As Japan goes all-in on esports, Capcom have announced that they will officially be entering the Japanese esports market in 2018. According to an official press release, Capcom are looking to hold more tournaments within Japan in the coming year, to compliment “its existing North American esports business activities”.
The expansion in the world of Japanese esports will begin on February 17th, with the opening of the Capcom Esports Club at the Plaza Capcom arcade in Kichijoji, Tokyo. From this starting location, Capcom is hoping to expand into arcades across the country, with the view of holding regular qualifying tournaments for Japan’s new pro licenses.
This press release also confirms that Tokyo Games Show 2018 will be a Premier event on the 2018 Capcom Pro Tour, with Capcom hoping to “offer pro licenses to the winners of this event.”
While it certainly bodes well for the future of Street Fighter V in Japan, the worry is that the introduction of pro licenses will sharpen the division between those with licenses and those without. Capcom have stated that all Capcom Pro Tour events will remain as open bracket tournaments, but there is the fear that pro-only invitationals may become the norm in Japan.
Source: Capcom Japan