Bonchan announces competitive Street Fighter 5 career is taking a backseat for the Capcom Pro Tour 2020 season

He'll still attend some events, however

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • February 7, 2020 at 7:32 a.m. PST

Masato "RB|Bonchan" Takahashi had perhaps his best competitive fighting game performance ever during the 2019 Capcom Pro Tour season, but now the Street Fighter 5 player needs to take a step back from the tournament scene this year.

Bonchan announced on his stream this morning that he will not be prioritizing his competitive career for the CPT 2020 season, and released a longer statement in English to talk about his decision, what he'll be doing this year and what 2021 may entail.

The reigning Street Fighter EVO champion says he will not be absent from all events this year, but he wants to "put more time and effort to let people beyond the core FGC know how to enjoy playing video games in general and how rewarding it is to practice."

Bonchan also plans to focus more on content creation and attending more conferences / events to talk about the profession of a pro fighting game player.

Takahashi cites his busy travel schedule for limiting the time he has to educate people on competitive gaming and wants to improve the outlook for the scene as a whole.

He states that fighting game players face big financial hurdles in order to compete where "only the champions could benefit from the prize money" which he'd like to change long with raising the social status of pro gamers, especially in Japan.

As for the 2021 season, Bonchan says everything is still pretty much up in the air, but if Street Fighter 6 is released, he wants to come back full force.

Though they are not mentioned in his posts, Bonchan and his wife welcomed twins to the world back in October 2019 which also likely factored into his decision.

Bonchan finished second in CPT points for 2019 at 4,045, only behind Punk, where he won EVO along with a number of other Premier status events including CEO, VSFighting and Celtic Throwdown.

In recent years, other top fighting game talent have shifted gears onto similar courses with Bonchan, perhaps most closely with Justin Wong, who also took on more of a content creator and fighting game ambassador role after the birth of his daughter.

Others like Alliance|Armada and Tempo|ZeRo in the Super Smash Bros. scene have essentially retired from the tournament scene entirely to focus on things like Twitch and YouTube though Takahashi still seems interested in competing.

This move will likely leave a bit of a power gap going into the 2020 CPT season, which starts with Brussels Challenge in March, with one of the most consistent SF5 players no longer putting his all into scooping up points and earnings.

We'll have to wait a bit to see just how much Bonchan will be cutting back this year, but you can read his full statement on the matter below.


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Photo credit: Stephanie Lindgren

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