Thousands of players around the world have participated in the Capcom Pro Tour this year to earn one of just 32 qualifying spots to compete Capcom Cup 2018. At this year’s season finale a prize pool of nearly $400,000 will be up for grabs as well as the chance to be crowned the Capcom Cup 2018 Champion! By the way, you can still contribute to that bonus prize pool by purchasing the CPT 2018 DLC through Tuesday, Dec. 18. This post will give a brief overview of the 31 players of Capcom Cup 2018 who are currently qualified. The final spot will be filled by the winner of the Last Chance Qualifier that will be held at Capcom Cup 2018.
As you would expect, Capcom Cup 2018 will feature many of the best players in the world. Here are just a few stats to highlight the level of competition that will be present:
Four of the five previous Capcom Cup Champions will be competing at Capcom Cup 2018:
In addition, seven of the last 8 EVO Champions will be competing (only Korea’s Infiltration, won in 2012 and 2016, will not be attending):
- 2009 – 2010 – CYG BST|Daigo “The Beast”
- 2011 – CYG BST|Fuudo
- 2013 – RAZER|Xian
- 2014 – BKJ|Luffy
- 2015 – Momochi
- 2017 – ECHO FOX|Tokido
- 2018 – MOUSESPORTS|Problem X
You will not want to miss a second of this event, so be sure to come back here on December 14th through 16th to watch it on the live stream. Everything you need to know about Capcom Cup 2018, including schedule, brackets and stream channels, can be found in our convenient Everything You Need to Know About Capcom Cup post.
Now, here is a brief rundown of all 31 players who are currently qualified for Capcom Cup 2018! We begin with the Capcom Cup 2017 Champion then order the remaining players by their points on the Global Leaderboard.
The Players of Capcom Cup 2018
Capcom Cup 2017 Champion
RISE|MenaRD – Saul Leonardo Mena Segundo (Dominican Republic)
RISE|MenaRD had a great 2017 season but almost nobody saw what happened at Capcom Cup that year coming. MenaRD fought hard, never gave up and stunned the world to defeat Japan’s Tokido to become Capcom Cup 2017 Champion. As Capcom Cup Champion last year he automatically qualified for Capcom Cup 2018 but that hasn’t stopped him from having another good season. He has three top 16 finishes at Premier Events, finished just outside of top 8 at 9th place at Evo and won two Ranking Events. His ability to catch his opponents off-guard with Birdie’s EX Bull Head headbutt borders on the supernatural. If there’s one thing we learned last year its not to count MenaRD out!
Players Ranked by Points on Global Leaderboard
ECHO FOX|Tokido – Hajime Taniguchi (Japan)
ECHO FOX|Tokido is a legendary player with a long and storied career. He is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a legacy of winning spanning multiple iterations of the game. He is sometimes playfully referred to by the nickname “Murder Face” due to the look of absolute seriousness on his face when competing. This is Tokido’s fourth Capcom Cup appearance in a row and he is the Evo Champion for 2017. In the 2018 season he put on a dominating performance, winning three Premier Events and taking 2nd place at four other Premier Events among many other placements. To give an idea of the scale of Tokido’s 2018 achievements, the gulf between his first place position on the Global Leaderboard and second place is 1,460 points! ECHO FOX|Tokido will be the number one seed and will be the one to beat at Capcom Cup 2018.
Character(s): Ibuki, Nash
Previously going under the handle “Yukadon,” Fujimura made his big breakout debut at Evo 2016 where his incredible Nash play earned him 3rd place. He’s made it to Capcom Cup every year since then with 2018 being his third appearance at the finale. Fujimura has had another incredible season in 2018 with two Premier Event wins, one Ranking Event win and a fifth place finish at Evo among many other placements. Last year he largely abandoned Nash and switched to Ibuki and is now one of the best Ibuki players in the world, if not the best.
