Capcom Cup IX: 10 years of history in the making
Ten years, a whole lot of Capcom Cup history and some incredible winners – today we take a look back at the history of the CPT finals
We've seen ten years of Capcom Cup history, which just goes to show that time flies. And the ten years since the first event also marks the last tournament to take place under Street Fighter V before the launch of Street Fighter 6 in June. But don’t worry if you haven’t followed all ten years, as we are here to give you a quick recap on the fantastic decade that was.
And much like the upcoming Capcom Cup IX, there will not be any SF6 reveals at the end of this piece. Sorry.
What is the Capcom Cup?
For a quick intro – Capcom Cup is the final championship and follows the Capcom Pro Tour, which is the deciding year long event on who will compete at the Capcom Cup. Taking place across the entire globe and via both LAN and online qualifiers, the Capcom Cup is the true culmination of a year's work.
Let's look at how the finals of each week shook down.
2013: Attack of the Arcade
2013 Winner - sako. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
To kick things off let’s look at where history started. In 2013 the first ever Capcom Cup champion was Naoto ‘sako’ Sako. Now 43 years old, he continues to compete in Street Fighter, having most recently played in the Capcom Cup Pro Tour 2022 World Warrior: #5 Japan qualifier.
Within this event, he placed ninth in his bracket. He is also an active player on FAV gaming which is a Japanese esports org operating in the FGC.
2014: Capcom Cup Turbo: Championship Edition
2014 Winner - Momochi. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
For the second year of the Capcom Cup, another Japanese player was crowned king. Yusukue ‘Momochi.' Similarly to sako, Momochi at 36 years old remains an active player in Street Fighter as an active player at his own org--Shinobism Gaming, which is part of his Momochi’s company – Shinobism.
Momochi most recently competed in 2022 as part of the Japanese Topanga Championship 4 event where he placed fifth as part of team Victrix Pro. This tournament is notable for being the first Capcom Cup of the Ultra Street Fighter IV era.
2015: The finale for Street Fighter IV
2015 Winner - Kazunoko. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
Another hat trick for Japan, as the third Capcom Cup champion was also Japanese in the form of Ryota ‘Kazunoko’ Inoue. The now 34 year old remains an active player of Street Fighter, competing on the Japanese team Burning Core where he has been since 2019.
His most recent win was seen in 2020 at the Dragon Ball FighterZ National Championships Japan, where he placed first.
2016: A new challenger appears
2016 Winner - NuckleDu. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
Although the tournament had been conquered by Japan, 2016 saw this change as Du ‘NuckleDu’ Dang from the USA entered the tournament and was crowned the champion. Similarly to the other champions of the Capcom Cup, NuckleDu remains an active player but is not listed as being with a team currently.
He most recently played at the Capcom Pro Tour in 2022 which was an online event in the region of NA East where he placed fourth. This was also the first Capcom Pro Tour for Street Fighter V, which ahd released in 2016.
2017: Grapplers rule
2017 Winner - MenaRD. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
Having seen that Western regions could claim the title of Capcom Cup champion over Eastern players, 2017 saw Saul Leonardo ‘MenaRD’ Mena II took the title for himself. The Dominican player claimed the title having risen to popularity in the Latin American region, and remains an active player to this day.
He was most recently seen playing in the 2022 Blink Respawn tournament in Santo Domingo where he placed first and claimed another title for himself. The Birdy player stands as a rare grappler player to take the overall crown.
2018: Japan returns to glory
2018 Winner - gachikun. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
If Western players had expected Eastern teams to be ok with losing the title of Capcom Cup Champion they were very wrong. Enter Tsunehiro ‘gachikun’ Kanamori, a now 30 year old player who was determined to claim the title for himself.
He defeated two other Japanese players to claim the title, and remains an active player on both Good 8 Squad and Red Bull eSports. Most recently, he has been seen at the Capcom Pro Tour 2022 World Warrior: Japan Regional Final where he placed sixth overall.
2019: iDom dominates
2019 Winner - iDom. Image via Capcom Pro Tour
Having watched the East reclaim their title, Western players geared up to take the title. Considered as an incredible talented player, the champion of 2019 stood his ground through to be crowned the champion. Derek ‘iDom’ Ruffin claimed the title as the second ever American player to win the event, and still remains an active player.
Currently playing for the American org XSET; he recently played in the Capcom Pro Tour 2022 World Warrior: US East Regional Final. Where he placed first against Japanese player Yuki ‘Kudo’ and demonstrated his sheer skill. Will iDom make Capcom Cup history once more in 2023?
2020: Pandemic strikes
Unfortunately like many other events, Capcom Cup 2020 was cancelled, and never reached its’ location of Punta Cana. The event instead went online where the 2019 winner iDom, a fan favourite of the 2019 participants, and the winners of the 18 events played online. This group took the overall championship.
For fans, the 2019 favourite participant was Olivier ‘Luffy’ Hay from France who remains an active player on Team GO. As an active player, the now 36 year old was most recently seen playing in the Capcom Pro Tour 2022 World Warrior: France Regional Final, where he placed sixth. Luffy was a former EVO champion known for using a PlayStation One controller in tournaments.
2021: Online only
Similarly to 2020, the Capcom Cup for 2021 was cancelled and moved online. Following a similar format, the winner of the 31 events played were crowned the winner; along with the winner of the Last Chance Qualifier. However within this year a player was banned in-definitely from Capcom events – Robson ‘RobinHo’ Oliveira.
Oliveira is now permanently banned from all Capcom tournaments and blackballed from the FGC after news broke of the player sharing stories about sexually assaulting a woman.
2022: Capcom Cup returns
Eventually, the 2022 Capcom Cup returned, with a new structure on declaring a champion. With the change of world activites taking place. As such, the event now created numerous champions. Wherein the winner of the EVO (Evolution Championship Series) 2022 became a winner.
Alongside the winners of the 19 online events played, the winners from the World Warrior Circuit Regional Finals; and the winner of the Last Chance Qualifiers. Capcom Cup history made yet again.
One such winner included ‘Kawano’ who is an active player on the Good 8 Squad in Japan. He became one of the champions as he won the EVO 2022 event. As an active player he has been most recently seen playing at the Capcom Cup Pro Tour 2022 World Warrior: #1 Japan where he placed between 49th and 64th .
2023: What happens next?
Could history could happen once more? Although this is the last tournament under Street Fighter V; that doesn’t history-making won't happen. Be sure to tune into the final tournament and watch history being made one last time.
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Contributor | Twitter @smolsh0rtie
Nia Quinn is a blogger and esports/gaming journalist who first fell into esports through a friend in 2020. She is known online as smolsh0rtie (a name that has a long story behind it) and is an avid fan of League of Legends and Valorant. She also loves cosy games and watching streams. In her free time she can be found playing video games, drinking boba and squealing about how cute koalas are.