The 2020 Capcom Pro Tour has finally come to an end. After a year full of nail-biting tournaments, 24 qualifying competitors from regions across the globe geared up for a season finale unlike any other in Capcom Cup history. To cap off the 2020 season, these players faced off with their qualifying regional counterparts in two days of 12 “best of seven” online battles, bringing the heat with highly-anticipated runbacks – and even some matchups that fans had never seen before.
This unprecedented event has made for an unforgettable showdown, proving that, no matter the circumstances, the fighting game community will always find a way to bring the hype!
Capcom Cup 2020 kicked off with a runback that set an explosive tone for the weekend. Peru’s Pikoro and Brazil’s Jah_Lexe had first faced off in the South America 1 Qualifier, where Pikoro ultimately emerged victorious. This time around, Jah_Lexe turned the tables in a major way, proving that he’d adapted to the opposition as shown by his dominating playstyle. Expertly controlling the pace of the match, Jah_Lexe’s Rashid only let Pikoro’s Bison take single game, winning the set in a jaw-dropping 4-1 run… despite claiming he’d only “briefly studied” his opponent’s gameplay.
The master-student dynamic between veteran Street Fighter pro Jiewa and SFV competitor Vxbao automatically made for an intriguing matchup, which viewers were keen to see play out. With Jiewa boasting a grand history in the Street Fighter series and Vxbao vying for a Capcom Cup qualification for years, their meeting in this tournament could have been ripped right out of a storybook – and while fans might have picked Jiewa’s experience as the determining factor, this was not the case. Instead, Vxbao took the victory over his mentor in a jaw-dropping 4-2 run, upping his offense little by little and consistently denying Jiewa’s jump-ins to officially surpass his fighting game tutor.
Urien main DR Mandrake and multi-character pro CJ Truth met at Capcom Cup 2020 after participating in the North America East Qualifier, where Mandrake took first place against some of the East Coat’s top-tier talent. While CJ Truth has notably used Karin in the past, he brought out his highly-mobile Cammy to combat Mandrake’s heavy-hitting Urien for the season finale – a decision that proved quite fruitful, in the end. CJ Truth Spiral-Arrowed his way to a 4-0 victory over Mandrake in a dominating performance, sealing the deal during their final game with a Critical Art time-out that left fans’ eyebrows raised at his impressive display of skill.
This Australian throwdown was, without a doubt, one of the most explosive matches of Day 1. Cody main Rumours initially defeated Bison player Somniac during the Australia Qualifier Grand Finals… after Somniac reset the bracket 3-0, which made for a splendid adaptation from Rumours. Of course, their Capcom Cup runback promised to be an electric one, and these two competitors did not disappoint. In yet another gripping back-and-forth set, Somniac and Rumor went toe-to-toe each match, going down to the final round of the final game. Ultimately, Somniac emerged victorious after utilizing immense pressure against Rumours, officially winning the runback – and in Street Fighter’s most prolific tournament of the year, no less.
Breakout Kolin main Nephew and the ever-focused Akuma player Samurai are two names synonymous with the Street Fighter League. Having participated in the team-based tournament for multiple seasons, these pros are no strangers to each other’s playstyles – an experience that showed during their 2020 Capcom Cup battle. Neither player backed down throughout their first-t0-four set, going head-to-head in a series of ultra-close matches that ultimately saw Nephew gain the upper hand. Nephew wowed viewers by double-dashing into a throw twice to take the win over his training partner in their final game, securing the Capcom Cup victory in a convincing 4-2 run.
Unlike his fellow 2020 Capcom Cup competitors, EVO champ Luffy earned his way into the fray by way of community vote, amassing the help of French television shows, celebrities, and fighting game fans the world over. Facing off against him was multi-character specialist and Europe East & Middle East 1 winner Phenom, making for quite the match between two of the region’s strongest players. Hot on the heels of his overwhelming support, Luffy took the first three games over Phenom in quick succession, with his opponent finally scoring a win in the fourth match – but it was Luffy who came out on top. Utilizing incredible control and dominating the neutral game, Luffy swiftly took the set over Phenom 4-1, scoring a Perfect in just under twenty seconds as a thrilling sendoff for Day 1.