MOUSESPORTS|Problem X – Benjamin Simon (UK)
Character(s): M.Bison, Abigail, Birdie
2017 was a banner year for UK’s MOUSESPORTS|Problem X and he has managed to top it in 2018. Once again, one could argue that he is the best Street Fighter player in Europe right now and would be part of the conversation for being among the top 5 in the world. His crowning achievement of the season thus far is becoming the Evo 2018 Champion. In addition to this he has won three Ranking Events and has high placements in many other events. This is Problem X’s fourth Capcom Cup appearance in a row. In 2018 he incorporated Abigail as a main character which has worked well for him as a compliment for his prior main character, M.Bison.
CYG BST|Fuudo – Keita Ai (Japan)
Japan’s CYG BST|Fuudo has earned a spot at every Capcom Cup to date and is the 2011 Evo Champion. 2018 has been another great season with a Premier Event win at Esports Festival Hong Kong and a 3rd place finish at Evo 2018 among other placements. He’s a character loyalist who plays R.Mika and his style of play is different from most R.Mika players. He has drawn upon his success with Fei Long in the Street Fighter 4 era and adapted the playstyle to R.Mika, using a lot of normal moves to methodically work opponents into the corner and less about the crazy mix-ups usually associated with the character.
Character(s): Menat, Akuma
FAV|Sako is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a long career history of winning at across several iterations of the game and is the Capcom Cup 2013 Champion. In 2018 he started using Menat as his main character and has had tremendous success with increasing regularity as the season progressed. He won his first Premier Event at TWFighter Major in mid-August and won another Premier at SoCal Regionals in mid-September. He’s had many other placements, including top 8 finishes at several Premier Events. He’s a family man who isn’t afraid to share the spotlight with his daughter on stage after a victory. Will he bring a Capcom Cup trophy home in 2018?
Character(s): Menat, Karin
ECHO FOX|Justin Wong has had a long and distinguished Street Fighter career and has been a top player in North America for many of those years across several eras of the game. He has competed at every Capcom Cup to date and hopes that 2018 is the year he brings home the trophy. In 2018 he has won two Ranking Events early in the season and went on to win the Dreamhack Austin Premier Event in June as well as Dreamhack Montreal in September. He also has multiple top 8 placements at other Ranking and Premier Events. In 2018 he began using Menat as his main character, although he still uses Karin sparingly. Menat is a character that fits well with his patient, defensive play-style.
UYU|NL – Sim Gun (South Korea)
South Korea’s competitive Street Fighter community has grown over the last few years and UYU|NL is one of their rising stars. He’s improved with each CPT season since 2016. Last year, NL missed the cut for Capcom Cup by a few spots but that changed this year as he has qualified for the finale for the first time. In 2018 he earned his first win at the Saigon Cup Ranking Event in April and won his first Premier Event in May as well as other high placements. He plays the powerful and versatile Cammy.
UYU|Oil King – Li-Wei Lin (Taiwan)
Taiwan’s UYU|Oil King stepped onto the CPT stage in 2016. He turned some heads at Evo 2016 with his Rashid, earning 13th place at the event. In 2017, he started traveling all over the world to compete on the Pro Tour and his hard work paid off with a qualification to Capcom Cup that year. In 2018 he participated at most of the season’s Premier Events, took 1st place at CEO in July and had several other high Premier Event placements. He also won the Online Ranking Event for Asia East in September. His Rashid is aggressive and dangerous and he has a knack for making clutch plays.
GHOST|NuckleDu – Du Dang (USA)
Character(s): Guile, R.Mika, Nash
GHOST|NuckleDu is one of the great Street Fighter players to emerge out of North America during the Street Fighter 4 era. 2018 will be his fourth Capcom Cup appearance and he became Capcom Cup Champion in 2016. In 2017, NuckleDu qualified for Capcom Cup but could not attend. This season has been another good one for NuckleDu with three Ranking Event wins. He’s also placed top 8 at several Premier Events although a win has eluded him. The combination of Guile and R.Mika as main characters is a powerful one, allowing him to switch depending on matchups or to try a different approach to a difficult opponent. He’s also been using other characters in competition to further expand those options. NuckleDu is an incredibly poised player who always has a serene look on his face no matter the circumstances.
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 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. In 2017 he made the switch from Ryu to Guile and continues his run of success. This season he won the VSFighting Premier Event in July and had several high placements at other Premier Events. He also made top 16 at Evo 2018.
