Capcom Cup is finally upon us this weekend, let's run through who and what we'll be seeing at the event

There's a lot of information to cover, so this is only the first half of our preview

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • December 4, 2017 at 7:24 p.m. PST

After a long season of tournaments, Street Fighter 5 is finally gearing down to the end of its second season.

With Capcom Cup 2017 upon us this weekend, these matches are what the whole year has been building towards.

Now that we're not even a week away from the climax, we thought it might be nice to have a look at what exactly is going to be in store for us at this event.

Continue below for the full rundown.

The Event

Where is it happening?

Capcom Cup 2017 will be taking place at in Anaheim, California, with the finals day taking place at the PlayStation Experience event.

When is it happening?

Including the Last Chance Qualifier, the event will be taking place from Friday the 8th of December to Sunday the 10th of December - this upcoming weekend.

What can we expect?

There's actually a lot happening at this event, with a Last Chance Qualifier for the final spot in the 32-man bracket, and then a ton of matches between the players who've qualified this far. So many, in fact, that they're upping it to two simultaneous streams to keep the action lodaded for every viewer.

Of course, we'll also be seeing the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Battle for the Stones tournament at this event, for which 16 players have qualified.

Besides this, Capcom have promised we're going to see announcements at the event, so stay tuned for the latest about Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition, and what we can look forward to from the title next year.

The Players

Thousands of people have traveled across the globe this year to participate in various Capcom Pro Tour events to try and gather the points to stand on this stage, and while only 32 have been granted that privilege, it hasn't been taken lightly. All of these fighters have done their very best to get here, and it's going to be a fierce battle to reach the top.

There are a bit too many players to cover in one go, so we'll be going through 15 players here, and 16 players in another piece tomorrow, with the last remaining player of course being unknown until Friday, where the winner of the Last Chance Qualifier will officially join the fray.

EG|Ricki Ortiz

Country: U.S.A.
Character: Chun-Li
2017 Season CPT Points: 156

Due to the unfortunate withdrawal of 2016's champion Liquid|NuckleDu from this year's Capcom Cup, a last-minute addition was made.

Although her Capcom Pro Tour points are low compared to the other combatants this year, EG|Ricki Ortiz got in on virtue of getting 2nd place at last year's Capcom Cup, which is no small feat.

Given what a fighting game veteran she is, and the amazing results she's posted in multiple games throughout her career, EG|Ricki Ortiz could be a strong surprise for a lot of people at this year's tournament.

Although definitely one of the lower favored players going into the tournament due to her relative inactivity in the game this year, this is still a player you should definitely never count out.


Country: Brazil
Character: Dhalsim
2017 Season CPT Points: 595

AAG|DidimoKOF himself didn't even believe he could make it into Capcom Cup 2017 when he set off to partake in this year's Latin American Regional Finals.

But win he did, and after taking down every other challenger, cemented himself as one of the players set to do battle this weekend.

From a relatively underrepresented region, due in no small part to their limited funds and sponsorships not letting them travel, he's definitely a player who's below most opponent's radars.

Add to that his use of the somewhat rare and unorthodox character Dhalsim, and this is one participant who might cause a few upsets now that he's been given the chance. He already did it once at the Regional Finals.


Country: Japan
Characters: Akuma, Abigail, Menat
2017 Season CPT Points: 791

One of the most legendary players in fighting game history, Scarz|Sako hasn't been quite as big of a monster in Street Fighter 5 ... yet.

Just narrowly making it into the finals, by virtue of PG|Punk taking the North American Regional Finals and opening up another points-based spot for Capcom Cup, you can bet he's been preparing to prove that he got all those points for a reason.

Although he mainly sticks with Akuma, he's been regularly seen using the newest character online when they're released, and even busting out Abigail and Menat briefly in tournaments, so there's no telling what surprises Scarz|Sako might have in store for us.

Whether he goes for surprising character picks or not, this is definitely a player that's very low on the predictability scale, so his opponents better be on their guard.

Allegiance|801 Strider

Country: U.S.A.
Character: Laura
2017 Season CPT Points: 795

Although largely absent last year, Allegiance|801 Strider went into 2017 with renewed confidence and understanding of the game, and it's been paying off in spades.

