The Capcom Pro Tour will conclude with exhibition matches, rather than the Capcom Cup as is tradition. Thanks COVID.
Due to rising COVID-19 numbers, Capcom Cup 2021 was canceled in early January. The offline final for the 2021 Capcom Pro Tour was originally scheduled for February 2022 in the United States. For everyone's safety, it was announced that the prestigious Street Fighter event would be replaced with a new online format. This was a major blow to the competitive scene, as Capcom Cup 2021 was set to crown the first new champion in over two years.
The unfortunate circumstances won't prevent Capcom from providing Street Fighter V fans with an exciting finish to the competitive year. Capcom announced a massive four-day event for the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Season Final. Twenty exhibition matches between the 31 Capcom Cup qualifiers and 9 invitees are on the schedule for the weekend. The Final will also feature a 5v5 team exhibition match between 10 of North America's best players. Although it isn't an official Capcom Cup, the new event is still likely to produce tons of excitement.
Capcom Pro Tour Season Final Schedule
The Capcom Pro Tour Season will take place Feb. 17-20. Each day's broadcast will start at 7 pm ET on both Twitch and Youtube.
No Neutral 5v5 Exhibition
The festivities kick off Thursday with the No Neutral 5v5 Exhibition. Two teams led by Rob "RobTV" Burney and Brian "Brian_F" Foster will battle it out for regional bragging rights. The match will highlight some of North America's top competitors. Several won 2021 Capcom Pro Tour online events and will be fighting in the 1v1 exhibitions the following days. The ten participants include:
The 2021 Capcom Pro Tour Season Final's true competition lies in the exhibition matches. Over the rest of the weekend, forty players will play individual matches to determine who's top in their region. The matches feature the 31 winners of the Tour's regional tournaments, along with 9 others invited by Capcom. Each match will be a first-to-five and has high stakes, as every winner will receive a $5,000 prize. Take a look at the full match schedule below.
The weekend features a stacked lineup with several high-profile bouts. Most notable is the one between longtime rivals Victor "Punk" Woodley and Derek "iDom" Ruffin. Arguably the two best players in North America, they have clashed head-to-head numerous times and are constantly battling for regional supremacy. February 20 will be the latest chapter in their incredible saga.
Another marquee matchup on the bill for the weekend is the "Battle of the Birds." This match features Amjad "AngryBird" Alshalabi and Adel "Big Bird" Anouche set to square off. They are not only two of the world's top players; both hail from the United Arab Emirates, represent NASR eSports as teammates and are good friends. Nevertheless, they will have to put all that to the side with $5,000 on the line.
Another intriguing matchup on the slate is a Grand Finals rematch from the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 - Japan 3 event. The legendary Daigo Umehara will take on young prodigy Kawano in the weekend's final exhibition match. After Daigo defeated Kawano to become the third qualifying player from Japan, Kawano bounced back by winning the fourth tournament to earn a Capcom Cup berth as well. Following their first match, the veteran Daigo praised the young Kawano's hard work and growth. This match represents the best of the past and the future of Japanese Street Fighter.
The Law of the Land
Capcom states that winners will receive $5,000 "where permissible by law." This likely refers to Japan, where strict gambling laws prohibit gamers from earning big paydays from esports. Players need to acquire a Jespa license to receive full compensation from esports, but the Japanese government only hands out so few at a time. If a winning player doesn't have a Jespa license, they may have to forfeit their earnings.