After incredibly hype showings at Cannes Winter Clash and Final Round, the Capcom Pro Tour is ready to set up shop in Sacramento, California this weekend for NorCal Regionals 2016. As the second premier event in as many weeks, this community staple will provide Capcom Cup with another outright qualifier, joining Final Round champion Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee of Razer in the prestigious year-end event.
With so much on the line, a number of notable faces will be in attendance. Apart from local heroes Pandora House, made up of players like Long “LPN” Nguyen, Nando Tovar, and Hooman “HooDaMan” Ghahremani, competitors from all over the world are set to descend on the United States’ west coast for this high-stakes Street Fighter V tournament. These include Mad Catz’ Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi; Evil Geniuses’ Momochi, Chocoblanka, Justin Wong, Ricki Ortiz, and PR Balrog; QANBA’s Xiaohai and Dakou; Majestic’s Tatsuya Haitani; GODSGARDEN’s Kazunoko; and Infiltration’s Razer teammate Kun Xian Ho.
A full breakdown of each pool’s noteworthy players can be found below.
You may have noticed the absence of a sixteenth pool. That’s because NorCal Regionals has decided to buck tradition this year by placing every late registrant in their own pool, forcing those who choose to throw their hat into the ring at the door to face a group of their peers to qualify. Did this rule ensure early registration, or will this latecomers pool result in a massive group of killers vying for only two spots in the next round?
Lead organizer John Choi said the pool could reach more than 100 players during an interview with Best of III, and The Daily Dot reports that r/Kappa’s Chung-gon “Poongko” Lee and Panda Global’s Ryan “Filipino Champ” Ramirez will both be trying their luck in the dreaded sixteenth pool. Keep your eyes on this group for what could be the fiercest competition of the early rounds.
Due to its early spot on the Capcom Pro Tour, it’s unlikely any Capcom Cup hopes will be completely dashed at NorCal Regionals, but top performers do have the opportunity to cement their lead on the rankings board or even jump forward more than a few spots.
As of now, the standings are being led by Infiltration (who, you may remember, has already qualified) with 256 points, followed by Cannes Winter Clash champion Nathan “Mister Crimson” Massol and Tokido, both of whom have earned 128 for their efforts. While the next highest, Mad Catz’ Kenryo “Mago” Hayashi and BX3’s Arman “Phenom” Hanjani, won’t be in attendance, the players below them most certainly will be. Be on the look out for Haitani, Brentt “brenttiscool” Franks, Nando, and Ryan “gootecks” Gutierrez as they try to surge ahead.
Despite not having Final Round’s player count, NorCal Regionals makes up for that with a rather dense field of competitors. Cash, ranking points, and (most importantly) an automatic spot at Capcom Cup are up for grabs, and there’s no telling which way the wind will blow when the tournament gets under way. Don’t miss out!
NorCal Regionals 2016 is scheduled for March 25-27. More details can be found here.