With Allegiance|801 Strider being the only Laura player currently qualified for the Capcom Cup finals, it'll be interesting to see what tricks he's bringing to shock the other participants.

As one of the most consistent placers in the North American region this year, he's certainly no stranger to a Top 8. Let's see if he can reach it now, when it counts the most.


Country: France
Character: R. Mika
2017 Season CPT Points: 802

The first former EVO Champion in our list, RB|Luffy, has switched to a character of an entirely different style than the defensive Rose that made him famous back in the Street Fighter 4 days.

Although he's admitted that playing a new type of character brings its challenges, it's clear from results that R. Mika is working out well for him.

With a very distinct style of R. Mika that separates him from others using the character, we can still see shades of his impeccable defense, even when mainly focusing on offensively pressuring his opponent, in instances such as getting repeated time outs with said character in tournament.

RB|Luffy's strong tournament history, serious Street Fighter 5 play make him and his trusty PS1 pad a big threat going into Capcom Cup 2017.


Country: Japan
Characters: Ken, Ibuki
2017 Season CPT Points: 821

Although FOX|Momochi has been a bit more shaky this year than last, that's certainly no reason to count him out.

With a slight character crisis early on this year, and playing in tournament with characters like Ibuki and M. Bison, he's still stuck mostly to a somewhat weakened Season 2 Ken, and produced strong showings with him.

While Ken is still likely to be his so-called "main chicken" going into this weekend, he has been using Zeku an awful lot online.

The biggest thing I've learned about FOX|Momochi throughout they ears is to never assume you know what he's going to do next, so I'm taking the approach of waiting and seeing what he has up his sleeve.

NASR|Big Bird

Country: United Arab Emirates
Character: Ken
2017 Season CPT Points: 840

Very similarily to FOX|Momochi who we just talked about, NASR|Big Bird has also made big waves while sticking with Ken this year, and he is perhaps even more likely to bring out a Zeku pick at Capcom Cup 2017.

NASR|Big Bird is a true testament to dedication, since he lives in the, for Capcom Cup unstrategic, United Arab Emirates. With every flight he's taken this year to get to a tournament being at least 5 hours long, he's been toughing it out hardcore, showing up, and racking up these points.

This dedication of his is bound to pay off at the finals this weekend, regardless of which character he ends up going with. It's going to be hard for anyone to bet against one of the hardest working men in fighting games.


Country: Dominican Republic
Character: Birdie
2017 Season CPT Points: 920

Rise|MenaRD really showed up on everyone's radar this year, pulling out a multitude of top placings with an unpredictable Birdie style that left many opponents salty in his wake.

Much like AAG|DidimoKOF, Rise|MenaRD comes from a region whose players don't get to travel much, but they've definitely got a high level of play there, so don't think he'll be coming in to this unprepared.

As the sole Birdie main qualified for the tournament, Rise|MenaRD will be looking to show the world just how devastating the character can be in the right hands, so people better have done their homework or they'll be in for a very rude awakening. Or a very rude soda can.


Country: U.S.A.
Character: Balrog
2017 Season CPT Points: 930

By far one of the flashiest players of the Street Fighter 4 era, Rise|Smug really came into his own when Balrog was released for Street Fighter 5, and even moreso when Balrog got some much-needed buffs in Season 2.

Truly bringing Balrog's moniker of Raging Buffalo to virtual life, Rise|Smug's playstyle fits perfectly with the character, and more than any other player in this tournament can not be counted out no matter how grim it looks.

We've all been there - ahead in the game, and Balrog gets one hit, and all of a sudden it's curtains. Rise|Smug manages to make this happen against the best players in the world on a regular basis, and Capcom Cup is unlikely to be any exception.

For all the hype about Balrog's power in Season 2, Rise|Smug remains the only qualified player with the character, so let's see how much damage he can do.


Country: Japan
Characters: Karin, Rashid
2017 Season CPT Points: 935

Perhaps the biggest mystery in Street Fighter 5 right now is how a player like Mago can currently be sponsorless.

One of the most famous Japanese players throughout Street Fighter 4, and perhaps even more consistently godlike in Street Fighter 5, Mago definitely earned his tongue-in-cheek title of 2D God.

