NuckleDu's win at Canada Cup helps clarify Capcom Cup qualifying picture

Yahoo Esports
Team Liquid’s Du ‘NuckleDu’ Dang (Michael Martin)
Team Liquid’s Du ‘NuckleDu’ Dang (Michael Martin)

Team Liquid’s Du “NuckleDu” Dang won Canada Cup 2016 over the weekend, automatically qualifying him for a spot at Capcom Cup.

Not since The Fall Classic in October 2014, won by Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis, has a North American player won a Capcom Pro Tour Premier Event. Despite NuckleDu’s tremendous (and long overdue) feat, he would have already qualified for Capcom Cup via the Global Leaderboard.

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However, Canada Cup played a very important role in who qualifies for Capcom Cup. Last week, we looked at five players on the bubble for the CPT finale. Now that Canada Cup is over, we have an even better idea about who is in and who is potentially out.

Chris Tatarian can rest easy today. He’s in Capcom Cup. But there was a legitimate chance during Street Fighter V’s top 8 at Canada Cup that his qualification through the Global Leaderboard could have been postponed. Of the eight pros playing in finals, four were not already qualified for Capcom Cup via winning Premier Events or through the Global Leaderboard.

One by one, those players fell, until the last remaining roadblock for Tatarian was 18-year-old Japanese fan favorite John Takeuchi. Unfortunately, the enthusiastic Rashid main could not overcome BX3’s Arman “Phenom” Hanjani, winner of DreamHack Summer, and his elimination paved the way for Tatarian’s entry to Capcom Cup.

But what about YOUDEAL’s Fujimari “Yukadon” Atsushi? Yukadon is still stuck in a holding pattern. He was sent to the loser’s bracket early in the tournament and battled his way to a 25th-place finish, but that did nothing to help his chances to qualify. Now that there are no more points to be earned on the CPT, he will need to win one of the remaining Regional Finals or hope three already qualified players win them all.

Evil Geniuses’ Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley finds himself in a similar situation.

For a moment we thought he had indeed bottled that magic from SoCal Regionals. K-Brad looked fantastic taking down Street Fighter V god Team Razer’s Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee in a 2-1 set. Unfortunately, K-Brad ran into NuckleDu and was sent to the loser’s bracket, where he would be eliminated by Shinya “Nuki” Onuki (Nuki eliminated the rest of EG from the tournament as well, with wins over Ricki Ortiz, Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez, and Justin Wong.)

For now, K-Brad could play his way into Capcom Cup by winning the North American Regional Finals at Red Bull Battle Grounds this coming weekend, which will be an incredibly stacked tournament.

Having said that, there is one ray of hope that Yahoo Esports has not been able to verify. Felipe “Misterio” Torres Carvacho, one of the two players in the running for the Latin American Regional Leaderboard qualifying spot is allegedly unable to enter the United States due to visa issues.

If that is indeed the case, K-Brad is the next player behind Misterio on the leaderboard and would take Misterio’s qualifying spot. As unfortunate a situation as that may be for Misterio (we’ve seen how visa issues prevent players from competing in esports,) it’s the very lucky break K-Brad needs to get into Capcom Cup without winning a Premier Event.

While they didn’t win or qualify for Capcom Cup, Takeuchi, Ronin’s Alex Myers, and Red Bull’s Masato “Bonchan” Takahashi had the best weekend of their short Street Fighter V careers.

Myers had arguably the best tournament of his life. He beat Nuki, Phenom, and rising Korean star Hanbyeol “Xyzzy” Lee to get into top 8 on the winner’s side, his first time in top 8 at a CPT Premier Event. Previously, Myers finished fourth at Absolute Battle and fifth at Northwest Majors.

His top 8 experience didn’t last long, and was humbling. Myers had to play his good friend NuckleDu, who dropped Myers with R. Mika in a 3-1 set. He promptly went 0-3 in loser’s in the runback against Phenom. It was highly disappointing for Myers, but his accomplishments at Canada Cup form a solid foundation for the future.

Michael Martin will be at Red Bull Battle Grounds attempting to gatekeep the last chance qualifier from players like Alex Myers. Follow his progress on Twitter @Bizarro_Mike.

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