Capcom wants to give Street Fighter a full eSports debut – but their latest tournament licensing deal isn’t good

For my money, fighting games should be the ultimate eSports. If you are going to throw a League of Legends or Call of Duty fit the screen in your average bar, those with no basic video game knowledge will at least be lost. There’s a complexity in the camera perspective, in the action, in the vast range of things that can happen. Fighting games are the opposite, with simplicity that is practically pristine.

Some games, like card machines, get more complicated. But at its core, the genre is made to be heard by almost anyone. At the most basic level, it’s two people fighting until one of them can’t go any further. Hypersonics and the like can be a bit confusing for complete newbies, but the purity of the side-view and the character’s health bars make the genre the easiest to understand for a broader audience. imitation of competitive matches.

I really, completely believe this. I’ve seen it myself, even, when I helped organize very small tournaments at a local pub – the old pro (formal) bar supporters would get see their interest. They will start watching and start asking questions. I think that without the need for games based on real-world sports where people already have a basic cultural understanding, fighting games have a unique place. They could be the groundbreaking mainstream esports.

It seems this is also what Capcom has believed in for years. The company has had high e-sports ambitions ever since Street Fighter 4 brought that flagship series back to mainstream relevance. As Evo evolved from hotel boardrooms to ballrooms to Mandalay Bay itself, Capcom worked after effort to develop the scene and give it more legitimacy – with often mixed results.

The company’s latest attempt to standardize things has caused a stir once again – and the response was so quick and so brutal, it was posted back on social media pledging ” consider responding to the broader Capcom team”, meaning taking anger back to Japan. And what happened… Well, that’s a great example of the single best thing about fighting games as an e-sport.

Unlike pretty much every other major esports genre, fighting has had a really thriving grassroots scene long before money and sponsorship got involved. Of course, it comes from the arcade scene. People would gather at local arcades on set dates throughout the year, creating increasingly official championships. Everything develops. Arcades hit the road. You ended up with competition where regional pride came first as the best players from the Southern California regions took on their Northern rivals; and then the best of them fight the best of New York. The same goes for other countries. Nerd cultures have their own subcultures where skinny bespectacled boys will confront each other and sometimes even rush to beat the bulls in the game.

The fighting game community usually has a WWE vibe – except for the matches and a lot of the competition, which is real and descriptive. I will never forget when a competition that resulted in real life punches was unleashed on the screen, where instead of cutting the stream, the commentators excitedly shouted “YO MARVEL!!!”, moved by MvC beef has spilled out into the real world. And I won’t lie: I participated.

However, you can see all of this will not be compatible with big sponsorships and e-sports. And in the last generation of consoles, the fighting game community has done a lot to shed light on its actions. But even then, there continued to be tension and a difficult back-and-forth between companies like Capcom (which wanted to take the whole professional scene) and the scene itself (which wanted pro money but didn’t sacrifice it). base, bang- arcade feeling of the machine).

The latest frontier in that fight comes this week in the form of a new Street Fighter 5 community licensing deal – essentially, tournament organizers will have to sign up to host Street Fighter tournaments. . While this is for Street Fighter 5, it’s fair to assume this is an indication of where Capcom can go with the Street Fighter 6 e-sports logo too.


The agreement divides tournaments into two groups: Community Events and E-Sports Events, with the category that organizers can fall into depending on prize money, number of entries, and number of events that they hold a year. There are also a series of restrictions built into the agreements about how Capcom assets – like the Street Fighter logo – can be used on the stream. There’s also a provision that gives Capcom unlimited rights to use photos, videos, and stream footage from the event as they please.

It’s important to note that basically any event in North America where the bounty changes hands will be considered a ‘community’ event and require a license – even if it only involves a handful of people. people, a small amount of cash, and several hundred streams of viewers. The rules as outlined are strict for North America; It will be up to companies in Capcom’s region to make similar rules in other territories.

David Graham, aka ‘ultradavid’ – a pioneer in the fighting game community and lawyer who today specializes in gaming and e-sports issues – has provided an analysis. great situation. The problem is, the community is not happy.

As always, the FGC largely responded with mockery, with hilarious tweets declaring “YOU CANNOT RUN A SF5 TOUR WITHOUT YOUR GAME LICENSE” in the same format like those infamous old “you won’t download a car” adverts from DVD. Others compared Capcom to WWE’s Vince McMahon as he shouted “Put his ass in jail! ”, suggesting Capcom wants to imprison tournament organizers who want to host even a small Street Fighter event. A lot of other joked about reporting ‘illegal’ tournaments after disqualification.

However, others are more serious, compare with companies like SNK, who showered tournament organizers with prizes and giveaways to competitors without a legit page. A cry is practically universal: that grassroots community events have been the lifeblood of FGC, the oldest setting in competitive gaming – and that anything that stifles that low-level scene will don’t fly – even if it helps e-sports ambitions in other areas. Much of the community will simply take their lust for competition elsewhere, to the King of Fighters, Guilty Gear, Mortal Kombat, or Killer Instinct (make another, Microsoft) before they abandon the nests. its base position. And while it’s important to aim for international e-sports to be known, those dedicated communities are the springboard to it. Capcom needs them.

As we noted earlier, Capcom pretty quick to get it back. The whole thing will now be re-examined. We’ll see what the end result of that will be. But this is exactly the same ill-willed mistake that the company must not make after the Street Fighter 6 promotion is going the right way. Meanwhile, the endless back and forth between Street Fighter’s community and e-sports continues. Capcom wants to give Street Fighter a full eSports debut – but their latest tournament licensing deal isn’t good

Fry Electronics Team

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