MenaRD takes home $250,000 (nearly 12 million in his home currency) after wowing the world with Capcom Cup victory

Eighteen year old player from the Dominican Republic wins more money for a fighting game tournament than anyone in history

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 13, 2017 at 7:37 p.m. PST

For most all Street Fighter history, Japan has been the country to beat. Last year's Capcom Cup win by American player Du "Liquid|NuckleDu" Dang led community members to question if it was finally the stars and stripes' time to reign, but last weekend's Capcom Cup turned the narrative on its head, mainly thanks to eighteen year old player from the Dominican Republic, Saul "RISE|MenaRD" Segundo.

Mena's Street Fighter 5 career had shown promise already, as he'd appeared in multiple top eight brackets in the Capcom Pro Tour and even defeated CYG|Daigo "The Beast" Umehara at CEO 2017 with a cherry on top taunt during their set.

That said, there were few that gave the DR competitor much of a chance in the 32-player Capcom Cup bracket filled with nothing but the absolute strongest fighters of 2017. What's more, Mena plays Birdie, a character that has seldom seen much success in tournament circuits.

Most fantasy brackets likely saw Mena fall to 2013 EVO champion RZR|Xian in round one, though he'd wind up winning that set with a close 3-2 decision. Up next would be Capcom Cup 2015 champ, GGP|Kazunoko, whom Mena defeated 3-1.

His next opponent? A rematch from CEO with the most celebrated fighting game player of all time, Daigo, with the winner advancing to the top eight bracket and Sunday finals.

Though it would go down to the wire, here's how this nail biter set finally concluded:

Click image for animated version

The name taking continued on Sunday as Segundo maintained his rampage in the final eight bracket, which consisted also of six Japanese players, and one European player.

DNG|Itabashi Zangief would appear helpless in his set against Mena, but FOX|Tokido (the current EVO champion and favorite to win this event) would send the young competitor to the losers bracket.

The carnage would carry on as Mena bowled over the red hot Naoki "AW|Nemo" Nemoto's Urien with a 3-0 spree, culminating with this command grab frenzy to close things out:

Having earned another shot at the best in the business, Mena reset the bracket against Tokido after being down 2-0 in their first set. He'd then ride the momentum and take out the Japanese god 3-1 to win it all.

Here are the final moments of Capcom Cup 2017 as Mena secures the victory that most thought impossible:

The Capcom Pro Tour is split into four regions: North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Often previously perceived as having some good potential at best, Latin America had seen the least amount of Street Fighter 5 success of all four regions in terms of major event placings.

Though his splash would be the biggest, Mena was not the only rep from Latin America to make waves last weekend. Jochy's Akuma nearly defeated Nemo and finished 9th at the Last Chance Qualifier, and AAG|DidimoKOF made it to 13th in Capcom Cup itself after defeating some big names with impressive Dhalsim play.

Seemingly overnight, Mena has led a (bull) charge that has put the Latin American FGC on the worldwide community's radar unlike ever before, and this win will not only grant more hype to the already enthusiastic region, but perhaps financial help for the scene as well.

Segundo's win brought with it a check for $250,000, a greater amount than any pro fighting gamer has ever taken home from a single tournament. The Domican peso/US dollar exchange rate is 48.13/1, meaning the young champ is taking home almost RD$12,000,000.

We imagine a good bit of these winnings will be invested back into the DR FGC, affording more players more opportunities to travel and train. Given what we've seen over this last year, said opportunities will likely bring out more of these incredibly skilled players to show the rest of the world what they're capable of.

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