Two of Singapore’s biggest Street Fighter V powerhouses battled for all the marbles in Day 2 of the season’s final showdown. Both Street Fighter League veterans, these two are no strangers to meeting up with one another in tournament – but this wasn’t any ordinary competition. While Xian was once a dedicated Ibuki main, he has since switched over to Seth, making for a dynamic mirror match with fellow Seth player and chess pro SKZ, who notably claimed that he had “never beaten” his opponent in a tournament before. This trend ultimately held during their Capcom Cup bout, with Xian countering SKZ’s risky playstyle with calculated, safe moves in a sound 4-1 win.
Angrybird and Big Bird are more than the UAE’s top Street Fighter representatives; they’re also fast friends and longtime training partners, who know each other’s playstyles inside and out. This made for an especially intriguing match during the 2020 Capcom Cup, which saw both players make a change from their trademark characters to use Seth and G, rather than Zeku and Rashid. This break from the norm saw Big Bird dominate the beginning of their set, taking the first three games with immense control and consistency. While Angrybird managed to take game four – in wake of a surprising Ibuki pick – Big Bird ultimately emerged the victor in their next game, marking yet another stop on their journey together that both players “hope doesn’t end.”
Much like Angrybird and Big Bird, Caba and MenaRD are two Street Fighter pros with a strong friendship. Both hailing from the Dominican Republic’s tight-knit fighting game community, these players are steadfast training partners, and have faced off in tournament more than a few times in the past. This time, former Capcom Cup victor MenaRD and steamroller Guile main Caba threw down on the biggest (virtual) Street Fighter stage – and it wasn’t a cake walk for either party. Switching up from his tried-and-true Birdie, Mena chose to use Karin on the outset, consistently jumping over Caba’s Sonic Booms to land big-damage hits. However, fans finally saw his Birdie come back out to play once Caba took two consecutive games over his comrade, swiftly changing the pace of their battle in the process. Flipping the script, Mena took the next two games in an impressive run with his main character, securing the victory with a Critical Art using his very own Champion’s Choice costume.
Takamura has emerged as one of Europe’s strongest Street Fighter pros, making waves with his explosive Akuma play at tournaments around the globe. In sharp contrast, Infexious is widely known for his cool and calculated demeanor, which translates well to his highly-controlled use of the rarely-seen Zeku. These two powerhouses faced off in Capcom Cup 2020, where Takamura claimed he would play “safely” against his notoriously patient opponent. Thus, it came as little surprise that these giants went toe-to-toe in six nail-biting battles, leaving commentators speechless as both players consistently clinched out wins in near-impossible scenarios. Their fight came down to the wire in the final game, where Infexious fought tooth and nail to tie up the score – but Takamura secured the victory with the slightest life lead over the opposition, making for one of the closest sets of the night that earned RobTV’s “Holly-WOO” of approval.
The 2019 Capcom Cup champion returned to the final event of the 2020 season after an unexpected year of virtual competition. Once a notorious Laura loyalist, iDom notably gained Poison as a secondary character during his time in the Street Fighter League – although it wasn’t certain that he’d use the Mad Gear gal against the Mayor of Duff City, Smug, in their Capcom Cup bout. Both players with strong secondary characters and a wealth of experience playing against each other in their local tournament scene, it was anyone’s guess as to who would take the $5,000 victory; but ultimately, our Capcom Cup champ won out after a whirlwind of close games against Smug’s G that went down to the final round of the final game – even causing iDom to pull out Poison for a short time. Continuing the trend of intensely close matches, iDom has once again emerged as the victor of his Capcom Cup run, solidifying his status as one of the world’s top Street Fighter V players.
iDom wasn’t the only Capcom Cup champion in the building; 2018 champ Gachikun also made a showing in 2020’s season finale after taking the Asia East 2 Qualifier. Facing off against none other than Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, who – besides securing his 2020 spot in the Asia East 1 Qualifier – is known far and wide as one of fighting games’ greatest players of all time, this final match of the day also promised to be one of its most anticipated. In yet another incredibly close set, the showdown between these two masters was nothing short of legendary: Utilizing expert spacing and deft timing with Guile’s Critical Art and projectiles, Daigo took the victory over Gachikun’s Rashid 4-1, with the set ending in a near-scramble that left fans’ jaws on the floor.
Capcom Cup 2020 is officially in the books – but that doesn’t mean the competition is over. Season 5 has finally kicked off, bringing with it returning character Dan Hibiki and the new V-Shift mechanic! That’s not all; news on the 2021 CPT will also be released in March, so keep a weather eye on the horizon as a new competitive season gears up for fans and competitors, alike.