BJK|Luffy – Olivier Hay (France)
BJK|Luffy dominated Europe in the Street Fighter 4 era with Rose culminating in his becoming Evo Champion in 2014. More players around Europe have risen to challenge that dominance but he hasn’t stopped winning. He has qualified for every Capcom Cup to date. This season he won the Brussels Challenge Ranking Event in April and the EGX – EU Regional Final Open Premier Event in September. He also has many other high placements including 5th place at Evo 2018. Luffy, like Japan’s Fuudo, remains loyal to R.Mika as a main character. A mix-up heavy character that can inflict high damage quickly in the hands of a veteran player like Luffy will make him big trouble for the competition at Capcom Cup 2018.
Character(s): Akuma, Necalli
FUDOH|Haitani is one of the “Five Gods” of Japanese Street Fighter with a long history of winning at the game across multiple eras. This is Haitani’s third Capcom Cup appearance in as many years. In 2018 he’s had several high placements at Premier Events and won his first late in the season at the LATAM Regional Finals in early November. This year he’s also switched main characters from Necalli to Akuma, even though you could argue that he was the best Necalli player in the world in 2017. With two incredibly powerful characters at his disposal and his skill level, he will be a fearsome opponent for anyone he faces.
QANBA DOUYU|Xiao Hai – Zhuojun Zeng (China)
China’s QANBA DOUYU|Xiao Hai took his first steps in the CPT in 2014 and started traveling the world competing seriously the following year. That year he made top 16 at Evo and qualified for Capcom Cup. This will be Xiao Hai’s third Capcom Cup appearance. He’s a character loyalist who plays Cammy, a character he has used going back into the Street Fighter 4 era although as a back-up. Xiao Hai is an incredibly talented player who adapts quickly which fits well with a strong character like Cammy.
NVD|Phenom – Arman Rabiee Hanjani (Norway)
Character(s): Necalli, Guile, M.Bison, Abigail
NVD|Phenom from Norway has been a force to be reckoned with in Europe for several years now. This will be Phenom’s third consecutive Capcom Cup appearance. In 2018 he won four Ranking Events and had high placements in several other Ranking and Premier Events. His highest Premier Event placement this year was a third place finish at CEO in July. During the Street Fighter 4 era of the CPT he used M.Bison as his main character but early in Street Fighter 5 he switched to the powerful Necalli, moving M.Bison to support. Over the last year or two he has been experimenting with other characters in CPT competitions including Guile and Abigail. This could create a matchup nightmare for his opponents at Capcom Cup.
RISE|Caba – Cristhoper Rodriguez (Dominican Republic)
The Dominican Republic has had a small but incredibly strong Street Fighter community for years and RISE|Caba is one of several players to represent that community at Capcom Cup this year. In 2018 he has traveled to more events around the world than previous years and has done quite well, resulting in a banner year and his first qualification for Capcom Cup! He’s won three Ranking Events, had an impressive 7th place finish at Evo and several high placements at other Ranking and Premier Events. His best Premier Event performance this year was a 3rd place finish at TWFighter Major in August. He’s an incredibly strong Guile player who is able to switch from patient play to very aggressive very quickly.
NASR|Big Bird – Adel Anouche (United Arab Emirates)
In 2017 NASR|Big Bird was able to travel a lot more to compete at international events and it paid off with his first trip to Capcom Cup. This year he’s done the same and will once again be competing at the finale! Big Bird has several top 8 placements at Ranking and Premier Events this season and earned a win at the Premier Event at SEA Major in October. He is a Ken player and exhibits the same traits as a player that you would expect from a top Ken player including aggressive style and the ability to make tough reads.
Gachikun – Kanamori Tsunehori (Japan)
Gachikun was known for his Sagat play during the Street Fighter 4 era. In Street Fighter 5 he started playing Rashid when it wasn’t hip and cool back in 2016. In 2017 he was able to travel to international events more often and qualified for his first Capcom Cup. This season was another good one for Gachikun, winning the Abuget Cup Ranking Event in July, earning an impressive 4th place finish at Evo and getting several other high placements at Ranking and Premier Events. His best Premier Event performance this year was 4th place at Final Round in March. Gachikun has an amazing and unpredictable Rashid, which will be difficult to handle for his opponents but fun to watch for those spectating!
