PG Punk vs Capcom: Was It Really Necessary?
The reactions to PG Punk's punishment from Capcom has been mixed at best, but maybe it was the right choice to show some mettle against one of the game's best players
When the official Capcom Fighters Twitter account released a statement on Thursday, August 20th, 2020, in which they condemned the actions of Victor 'Punk' Woodley, and handed out a pretty unique punishment, the reactions were understandably mixed. While some individuals thought that the penalty was unnecessary, others applauded Capcom for a bold move, which showed that they would not be intimidated by any single player.
The statement released claimed that PG Punk went against the CPT code of conduct, which stipulates that players cannot attack colleagues either physically or verbally when he went on a tirade against fellow pro player Alex Myers.
As a punishment, Punk will start his Capcom Pro Tour North American West 2 campaign in November from the losers' bracket, if he chooses to participate. There's a bit to unpack, so, let's understand how this all unfolded and what it could mean moving forward.
What in the world happened?
It is important to remember August 15th in this saga as this was the day Punk faced off against Alex Myers in the North America West 1 top 16, trying to win a place in the top eight. Myers ended up winning the set, defeating Punk's Karin in a game that was pretty laggy all things considered. Naturally, Punk was less than pleased with this development and went off against his colleague accusing him of cheating while using some less than family-friendly language in the process. Furthermore, he also attacked Alex Valle on Discord in a bid to vent his frustration, while lashing out at the notorious Street Fighter netcode.
Punk would later apologize for overreacting while promising to act more professionally in the future.
now that I had time to cool off I wanna say sorry for blowing up on you @AlexMyersFGC and calling you a bitch. Online gets me so damn mad and cfn is garbage but I overreacted and Im gonna try to get better at being more professional going forward— Panda | Punk (@PunkDaGod) August 18, 2020
Also fuck the netcode
Myers seemed pretty receptive to the apology and even thanked Punk for stepping up and making the apology public even if he didn't have to.
It should have ended there, right? Well...here we are.
Thank you Punk for doing this publicly when you didn't have to, I understand what it's like to play under these conditions so I know how frustrating it can be. I've always respected you as a player, so this apology means a lot and you still have my respect. Thanks again man https://t.co/k01gm5nnSg— Alex Myers (@AlexMyersFGC) August 18, 2020
So, what was Punk's reaction to all this? Well, it's hard to tell. He got on his Twitch stream, punkdagod, where he thanked Capcom for not kicking him out of the tournament but also called their reaction "crazy." He also took exception to the word "threaten" in their tweet, charging him for unsportsmanlike conduct. All in all, he seemed to be pretty content with the punishment, even claiming that he fancies the idea of a run from the losers bracket to the grand final.
How's everyone else feeling about it?
As mentioned earlier, the reaction has been mixed, with some social media users unhappy with how this has panned out, with some even claiming that the losers bracket will now be ruined with the participation of such a top player. Even Myers put out a tweet stating how he wished he had lost to Punk. Thankfully, Panda Global, the organization whom Punk represents, also put out a statement supporting the player while acknowledging that he had done something unpleasant.
Was it worth it?
This is the million-dollar question, isn't it? Is it worth potentially ruining the tournament over this controversy? The answer isn't apparent because, on the one hand, Punk did violate the Capcom Pro Tour code, and we can all agree that an apology doesn't automatically do away with consequences. However, one could question the punishment as the tournament is sure to be a little weirder with Punk in the losers' bracket. You can sympathize with Capcom as they can't be seen as weak against the player many call the Alpha because that will make for terrible optics. So, they needed something of a "Goldilocks" punishment to press their point home, and while their efforts should be applauded, only time will tell if it was ultimately for the best.