For those outside Japan, attempting to watch TOPANGA LEAGUE until now has usually been tedious, to say the least. The invitational Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 series is exclusive to Niconico Live, and requires the purchase of Niconico points for viewing. The limited payment options for non-Japanese viewers make it impractical for most to watch without resorting to a third party for purchase.
The price itself is also rather high, typically around $35 USD. However, if you were able and willing to purchase the necessary points, TOPANGA LEAGUE was viewable from any part of the world.
That’s all changed with TOPANGA WORLD LEAGUE, which will run from Thursday, April 10 to Sunday, April 13. Accessing one of the stream pages for the event reveals the following message, in Japanese, English and Chinese:
Corroborating that message is a tweet from TOPANGA’s official account:
Unfortunately,TOPANGA WORLD LEAGUE is not available in outside of Japan.
— topanga (@topangajapan) 2014, 4月 9
A “world league” featuring four players from outside Japan–Evil Geniuses’ PR Balrog of the United States, Razer’s Xian of Singapore, INFILTRATION of South Korea, and QANBA’s Xiao Hai of China–that isn’t actually viewable for the rest of the world seems a little..unfortunate. The country restriction may be intended as a countermeasure to re-streaming of the event. Regardless of the intention, the end result is everyone outside Japan being locked out.
While tournament results are typically posted on the TOPANGA website, those hoping to actually watch the matches live may be out of luck. But it isn’t all hopeless. Always the ambassador, Mad Catz’ Mark “MarkMan” Julio has stated that TOPANGA themselves aren’t to blame for this lockout and discussions are taking place that may fix this problem.
We here at Shoryuken are also in contact with the league’s organizers for further word on this issue, so stay tuned.