Controversial results of Street Fighter League's voting phase will not be contested, final players confirmed despite last-minute technical issues

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • July 29, 2019 at 5:23 p.m. PDT

The success of the first American Street Fighter League has us very excited to see what season two will offer, but unfortunate last-minute technical difficulties during the campaign/voting phase have things off to a rough and somewhat salty start.

The Smash.gg voting page was supposed to be open from July 1 until the 28 at 11:59 p.m. PT, but wound up closing about an hour early. Though a single hour out of four weeks may not seem significant, there's a good chance it directly affected the final standings.

Of the 18 players that will compete this season, six are returning winners from season one, four are chosen to be captains thanks to their standings on the Capcom Pro Tour North American leaderboard, four "online warriors" are victors of special online qualifier tournaments, and the final four are those with the most votes when the campaign window closes.

When polls closed about an hour earlier than expected on Sunday night, Victrix|Sherryjenix, GRPT|Gllty, AutoMattock, and Tommy2step led the vote. Both Xykes (known on Twitter and YouTube as Emezie Okorafor) and Arturo Sanchez trailed by just over 200 and 500 votes respectively.

With these kinds of contests, the final hours tend to see significant changes in standings as procrastinators trickle in and last-minute holdouts/Spirit Bombs (a strategy sometimes implemented where voters wait to suddenly boost nominees at the very end of the window so as not to give opponents time to pass them again) are cashed in.

AutoMattock was streaming all day Sunday in an effort to garner as many last-minute votes as possible as well as to monitor the runnings as closely as possible. Here's a clip from the archive of said stream as he and BornFree discover that voting had just closed ahead of schedule:


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To give an idea of how competitive and volatile the polls were, we can compare the numbers at 10 p.m. (garnered from AutoMattock's stream) Sunday night to the numbers an hour after. First place (Gllty) was at 6,602 votes, second (Sherry) had 5,988, third (AutoMattock) had 5,985, and fourth (Tommy) had 5,945. Xykes trailed Tommy by just 167 votes (5,778 total) and Arturo trailed Tommy by 546 votes (5,399 total).

With about five minutes before the voting prematurely closed, Gllty led with 6,750, Auto was in second with 6,153, Sherry was in third with 6,130, Tommy was in fourth with 6,066, Xykes was in 5th with 5,847, (219 behind 4th) and Arturo was in sixth with 5,532 (534 behind 4th).

It's also worth noting that each individual voter could actually grant 15 votes to whomever they chose by signing up on both Twitter and Smash.gg. This becomes especially significant when you look at the particulars of a situation like Xykes', who has a YouTube following of 1.3 million strong and has been using that platform (very efficiently) to garner burst droves of votes.

Xykes had been strategically releasing videos over the last couple of days leading up to Sunday. These postings have led him to jump up into the top four multiple times during this period, and he had one more video prepped that he planned on releasing for the final hour of the campaign.

He revealed this in a response to a frustrated tweet from Sanchez. You can view both, as well as a statement on the matter from fighting game legend Victrix|Justin Wong, here:

Xykes and Art image #1 Xykes and Art image #2 Xykes and Art image #3
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Saturday morning saw quite a bit of controversial talk on Twitter as those following the SFL story wondered aloud if Capcom planned to maintain the established results or not.

eSports Specialist at Capcom Media Ventures, Carolyn Dao, was the first of the company's representatives to publicly respond. She posted an acknowledgment of the situation at 11:14 p.m. on Sunday evening and then progress follow up at midnight.

Capcom's Director of eSports, Michael Martin, then addressed the matter early this morning. It was around 12:30 p.m. that we got a final decision from the Capcom Fighters Twitter page. You can see all of these statements as well as responses to Martin from Sanchez and FGC commentator Logansama by clicking the thumbnails here:

Capcom Response image #1 Capcom Response image #2
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The situation is surely unfortunate, but many in the community are turning their eyes forward towards the competition now that Capcom has made their decision. Xykes, for instance, posted the following after the dust had settled.

"Yeah, it's kinda sad... But thankfully, I really like AutoMattock, Sherryjenix and Gllty, and they will add a lot to the show. And, I'm not too familiar with Tommy2stepTX's Urien play (yet) but I'm sure he'll be hype! Urien players by definition are hype."

The second season of the North American Street Fighter League will begin on September 5 and be streamed weekly at 4 pm PT on Capcom Fighters. We look forward to yet another season of exciting action and intriguing storylines as the 18 participants duke it out for tens of thousands of dollars in prize winnings.

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