Episode 502: Capcom Cup Can Possibly Create a Dark Future for Fighting Games


It’s just a few days after Capcom Cup and the entire fighting game community and possibly the entire gaming world is just chomping at the bit for Street Fighter 6. Capcom is essentially ending support for Street Fighter 5 and will be focusing entirely on Street Fighter 6 as that will be the only game featured in the succeeding Capcom Cup tournaments. While this was expected, what we didn’t foresee is how hard Capcom is going in into the entire eSports tournament thing. They really want a lot of gamers to take Street Fighter 6 competitive side really seriously as the next Capcom Cup, the one which will have Street Fighter 6, has a prize pool of over $2 million dollars, with the grand champion taking home $1 million… minus taxes, of course. Still, that’s going to be a ton of money going to the winner!

There is a lot of good from this bit of news. For one, this means Capcom is pretty confident with Street Fighter 6 as a product. They’re willing to give out over $3 million in prizes to the gamers willing to donate their time to get good at it. I don’t think they would be pouring all this money if Street Fighter 6 is going to be a crap game. Second, this shows they’re really taking the eSports competitive scene seriously as this prize pool is unheard of in the fighting game community. It’s not as much as, say, the prize pool of a League of Legends tournament but it’s still up there. For reference, the prize pool for the Capcom Cup which just finished topped off at around half a million. The winner of the upcoming Capcom Cup will win twice the amount of cash than the total prize pool of this year’s Capcom Cup!

This is the kind of announcement which will send ripples throughout the fighting game community and other fighting game makers are bound to take notice. After all, they wouldn’t want to be left behind in the dust. They want to be able to say they can go toe-to-toe with Capcom when it comes to giving their loyal players a similar prize pool, right. So, this is all good, right? Well, it does seem that way. However, I am a bit of a Debbie Downer so I have the uncanny ability to look at something good and twist it in such a way that it can look bad.

The first bit of the possible dark future I envision is the dozens of disappointed gamers who will honestly believe they can pick up Street Fighter 6 when it comes out, get super good at it and go on to win Capcom Cup. You know there are going to be a few gamers who will think, “Hey, Street Fighter 6 is a new fighting game and I can beat all my cousins in fighting games! That cool million dollar prize is all mine!” Then they practice for a few days, enter their first tournament and get totally annihilated by another player. They try again and get blown out of the water once again. They keep on trying for a couple of months and just never understand why they can’t move forward. Well, that’s because you can’t just start playing fighting games and expect to be a champion unless you’re some kind of fighting game savant. They won’t see this, though, and just say everyone else is cheap.

This does lead to my next point, with pro players getting a little too serious about winning that prize money. I understand $1 million can change your life and your family’s life. So I get there are going to be some people joining the Capcom Cup tournament events with the sole goal of just making it. After all, you gotta win a Capcom sponsored tournament to even qualify for Capcom Cup. In this dark future I’m envisioning, some players are going to get too serious and get too salty with every loss they get. Look, I know you gotta be passionate enough to give it your all and $1 million is definitely a great incentive. However, there might be more than a few gamers who’ll take it too seriously.

This can lead to something even more dangerous: cheating. I’m talking about things like collusion to move up the bracket and finding ways to modify controllers to give you that slight edge to beat out the competition. Since this year’s Capcom Cup will have some online events as well, you can bet some tech heads are already thinking of ways to cause lag spikes in their favor. This isn’t really all that rampant in the fighting game community right now. However, $1 million might be more than enough motivation to try to get the upper hand using underhanded tactics. What’s even worse is how some sore losers might suddenly accuse others of cheating without any basis for the simple fact they lost to that person.

Now, all I’ve talked about is what could happed during Capcom’s official tournament. I haven’t even mentioned how this huge prize pool could signal curtains for other competitive fighting games.

Think about it. With Capcom locked in to giving the biggest prize pool in fighting game history, you know a lot of pro fighting game players are going to be devoting a lot of time to even. This would include pro fighting game players from other fighting games. Players such as SonicFox, who did dabble with Street Fighter 5 for a while but dropped it as he went on to concentrate on other fighting games like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Injustice and Mortal Kombat, expressed his interest in getting back into the Street Fighter ring.

$1 million is definitely a reason for someone to quit whatever other fighting game they’re focused on to make the switch to Street Fighter 6. So other fighting game developers and publishers may have to follow Capcom and elevate their prize pools just to retain their competitive pro scene. Companies like Warner Bros, who publishes NetherRealms’ Injustice and Mortal Kombat, and Bandai Namco, who holds the rights to Tekken and Dragon Ball FighterZ, should have no problem increasing their respective pots. The issue is with smaller companies. As big as Arc System Works seems now, with games like Blaz Blue, DNF Duel and Guily Gear, they’re not exactly swimming in cash. I’m also not sure if SNK, who does have a backer with tons of money, would be willing to be as extravagant as Capcom by offering a huge prize pot for the King of Fighters and Fatal Fury in the future.

So, in my dark future scenario, there would be an exodus of pro players leaving their respective games to try their luck with Street Fighter 6. That’s where the money is, after all. The real hardcore fans will stick around but the competitive population would drop. They might try to play both their favorite fighting game and Street Fighter 6. However, with $1 million calling out to them, it just might be the siren song for them to devote all their time to making it to Capcom Cup. What happens when the competitive scene for a fighting game dries up? So does the hype for the game. Essentially, Capcom Cup may inadvertently be killing off the competition, along with the diverse biodome that is the fighting game community.

This is all a dark hypothetical situation. I’m not saying this will happen and I’m pretty sure the fighting game community will strike a balance regarding how to break up their time with all the other fighting games that’s not Street Fighter 6. All I’m saying is this dark future is not possible. After all, there’s a million reasons why it could go the way I mentioned… minus tax, of course.


Are you now interested in devoting your time to playing Street Fighter 6 with a hope of winning that $1 million prize? Let me know in the comments section below!


One thought on “Episode 502: Capcom Cup Can Possibly Create a Dark Future for Fighting Games

  1. Pingback: Sony’s First State of Play for 2023 Was Depressing | 3rd World Geeks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s