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A Super Street Fighter 5 EVO reveal is looking more likely than we may have thought

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • June 24, 2019 at 7:43 p.m. PDT • Comments: 126

These last six months have seen my expectations for new Street Fighter 5 DLC steadily diminish and eventually taper off to settle around the supposition that we'd probably get an announcement for two fresh characters at EVO, and that would mark the end of major development. After a fairly in-depth conversation around the figurative EventHubs water cooler, I'm actually expecting something closer to a Super Street Fighter 5 update.

While it's true that Capcom's recent communication practices have dampened the general atmosphere and hype surrounding new content, a look over the current situation (as well as a brief glance at previous practices) make for a potential narrative wherein the next big showcase is an exceptionally big deal.

The foundation for this hunch starts with Capcom's eSports push. The company has stated via investor relations reports that they're redoubling eSports efforts for Street Fighter, and currently only have SF5 as their only major eSports title.

While that torch will inevitably be passed at some point, it does not seem at all apparent that Capcom will be ready to replace SF5 as it sits under this particular spotlight until at least 2021. If accurate, this would imply another year of SF5 on the Capcom Pro Tour in 2020, and given where things stand now, it feels as though an overhaul update would be all but necessary to keep general hype and interest at apt levels for another full year.

That glance back at previous practices gives us an example of how Capcom has approached a similar situation in the not so distant past. It was at a panel at EVO 2013 that the company revealed Ultra Street Fighter 4, an update that featured new modes, mechanics, stages, balance, and five new characters.

Do yourself a favor and watch this USF4 reveal from six years ago (thanks to MetalMusicMan). It contrasts fairly starkly to the way such information is presented nowadays, but given our purposes right now, it's the timing and content that pique our particular interests.

Ultra launched in Japanese arcades the following April and made it to consoles roughly two months later in June of 2014. That example gives us an idea of Capcom's capabilities in a similar scenario, but what is there to make us think they'll launch an SF5 update anywhere close to the size and magnitude of Ultra?

We can start with what we know for sure: Street Fighter 5 is still alive. This is fairly simple and straightforward as developers continue to produce costumes and stages, and indeed have whatever the big August reveal is on the horizon. Furthermore the game continues to slowly but surely increase in sales, most recently evidenced when it surpassed 3.1 million copies sold. While you could argue that SF5 isn't necessarily thriving as much as it could be, it's nowhere near the "life support" status that naysayers sometimes imply.

Our biggest window into Capcom's SF5 DLC workings here in 2019 has been thanks to the game's Executive Producer, Yoshinori Ono, and his sporadic tweets instructing us to look forward to August and ensuring to us that "We [the dev team] want to live up to everyone's expectations."

The other significant window comes from Capcom UK's Matt Edwards as he too has referenced (albeit fairly briefly) what's to come. Given his frequent attendance of Winner Stays On Sessions in London and his clear familiarity with game play, it's evident that Edwards is particularly plugged into the Street Fighter community.

Back in March when Edwards was questioned about what's coming down the pike for SF5, he specifically said he "[C]an't wait till you see what we have in store." This kind of phrasing leads us to believe the upcoming reveal is closer to "knock your socks off" as opposed to "modest golf clap" when it comes to levels of hype.

There's a third window that is completely unofficial, but worth bringing up for people to at least be aware of: data miner X-Kira. X-Kira has seen both hits and misses when it comes to excavating unrevealed SF5 content, and so it's up to individuals to give his findings as much or as little weight as they deem appropriate.

The Brazilian data miner has been claiming that he's discovered encrypted evidence for a Super Street Fighter 5 for some time now, and recently posted the following tweet pertaining to Seasons 4, 5, and a Super update:

X-Kira on Super SF5 image #1
Click images for larger versions

A Super Street Fighter 5 would surely grow and secure interest for 2020, and could even give SF5 enough life for a 2021 Pro Tour in the event that a Street Fighter 6 or other new Capcom fighting game title has not yet risen up to take its place.

It's by no means a lock that this will be the reveal at EVO this year, but it seems probable at least, and would likely be a huge home run for Capcom and their eSports ventures.

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