Momochi's victory at Tokyo Game Show only awarded him $558 out of the $46,365 prize as a result of his stand against the pro gamer license in Japan

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • September 16, 2019 at 7:45 p.m. PDT

Winning the Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition super premier at the Tokyo Game Show should be a time of celebration for Victrix|Momochi. He proved himself to be the best over players like Mago, NASR|AngryBird, RB|Gachikun, Rohto|Tokido, as well as over 1,000 others. This also resulted in him walking away with 1,000 Capcom Pro Tour points and 50,000,000 Yen (that's valued at $46,365 in American currency).

Or at the very least, he was supposed to win 50,000,000 Yen. Instead, he'll only be getting 60,200 Yen ($558). Why? Because he doesn't have his Japanese Pro-Gaming license.

It's also been reported that a middle school student was able to win a Puzzle and Dragons tournament against professional players from around Japan. Although the first place prize for this event was also 5,000,000 Yen, he ended up receiving 0 Yen.

Apparently, the most money that a Japanese competitor is able to earn from winnings without a Pro Gamer License is about 100,000 Yen ($925). Since Momochi also received a monitor from one of the sponsors of the event, he'll be receiving even less than that.

For those that aren't in the know, Japan has very strict gambling laws. Receiving winnings from a fighting game tournament that requires an entry fee is considered to be a form of gambling in Japan.

As a result of this, a pro license system was created to help competitors circumvent these laws and collect upon their cash prizes. However, Momochi has been quite adamant that he is against the idea of some specialized group defining what a "pro gamer" is.

Thanks to a translated article (from nearly two years ago) by Jiyuna, we have fairly good understanding of Momochi's stance on the subject. It's definitely recommended that you check this article out.

"First of all, I would like to say that I am not completely against the idea of a license system," stated Momochi. "However, there are a few points I am concerned about. Why does a newly formed specialized group have the right to 'define what a pro-gamer is?'"


Click image for animated version

Momochi also indicates that he believes that the concept of "pro gamers" have been built up by the players and communities themselves. The idea that an unrelated conference of people get to decide who is issued a pro license goes against that idea.

"If this system is something that prioritizes 'the creators own desires and self-interests' over 'games themselves,'" continued Momochi. "If this is something that deceives players with songs about a bright future while ignoring the voices of the community and players... then to prevent those people from acting as a government tool and taking advantage of our community, I am here and prepared to fight."

It appears that Momochi is prepared to sacrifice his prize money as a way of fighting this system. Evidently, he is still against this system two years later as he has not acquired his pro gamer license.

"I think that one should always be listening to the voices of the community; and for me personally, who is allowed to act as a pro-gamer and interact with game communities around the world, I think I have a duty to always be considerate and never act in bad faith towards each and every person," stated Momochi. "I feel that this license should be something that is for the sake of everyone and should be endorsed by the players themselves, therefore I think it is with the utmost importance that we first discuss everything together as a group."

Momochi also pondered if a player can be considered to be a "pro gamer" if they don't have a pro license. This question appears to spur on some worry on the part of Momochi.

While Momochi reiterates that he's not completely against the idea of a pro license system and welcomes the idea of defining what a pro gamer is, but he asserts that it must be done while "walking forward on the path you believed in, together with the community."

Photo source: Stephanie Lindgren.

Sent in by WMA, Catalysts_Cute_Twin_Sister, and an anonymous user.

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