Another SF5 tournament series is on its way; ZOWIE's Extreme Series looks to appeal to both players and audiences with special 'eSports' flair

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • March 15, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. PDT

With the Capcom Pro Tour, ELeauge, Red Bull Kumite and ESL's King of the Hill, (just to name a few) Street Fighter 5 has been garnering a ton of eSports attention for the fighting game genre, and we're happy to share that yet another tournament series is on the horizon.

Extreme Series is a collection of tournaments that will be held in the UK from late March to early May, and will offer players shots at big prizes as they vie for spots in the regional finals, which will be held in France. The goal for said finals is not only to put on an SF5 event that features quality play and big prizes, but to put on a full production that simultaneously acknowledges players and audiences with top notch atmosphere and execution.

Click the image below to see the announcement flyer:

Extreme Series image #1
Click images for larger versions

For this series, ZOWIE is teaming up with notable Counter-Strike: GO eSports commentator, host and streamer James "BanKs" Banks. We were lucky enough to get to chat with BanKs, and he spelled out the details of this exciting European competition.

Raptor: So to kick things off, can you explain who you are and what you do?

BanKs: My name is James Banks, I go by the nickname BanKs and my brand is BanKs Esports because everything I do is generally revolving around eSports. I have been involved in eSports since 2003, starting as a professional player in Counter-Strike, Forza and Virtua Fighter 5. I commentate, present & act as a host in a variety of different games and have now been given a chance to work with ZOWIE on putting together their ZOWIE Fighter event in the UK.

Raptor: That's the Extreme Series right? Can you detail what that is for us?

BanKs: Yeah, so ZOWIE is an internal company, massive in the gaming scene and they have put together ZOWIE Fighter, competitions put on by ZOWIE leading to European final held in France at a date that is TBA. The UK version that I have put together is called the Extreme Series and it will be four events that offer six spots in the European final in total. Two spots for the first two weeks and one spot for the final two weeks.

Raptor: We've been seeing these types of events pop up more and more frequently as of late. Does ES have anything that makes it particularly stand out?

BanKs: To me, we are trying to find the perfect balance between that crazy explosive hype and entertainment but also produce a quality event that appeals to not just the hardcore scene. With the qualifiers you will see them all streamed with a different approach to most other Street Fighter events but at the European finals we have something really special planned - that you will just have to wait and see.

I can tell you now though that we will be going a step above in how it is presented. The one thing that won't change throughout all of our events is keeping our focus on the players... we want to show we are not here just to put on events, we want to work with the community to improve things in general.

Raptor: Sounds exciting, can you give us the stream channel?

BanKs: The UK qualifiers will all be streamed on my Twitch channel, BanKsEsports, and we will be announcing a date where myself and the event commentators will do a Q&A. Providing as much info as possible about the event.

One thing we really want people to know is that there is no entry fee and anyone from the UK can enter, attend and take part for a shot at the prize money and qualifier spots!

Raptor: Are you inviting any top players at all? Or is this completely a first come first serve?

BanKs: I don't think we need to invite any players but we are certainly making sure everyone knows they can enter, regardless of their ability. From the looks of the sign ups so far we have seen some top players sign up, it is up to 64 players per week and we still have space! To me, a player looking to gain experience will get a chance to learn a thing or two at these events and we will also be having a chilled session of just free for all playing at the end of each event.

Raptor: And what does the overall winner take home as the grand prize?

BanKs: Each qualifier is broken down as follows, 1st place at all of the events gets £500, an all expenses paid trip to the grand finals in France and a ZOWIE monitor, 2nd place gets £250 and on the first two events an all expenses paid trip to the grand finals in France and 3rd place gets £100.

The info on the European finals will be announced at a later date.

Raptor: Very cool. Anything else you'd like to add?

BanKs: Firstly a huge thank you to the community for being so welcoming and supportive of the event so far. From all of the Unequalled media team, to Logan, Janitor, Tyrant, F Word, Damascus for all of the help and insight to the scene. I've been so impressed with the help and feedback!

I'd also encourage anyone who is interested in the event to get signed up as soon as possible and also keep checking back on my Twitter - @BanKsEsports for updates and announcements.

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