Punk says heckler overstepped bounds during Street Fighter 5 top eight at Combo Breaker, Capcom's Michael Martin responds

'Something has to be done to separate top players or players in top 8 from the crowd'

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • May 27, 2019 at 6:01 p.m. PDT

With three Capcom Pro Tour 2019 Premier event victories and more than double the points of second place Rohto|Tokido, Victor "REC|Punk" Woodley is far and away the strongest Street Fighter 5 player in the world right now. His most recent win over the weekend at Combo Breaker, however, came with a bit of drama thanks to an unruly fan.

While tearing through the Street Fighter 5 top eight bracket on Sunday, Punk was heckled by an audience member who made a habit of flipping off the current CPT leader from his nearby place in the crowd.

"You know when I was in top 8 I guess some guy was losing money betting on my matches and kept putting his middle finger up at me," he stated on Twitter. "Something has to be done to separate top players or players in top 8 from the crowd cause that’s annoying and actually pissed me off."

This is surely not the first time the FGC has run into troubles with audience members being disrespectful toward competitors while they're on stage and trying play. Just last month someone tossed a crab at Liquid|HungryBox just after the conclusion of grand finals at Pound 2019.

Incidents like these have incited discussions about whether the fighting game community needs to do more to separate top players from potential harassers, and while we haven't seen any major amendments to the way most tournaments are set up, we did see a direct response from Capcom's Michael Martin pertaining to this particular incident.

"If anyone competing ever isn’t comfortable about their situation in the competitive environment, let us know and we’ll do what we can to find a solution," replied Martin. "Especially if it’s because someone in the crowd is overstepping boundaries."

This is still fairly far from any official action, but it could mean we'll be seeing some changes in this avenue coming down the pike. You can view Punk's initial tweet by clicking the thumbnail below. Check out the grand finals set from Combo Breaker thanks to Capcom Fighters after that.

Punk's Statement image #1
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