Capcom steps up with the Capcom Pro Tour

Capcom speaks to onGamers about the launch of the new Capcom Pro Tour.

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This article was originally published on GameSpot's sister site onGamers.com, which was dedicated to esports coverage.

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Update: 2:20 PM PST: MLG's Adam Apicella says they are open to using Capcom titles, and would love to talk to Capcom.

We are open to Capcom titles, would love to talk @Slasher

— Adam Apicella (@MrAdamAp) March 11, 2014

Original story: Yesterday was announced that Capcom and Twitch will be teaming up to put on the Capcom Pro Tour. They aim to establish a year-long foundation for the fighting game community, utilizing a combination of premier events, ranking events and online tournaments. The tour will focus solely on the Street Fighter 4 series, with the early portion of the tour featuring Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition, then transitioning to Ultra Street Fighter 4, after it releases in June.

Capcom Senior Product Manager Matt Dahlgren, who was interviewed last July on the company's future in competitive gaming, spoke to onGamers about their new venture.

"Capcom has been increasing its involvement with the competitive scene, ever since we executed the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tournament Series in 2012", said Dahlgren. "Along the way, we have learned a lot and the Capcom Pro Tour is a natural evolution of our plans to get more involved in the scene. The FGC is unique in comparison to other competitive scenes out there, because it was created due to the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of the players themselves. The Capcom Pro Tour is designed to respect this history, rather than create a structure with the intent of taking the scene over ourselves, our goal is to forge mutually beneficial partnerships with existing organizers."

"Twitch has been a long-time advocate for the FGC and we both share the same passion and goals for where we would like the scene to evolve. When they were approached with the opportunity, they jumped on board, and having a partner that understands the community on a deep level helps tremendously. The Capcom Pro Tour could not happen without their help and we are very excited to work together to grow the competitive scene over the coming years."

Premier events in the Capcom Pro Tour include the already established fighting game majors, led by the Evolution Championship Series (EVO) in July. EVO is joined by a lineup that includes Final Round, NorCal Regionals, DreamHack Winter, Community Effort Orlando (CEO), The Fall Classic and Southeast Asia Majors.

There will be a total of 10 premier events with three additional ones to be announced. All premier events will retain their independence in operations, with Capcom and Twitch's collaborating in all broadcasts on the Capcom Fighters Twitch channel - except for EVO. Dahlgren also says that fighting game streaming luminary Victor 'Sp00ky' Fontanez will indeed be part of the tour.

"The Street Fighter tournament will at every premier event be streamed entirely on Capcom Fighters", said Dahlgren. "The one exception to this is the Evolution Championship Series, in which only pool play is going to be streamed on Capcom Fighters. One of the goals of the Capcom Pro Tour is to provide opportunities to existing content creators. Everyone that we are hiring to be involved with the Capcom Pro Tour, comes directly from the FGC, and Spooky will be streaming some of the events."

Capcom is excited to bring its tournaments to E3, PAX East and SDCC.

"Trying to incorporate fighting events into trade shows is very exciting for us, as this is a great opportunity to expose the excitement of fighting games to new players. Trade show tournaments will function as ranking events, and the Top 16 will be awarded points which can be used to qualify for the Capcom Cup."

Last year the notorious Christopher 'ChrisG' Gonzalez, considered to be the best Marvel vs Capcom 3 player in 2013, spoke out against low prize pools and their affect on his drive to win events.

"Before I really wanted to win EVO, but now it's just like I don't even want to be there," Gonzalez told EventHubs. "I just don't like what it represents. I don't like the fact that you try so hard throughout the whole year to not really get anything."

Although not a significant boost to the prize pool compared to the monetary support that has come from developers Valve, Riot, Blizzard, and Wargaming, Capcom will be putting in what they can, with plans to add more as the tour develops.

"All premier events will receive at least a $2,000 prize pot bonus from the Capcom Pro Tour", said Dahlgren. "Our goal is to increase this over time, as the tour becomes more established. The prize pool for the Capcom Cup has not yet been finalized, but it will be (at minimum) comparable to last year’s event, with the intent of increasing. Of course, having large prize pools featured in other eSports leagues adds pressure. However, our primary goal is to create an infrastructure that is sustainable on the long term, with the intent of growing our prize pools over time."

"The prize pool bonus will be split across the top 8 placers in each premier event. The normal prize pool for each tournament will be managed independently, as they have normally functioned."

For those wondering 'When's Marvel?', the answer is not anytime soon. It was reported in early January that Marvel titles associated with Capcom and Activision were no longer online, and Dahlgren's comments indicate that line of consistency is the same with Marvel vs Capcom 3.

"The Capcom Pro Tour focuses solely on Street Fighter, as that IP is completely owned by Capcom", he said.

With the World Cybes Games recently closing, and IGN's sale of IPL last year matured before the Capcom/IPL partnership, Capcom's partnership with DreamHack remains the only relationship with a major eSports league entity. While there may have been bad blood between Capcom and Major League Gaming in the past, Dahlgren says they are currently open to working with the company in initiatives for events going forward.

"There is no animosity toward MLG from a Capcom perspective, and we are open to working with established eSports leagues as long as we are aligned on certain common goals".

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