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Street Fighter 5: Champion Edition's Tournament Mode seemingly won't be launching until late March, pushing up against the start of Intel World Open

Cutting it pretty close it apparently

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • February 11, 2020 at 9:06 a.m. PST • Comments: 36

Capcom seems to find itself between a bit of a rock and a hard place at the moment following the release of fan mods which alter Street Fighter 5's online connections just before they were about to launch their new feature and the start of the Intel World Open.

There was never any confirmation saying so, but many players assumed that Street Fighter 5's new online Tournament Mode would be releasing alongside the Champion Edition expansion this week. Now, we know that's definitely not going to be the case.

A third beta test for the upcoming online suite has been announced by Capcom to feature almost every major country and region in the world. These tests will run through at least mid-March and seemingly push right up against the start of the Intel World Open qualifiers.

While North American players will be able to take part in the third beta on Sunday, Feb. 23, other regions like the Middle East and Africa won't see theirs until March 15; this is less than one week before the first Intel country qualifiers are scheduled to begin on Mar. 21.

That's not a lot of time to release the online mode which is supposed to be the backbone of their Olympics tie-in eSports initiative, so it'll be interesting to see what Capcom does with their apparent deadline looming in the not too far off future.

They could perhaps begin the Intel World Open tournaments while keeping the new online mode in beta form for a while longer though something tells me that wasn't the company's plan when they started this whole venture.

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Street Fighter executive producer Yoshinori Ono said back in November 2019 that his team were still "fine-tuning that and that'll be ready in the coming months," but that's pretty much the last official word we've gotten about the mode aside from its previous beta tests.

One potential hiccup they ran into could very well have been those fan netcode "improvement" mods which aim to correct some bugs in SF5's netplay and ended up fracturing the user-base between those with and those without.

Capcom and Ono have stated multiple times that they are fully aware of the situation and looking into it very seriously though they have yet to say what their plans are to remedy the online experience.

Ono himself actually visited the Intel Gaming HQ office in Portland, Oregon last week where the producer did comment that they're working on "some updates" to ensure fans are satisfied with the IWO.

Click images for full versions

Speculation then grew that the Street Fighter developers could be working on their own netcode fix in attempts to rectify the modding situation going on right now, but we don't know what that'll amount to yet.

The Intel World Open appears to be Capcom's second biggest push into the eSports market alongside the Capcom Pro Tour, so it's probably imperative to the company that this venture go as smoothly as possible — though I'm sure most SF5 players would tell you their online experience is anything but smooth.

This Olympics-sponsored event features players, and teams from all over the world competing for spots in the IWO through these online qualifiers before reaching the offline tournaments.

Finals for the event boasts a whopping $250,000 prize pool while essentially serving as the opening act of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo alongside Rocket League.

Time is quickly running out for Capcom to properly address the situation Street Fighter 5 finds itself in, so we should soon find out just what they're planning to do with the tournament mode, netcode and the quickly approaching Intel World Open.

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