While he hasn't been winning tournaments quite like he did last year, he's still one of Japan's finest, and he's undoubtedly looking to prove that to the world this weekend.

Although we have Rashid listed as one of his characters, he really only uses her if he goes up against Birdie, a notoriously rough matchup for Karin.


Country: Norway
Characters: Necalli, M. Bison, Guile
2017 Season CPT Points: 940

Famous not only for his extreme skill at Street Fighter, which showed more than ever with how quick he was to adapt to Street Fighter 5, but also for his very outspoken nature, BX3|Phenom is highly likely to be a key player at this year's Capcom Cup.

Mostly using Necalli, a consistently strong character for top players to be using, he's recently branched out in tournament play to other characters, showing us some M. Bison play we hadn't seen from him for over a year, and more recently with a Guile pick most of us didn't expect.

One of his biggest strengths is how good he is at getting into his opponent's heads, and with how brutal the nerves will inevitably be at an event of this level, that's an amazing strength to have. Let's see how well it pays off for Scandinavia's strongest Street Fighter competitor.


Country: Japan
Character: Rashid
2017 Season CPT Points: 956

This year, we've seen the rise of three amazing Rashid players in Asia, and they all made it into Capcom Cup.

The first of the three is Ponos|Moke, who used to be a top player in Persona before diving into Street Fighter 5, citing his desire for competing in the game with the highest amount of skilled players present as his main motivation to do so.

Although the Rashid threat has mostly been confined to Asia, this weekend will likely see all three of these players bringing the pain to the worldwide stage, so any international players who haven't been paying attention better be on their guard.

Rashid is consistently cited as a top 3 characters by most Asian players, and the #1 CPT point leader, U.S.A.'s PG|Punk, boldly claims him to be the best character in the game, so you better keep your eyes on Ponos|Moke and his Rashid brethren for Capcom Cup 2017.

CYG|Snake Eyez

Country: U.S.A.
Characters: Zangief, Akuma
2017 Season CPT Points: 965

CYG|Snake Eyez had a very strong start during the first half of this year, though he has remained somewhat quiet since then.

This could of course be a form of strategy, keeping his opponent's guessing as to what he's been cooking up, in which case we'll definitely be seeing the fruits of his labor come into play now.

While his main character is Zangief, he's got zero qualms with switching off him when he thinks it's not working out, and has a strong Akuma to back him up.

Stay tuned to see what CYG|Snake Eyez brings to the table this year.


Country: Japan
Characters: Menat, Ibuki, Chun-Li
2017 Season CPT Points: 1017

CO|Go1 is a multi-game master, who started performing in Street Fighter last year with the launch of Street Fighter 5.

He's seen a massive surge in popularity for his recent Menat usage, and although he doesn't consider her to be in the upper half of the tier list, he still opts to use her in any matchup he thinks she can fight in.

With his technical playstyle and deep game knowledge, CO|Go1 is likely to be a bigger threat than most people from outside of Japan expect, and his multi-character proficiency means that even if you've done your research, he might throw you for a loop with a surprise pick.

If anyone's been suffering from the misconception that CO|Go1 only performed last year due to his usage of the then-top tier Chun-Li, prepare to have those notions shattered for good.


Country: Brazil
Characters: Necalli, M. Bison
2017 Season CPT Points: 1020

The highest placing player in the Latin American region of this year's CPT, F3|Brolynho from Brazil, has become a consistent presence in the top levels of any tournament he attends.

Returning from last year with another shot at Capcom Cup, you can bet that he's hungry to prove himself even stronger than last year, where his journey was unfortunately cut short by GRPT|MOV and CYG|Daigo.

Although most people expect him to show off with his signature Necalli, he also has a M. Bison waiting in the wings that he might bring out to blindside opponents.

Whatever the case may be, one thing is sure - F3|Brolynho has made his hometown proud, and I'm sure their cheers will only power him up even further, helping to realize his proclamation of playing with confidence and at his maximum level.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to look through this first installment of our Capcom Cup 2017 primer, look forward to the next part being uploaded tomorrow, covering the remaining 16 players set to participate.

Capcom Cup 2017 Rundown Part 2.
Last Chance Qualifier Rundown.

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