Ibuki was a character that was seldom seen at CPT competitions when she was released in 2016. In 2017 RAZER|Xian won the very first Premier Event of the season with the character and sparked an Ibuki revolution while also breaking the hearts of many fans of F.A.N.G., the character Xian used previously. Xian has always been able to bring out the best in characters that were not considered main stream and showing their true potential. Xian is the Evo 2016 Champion and he has qualified for Capcom Cup every year to date. In 2018 he has won the FV x SEA Major Malaysia Ranking Event in July, finished 9th place at Evo and had several other top placements at other events. His best Premier Event performance was taking 2nd place at CEO in May.
In 2016 CJ Truth began traveling to compete at more events but 2018 is a breakout year, earning over 1,300 points on the Global Leaderboard and a trip to Capcom Cup! During the year he had several high placements at events but the highlight came at the very last event of the season, North America Regional Finals at Red Bull Conquest, where CJ Truth not only won the Open Premier Event but also very nearly won the Regional Finals as well! During the Open Premier he defeated none other than Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido, proving that CJ Truth can stand toe to toe with the best players in the world and win!
Character(s): Karin, Nash, Sagat
Bonchan, known for his Sagat play in the Street Fighter 4 era, had a bit of a character crisis when Street Fighter 5 began. He started with Ryu and switched to Nash mid-2016. Last year even he started using another character, Karin. This year Bonchan was re-united with Sagat to great excitement among spectators. However, being only available a short time at this point, Bonchan has only used Sagat sparingly in competition and continued to lean heavily on his main characters. In 2018 Bonchan hasn’t claimed an outright win but has many impressive placements including four top 8 finishes at Premier Events and three top 3 placements at Ranking Events. This will be Bonchan’s third Capcom Cup appearance. Will we see The King at Capcom Cup?
Mago – Kenryo Hayashi (Japan)
Mago is a veteran Street Fighter player with a career spanning several iterations of the game and once carried the nickname of Mago “2DGOD”. This is Mago’s fourth Capcom Cup appearance in as many years. This season he has finished top 8 at five Premier Events including a 2nd place finish at LATAM Regional Finals in November and finished at 13th place at Evo. Mago has incredible skills honed over years of competition at Japan’s fierce arcade scene and at tournaments. Karin is a dangerous character, but in the hands of a player like Mago she’s a force to be reckoned with.
RECIPROCITY|Punk – Victor Woodley (USA)
RECIPROCITY|Punk burst onto the CPT with a 3rd place finish at Red Bull Battle Grounds in 2016, where he became very emotional about that placement as he felt he could have won. In 2017 he became arguably the best player in the world dominating events. He went to Capcom Cup 2017 as the number one seed with almost a thousand point lead over 2nd place, Japan’s ECHO FOX|Tokido. He hasn’t dominated in 2018 like he did last year but he still had a good season and is making his second Capcom Cup appearance. He won three Ranking Events this season and finished top 8 at two Premier Events. 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.
DETONATION|Itabashi Zangief – Hiromiki Kumada (Japan)
Character(s): Abigail, Zangief
DETONATION|Itabashi Zangief, sometimes referred to by the short-hand nickname of Itazan, has been a long-time Zangief loyalist. So much so that it’s right there in his name! Prior to this year he was arguably the best Zangief player in the world, finding ways to make him work in competition while other players struggled and doing quite well at major events. However, this year he’s jumped on board the Abigail hype train and used Zangief sparingly as a secondary character. He won the JAM Festival Ranking Event in October and 3rd place at the first Online Ranking Event for Asia East in June. He also placed top 8 in three Premier Events with his best being 4th place at TWFighter Major. Itabashi Zangief has an almost supernatural sixth sense when it comes to reading his opponent’s intentions and it almost invariably ends with a grab into huge damage. He also has a charming happy-go-lucky attitude that, win or lose, he looks like he’s having fun.
