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Street Fighter Pro League coming to North America in 2019 featuring 3v3 team play of professional players

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • January 22, 2019 at 7:44 a.m. PST • Comments: 53

Capcom is pushing their eSports initiative forward in 2019 with the newly announced North American Street Fighter Pro League which is tentatively set to kick off later this April to run alongside the Capcom Pro Tour.

There will be six teams in the league made up of three players each battling it out to take home the championship prize. Team captains will be chosen from the top ranked players from the CPT North American Leaderboards. The second slot of each team will be filled by top players from special online qualifiers, and the third and final spot will be made up of players voted in by the community at large.

Team captains will have the opportunity to draft their prospects at the start of each season which will require more strategy to help with the unique feature of the league.

The North American Street Fighter Pro League is introducing a "character ban" rule where teams can ban any one character at the beginning of each match. Players on the same team must also select different characters from their teammates during matches, so competitors who can balance multiple fighters may be at an advantage over character specialists for an added level of strategic play.

Competition will be split into two seasons with the first scheduled to begin in April 2019 where tournaments will be held every Thursday through the end of May. The season one finale will then take place in June where the top two teams will advance to the second leg.

A second season will pick up in August with another draft followed by more tournament play with the new teams until November leading to the first North American Pro League Champion.

The top six competitors from the Capcom Pro Tour North American leaderboard for 2018 will be receiving invitations as captains which means that NuckleDu, Justin Wong, REC|Punk, iDom, GGEA|Toi and Nephew will get the first opportunities to join. If any of them were to decline, the next four in line would likely be CJ Truth, Flash, Rise|Smug and Chris T.

"We thought adding team play to a Street Fighter 5 tournament series would bring a compelling layer of strategy and drama to the format" - Yoshinori Ono

"We thought adding team play to a Street Fighter 5 tournament series would bring a compelling layer of strategy and drama to the format," said Producer Yoshinori Ono. "We are exploring this new format within a new tournament series, in addition to our ongoing support of the existing popular Capcom Pro Tour. We hope our fans will enjoy this fresh perspective on Street Fighter eSports, and we’ll be analyzing their feedback to incorporate into future seasons of the League."

Further information and rules regarding the online qualifying tournaments and fan voting is said to be coming over the next few weeks. It is not yet stated where the Street Fighter Pro League will air for tournaments and events or how season two will play out compared to the first.

Capcom previously stated last year that they planned to expand their eSports reach even further with new leagues like those in Japan with Rage and Topanga, and it looks like the North American Street Fighter Pro League is the first step into their new ventures for 2019.

The publisher / developer has also said they're going to be doing things differently for Street Fighter 5 Season 4, so this league may fall under that umbrella too.

2019's Capcom Pro Tour proper for Street Fighter 5 is still scheduled to begin at Final Round this upcoming March.

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