Street Fighter V is coming to the world of esports in Japan

Yes you heard that right, the extremely popular beat-em-up series is going to expand its reach when it comes to its esports side – SFV has been popular all around the world, however Japan in particular hadn’t actually had any esports competitions yet. Capcom have dropped their pretty big bombshell to the world at large, and announced that Spring 2019 will see the Street Fighter V begin its very own league of competition in the country that was so central in making video games into what they are now.

Capcom announced earlier in the year that they’d be breaking into the Japanese esports market, and they’ve just given us some tangible information on how they plan to do that. Japanese fans old and new alike will finally be able to face off against one another in a professional setting. Finally we’ll be able to see the Hadouken pulled off by some of the world’s best competitors as Japan has historically always had very strong competitors in other esports, as well as settle some of the age-old scores about which characters really are the best.

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© Street Fighter League | Capcom

The series has been running since 1987, first released as an arcade title before later ones finally hit consoles. 2016 saw the last big release with Street Fighter V making it to shelves and helping keep this 31 year legacy alive and thriving. This latest announcement seems to be a great next-step for the franchise, and also brings something a little different to the genres of game on offer in the professional esports world – there is a big difference between the games that are popular in Asia and those in the West; SFV has fans in both areas, making it a great choice for this move.

Currently Capcom has planned league matches to use 3-on-3 team battles, so it will not just be one player that can be crowned victorious, but an actual team who will need to work together to overcome their opponents. This opens up the field for more than just one-off gamers and gives players who can master group tactics a great way to test their abilities. It will be interesting to see how the new league develops, and which teams begin to emerge as frontrunners – no doubt, it won’t be long until several teams set themselves apart.

Right now, there are already players practising and getting ready for the new league, which is scheduled to take place somewhere in Japan, sometime in spring 2019 currently. Now, this is subject to change (at least the time is), and there’s a lot to organise before then but hopes remain high that Capcom will meet the time-frame and fans won’t be kept waiting too long.

The title being used for this competition is, unsurprisingly, Street Fighter V Arcade Edition. It’s the latest offering from Capcom an is a solidly performing game so hosting professional tournament matches should be great to both watch and take part in in this new league.

If anyone is worried about team selections and licensing, do not fear. The official league will be comprised of six full teams, and these will be a mix of both unlicensed players, and those who are Japanese esports Union (JeSU) members, making the league as open and inclusive as possible.

With a sales total of over 41 million units across the franchise, it’s clear to see why Capcom have chosen this series to invest both the time and money to bring it to a wider esports audience. Fans in Japan and the world over are already eagerly anticipating the tournament itself, and it’s likely to be a further boost to Capcom’s already huge sales. Definitely a win-win all round.