Character(s): Kolin, Ken, Karin
Japan’s Momochi is the Capcom Cup 2014 Champion as well as the Evo 2015 Champion, being the only player to date who is champion at both events. Over the course of Street Fighter 5 so far he has changed main characters several times starting with Karin, then Ken, and finally using Kolin today. In 2018 he has three top 8 finishes at Premier Events with his best being 2nd place at Final Fighters China. He has four other placements just outside of top 8 (9th place) at Premier Events as well. Momochi is a calm, exceptionally precise player who adapts strategies quickly.
ATLAS BEAR|StormKUBO – Kubo Arashi (Japan)
As a Hugo player during the Street Fighter 4 era, ATLAS BEAR|StormKUBO was a crowd pleaser but mostly played in events in Asia. This year he took his e-sports career to a new level, traveling around the world and attended most of the Premier Events in 2018. With Abigail at his command he is once again thrilling audiences and has achieved impressive results. He’s made top 8 at Premier Events five times and placed just outside of it (9th place) at another two. His best Premier Event performance was at the North American Regional Finals at Red Bull Conquest where he earned 4th place.
FURSAN|Verloren – Hyungsuk Kong (South Korea)
FURSAN|Verloren has had another strong season in 2018 and this will be his second Capcom Cup appearance in a row. He has four top 8 placements at Premier Events this season with his best being 3rd place at Final Round at the beginning of the season. He also placed 13th at Evo and any top 16 at that event is impressive. While there are a lot of Cammy players competing right now Verloren is among the very best out there.
LIQUID|Nemo – Naoki Nemoto (Japan)
LIQUID|Nemo turned heads last year at Capcom Cup by first going on an unbelievable run to win the Last Chance Qualifier to earn the final available slot at the finale. He then went on to take 3rd place at Capcom Cup 2017. In 2018 he doesn’t have to worry about the Last Chance Qualifier as he earned the Asia/Oceania Region qualification spot (Gachikun won the Regional Final which, according to CPT rules, qualified Nemo as the player from that region with the next highest points on the Global Leaderboard). Nemo had a great 2018 making top 8 at four Premier Events with his best being 3rd place at Tokyo Game Show in September. Nemo is an aggressive player with exceptional execution skills, making his Urien a dangerous opponent.
CYG BST|Chris T’s last Capcom Cup appearnance was in 2016 and he’s back again in 2018 as the North America Regional qualifier (Punk won the NA Regional Final which, according to CPT rules, qualified Chris T as the player from that region with the next highest points on the Global Leaderboard). He had a great season this year, perhaps his best so far in the CPT, winning two Ranking Events with Game Over in late April and Never Give Up in late September. He also placed 3rd at the Socal Regionals Premier Event and fell just outside of top 16 at Evo at 17th place. Chris T is a very aggressive player who plays Ken, a high-risk/high-reward character that can dish out tremendous damage.
NASR|AngryBird – Amjad Alshalabi (United Arab Emirates)
Character(s): Zeku, Akuma
NASR|AngryBird earned qualification to Capcom Cup by winning the EU Regional Final in late September. In 2018 he’s had several impressive placements including winning the Ultimate Fighting Arena Ranking Event in early September and placing 5th at the Sonic Boom Ranking Event in July. He’s one of the very few competitive players who uses Zeku which may give him an advantage against some players who are not familiar with the matchup. He also has a strong Akuma at his disposal.
RAPTOR|Pikoro – Gonzalo Buleje (Peru)
RAPTOR|Pikoro from Peru qualified to Capcom Cup 2018 as a substitute due to SONICBOXX|Crossover not being able to attend. Pikoro had a great 2018 season winning the Lima Salty Ranking Event in mid-August and having three other top 8 finishes at other Ranking Events. He also took 2nd at the LATAM Regional Finals. Pikoro is a strong M.Bison player and will be looking to make a big impression at Capcom Cup.
Last Competitor to be Determined at Capcom Cup 2018!
The rundown above is for the 31 players who have so far earned a spot at Capcom Cup 2018 but there is one more player yet to be determined! Capcom Cup 2018 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 2018. Tune in to watch Capcom Cup 2018 to find out who will earn the opportunity to attend the Capcom Pro Tour finale!