Capcom Pro Tour 2020 South America: Alexandro Rodrigues Wins In Exhilarating Fashion
Brazil once more showed that it is a region to reckon with thanks to an excellent showing at the recent South American CPT
The Capcom Pro Tour has been chugging along nicely with the second South American tournament holding over the weekend. Jah_lexe came out as the winner, but I have to say, this was one of the more difficult tournaments to call. Brazil is a pretty large country with a tonne of interests from football (soccer to my dear North Americans), to anime. But, they also have a thriving FGC that has persevered even with the lockdown and still meet for offline events. Therefore, it was of little surprise that we were blessed with some incredible Street Fighter fights.
There are still some qualifiers to go, but I have gotten really invested in these regional tournaments as it has been a great way to discover players I would probably not have noticed before, and South America have so many. With the Capcom cup drawing ever closer, Jah_lexe is now the 12th qualifier which leaves 8 more slots (one of which will be filled by a community vote), and the excitement is reaching fever pitch.
I will highlight some of the bright spots of the tournament that you might have missed while watching the stream.
Street Fighter has a certain amount of characters that everyone accepts as top tier, and you tend to see these characters used again and again in tournaments. For instance, there is no tournament that doesn't have a Urien player or a Chun-Li user. However, what this means is that there are a couple of forgotten characters who don't get any love. For this reason, I am usually quite excited when I see an underutilized character get a chance to shine. Thankfully South America did not disappoint as there were a lot of players that plumped for characters that you don't normally see in competitions. For instance, Welric 'The Griffon Mask' Miranda used Blanka to devastating effect, and his technical nous with the character was so impressive that he made a deep impression on me. While he didn't make it into the top 3, he did manage 5th which for a region as large as South America is a pretty impressive feat. There was also Shaka 222 who showed us an excellent Dhalsim and his ability to manage space was exemplary. And who can forget Zenith with his Menat? Menat is a character that I have barely seen used in any other iteration of the Capcom Pro Tour, so seeing one used so well was pretty cool. Unfortunately, Zenith, whom some saw as a possible favorite didn't make it to top 8, but as anyone who has played in a competition will tell you, making it to top 16 is an impressive feat in its own right. There was also a Ryu, and a F.A.N.G which was fascinating considering Cinders has made a name with the same character.
It ended as it started.
Normally, these Capcom Pro Tour tournaments tend to start a little slowly and only get really hype a little later on. This was certainly not the case with South America as the very first game was a feisty encounter between eventual finalist Eric 'Chuchu' Silva (Chun-li) and Chocotone (Laura) which ended 2-1 in favor of the former. The game came with all the hype that you would expect from a high-level match. This set the tone for the rest of the tournament which had some low points including connection issues and a game in which the opponent just gave up, but was altogether an exhilarating experience. The grand final was also a spectacle as Chuchu squared up against Jah_lexe. The Chun-li and Rashid pros were facing off for the second time after meeting in the winners' final. That was a bloodbath as Jah_lexe won 3-0 without breaking a sweat. Chuchu was sent into the losers' final to play Dark whom he was able to defeat. If anyone thought the grand final would be just as easy for Jah_lexe, it proved to be anything but. Chuchu fought resiliently, managing the space, and consistently catching Lexe with wake up Ex SBKs. He forced a reset, and while he ultimately lost, he proved to be a worthy finalist.
I should also take the chance to talk about Dark, the G player who's patient playstyle and mastery of the neutral game really caught my eye. He had this knack to wait out his opponents and then hit at them with a flurry of hits and combos. He also managed space well and consistently made great decisions. For that reason, he was easily my player of the tournament.
There are six more Capcom cup qualifiers to go before the showcase next year, and I expect Capcom cup 2020 to be an amazing festival of Street Fighter V.