the Ranking Point Leaderboards.

On the Global side, players could automatically qualify by winning Evo, one of 11 Premier Events, or one of four Regional Finals. 

On the Ranking Leaderboard side, the top eight players on both the Global Ranking Leaderboard and the Regional Ranking Leaderboard will qualify for Capcom Cup.

There are some scenarios that change the qualification rules, like a player winning multiple Premier Events. Check the official rules on the CPT site for an in-depth breakdown. 

With that, here are the five that need to make a big push to reach the big show.

Chris Tatarian competing at SCR 2016 (Michael Martin)

Chris Tatarian

Chris T. currently sits at number 21 on the Global Leaderboard with 386 points. He qualified for the European, Latin American, and North American Regional Finals this year. The EU Regional Finals took place almost two weeks ago (Daigo Umehara won), and Chris T. did not attend.

Unfortunately, Chris T.’s sponsor folded recently, leaving him a free agent. He is not attending Canada Cup and as of right now is currently considering the Latin America Regional Final.

But that’s not a problem so long as someone who has won a Premier Event or is currently locked in via Global Leaderboard points wins Canada Cup — assuming another player doesn’t leapfrog him by earning enough leaderboard points. That would be his worst case scenario and could be a possibility with players like Fujimara “Yukadon” Atsushi or Evil Geniuses’ Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley.

However, there is another (somewhat unlikely) avenue for qualification. Because Canada Cup offers points, if Evil Geniuses’ Ricki Ortiz takes first or second place or Miky “XsK Samurai” Chea takes first place, Chris T. would be bumped up the North American Regional Leaderboard because he is directly behind those two players. Currently, Ortiz and XsK Samurai are qualified (if the CPT ended today) by being the top two players on the NA leaderboard who are not already qualified automatically or will qualify through the Global Leaderboard.

His best bet? Chris T. could just outright win the Red Bull Battlegrounds/CPT North American Regional Finals in November and earn a free pass, but it seems more likely if someone ahead of him on the Global Leaderboard were to qualify, he would get in if the standings remain largely unchanged after Canada Cup.

Fujimara “Yukadon” Atsushi preparing for a match at SEAM 2016 (Michael Martin)

Fujimara “Yukadon” Atsushi

If I told you the day after Evo 2016 that the player who finished in third place wouldn’t make Capcom Cup, you would have laughed me out of the Mandalay Bay Arena.

But here we are. Yukadon is in danger of not making Capcom Cup because since Evo, he hasn’t had quality results at Premier Events; making top 8s at a few Ranking Events just isn’t enough this year. He is currently 24th on the Global Leaderboard with 346 points. He is not qualified for any of the remaining Regional Finals, so if he plans on competing at any of them, he will need to get through the last chance qualifier tournaments first.

Like any other player hoping to qualify for Capcom Cup, Yukadon’s best chance to make it is to win a Premier Event. Based on his results throughout the year, that doesn’t seem likely.

Yukadon’s chances grow slimmer if he can’t earn points at Canada Cup to move himself above Chris T. or if players who are not already qualified or are currently locked into Capcom Cup via the Global Leaderboard win Canada Cup or the remaining Regional Finals.

Nathan “Mister Crimson” Massol and Ryota “Kazunoko” Inoue are ahead of Yukadon in global points, but as things stand now, they would qualify through the Regional Leaderboards. Yukadon isn’t high enough to take one of the Asia Regional Leaderboard spots.

Yukadon could help his own case with a strong showing at Canada Cup. If the CPT were to end today and Yukadon did not play himself into Capcom Cup by winning a Premier Event, he would need some combination of already qualified players to take all four remaining Premier Events to get in.

Evil Geniuses’ Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley had a surprise third place run at SCR 2016 (Michael Martin)

Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley

K-Brad is 25th on the Global Leaderboard with 328 points. He is qualified for the Latin America Regional Final, but will instead be attending Canada Cup this weekend. He is also qualified for the North America Regional Final and is expected to attend that as well.

Coming off his very strong finish at SoCal Regionals, K-Brad could certainly help himself if he were able to bottle some of that magic for Canada Cup. Yukadon is just 18 points ahead of him on the Global Leaderboard, so if he were to earn enough points by placing at Canada Cup to pass Yukadon, K-Brad would be in a much better position. 

But he would still need help from already qualified players who have won Premier Events or are higher up on the Global Leaderboard. Because Chris T. is not going to Canada Cup, K-Brad could help his case even further if he were able to secure enough points to get ahead of Chris T. That would require at minimum a third-place finish.

If he doesn’t secure the points on the Global Leaderboard and get the Premier Event help he needs, there is one other possibility. If either Thomas “Brolynho” Proenca or Felipe “Misterio” Torres Carvacho auto-qualify (by, say, winning the Latin America Regional Finals), K-Brad could move up on the Latin America Leaderboard and earn his way into Capcom Cup through that region.

In his current position, it’s more likely that he’d qualify by winning a Premier Event. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is slim, as no North American player has won a Premier Event since 2014.

Tse “Tse4444” Wa Ping

Tse4444 is currently 41st on the Global Leaderboard with 132 points. He is in an interesting position because he can’t qualify via points on the Global Leaderboard.

He is qualified for the Asia Regional Final and likely will attend that event. He doesn’t appear to be registered for Canada Cup and he does not appear to have traveled outside of his home region.

What makes his situation interesting is the fact he was passed up by Hori’s Naoto Sako on the Asia Regional Leaderboard recently. Sako is now five points ahead of Tse4444. If either Kazunoko or Sako were to qualify for Capcom Cup by winning a Premier Event, the regional spot would open up to Tse4444.

Tse4444 has to hope for one of those players to win a Premier Event or, by some massive stroke of luck, an already qualified player wins three of the remaining four Premier Events, which would be enough to push Kazunoko into Capcom Cup through the Global Leaderboard instead of the Asia Regional Leaderboard.

If none of those come to pass, Tse4444’s best chance is winning an incredibly stacked Asia Regional Final.

That’s a lot of wishful thinking.

Ryan Hart competing at Red Bull Kumite 2015 in France (Red Bull)

Ryan Hart

The long-time veteran did his best to make a mad dash for Capcom Cup at the end of 2015 and fell short. Hart is 29th on the Global Leaderboard with 275 points. He is also seventh on the European Regional Leaderboard.

He’s in an incredibly tough position, but there is still a chance.

It is not confirmed if he will be attending Canada Cup. If he does, he could certainly do himself a big favor by winning it or placing high enough to move up the Global Leaderboard. A second-place finish worth 128 points would put him above Chris T. That’s a tall order given the international competition, but Hart has come on much stronger in recent months. His best result of the year was placing second at EGX 2016.

There is another avenue for Hart if he doesn’t compete at Canada Cup. Mister Crimson is directly behind Chris T. on the Global Leaderboard. Hart sits behind Mister Crimson and Problem X, both of whom would qualify via the Regional Leaderboard spots if the Pro Tour ended today.

If Crimson were to earn a spot via the Global Leaderboard, Hart would then take the next spot on the European Regional Leaderboard.

Of course, Hart could play himself in but the bulk of his results have come in Europe and with no remaining European events, he would need to travel to Canada Cup or the remaining Regional Finals, and it isn’t clear if he is willing to do that as of right now.

Michael Martin covers Street Fighter V and the Capcom Pro Tour. Follow him on Twitter @Bizarro_Mike.

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