With Tokaigi 2018 being the first tournament to utilize Japan’s new pro licenses, Capcom have revealed the first batch of players that they have chosen to receive a license for Street Fighter V. As part of this system, game companies must recommend players to JeSU (the Japanese Esports Union) based on their tournament performance or outstanding contributions to their game’s scene. In the case of Capcom, players who are ranked within the Capcom Pro Tour top 100 can be considered for a pro license. The license lasts from February 2018 to March 2019, with Capcom footing the bill when it comes to registration fees.
Capcom asked 22 players to be part of the pro license scheme, with all but one of the invited players accepting the offer. Based on his skepticism on what pro licenses may mean for the Japanese esports scheme, it is likely that Echo Fox’s Momochi was the player who turned down the license offer. If you want to read Momochi’s thoughts on the whole pro license initiative, you can find them here. So, who are these 21 licensed pros? They are:
- DNG|Itabashi Zangief
- Twitch.Hx.CYG BST|Daigo Umehara
- Atlas Bear|Kichipa-mu
- Cyclops Osaka|GO1
- Echo Fox|Tokido
- Cyclops Osaka|Dogura
Capcom will be recommending more players for licenses in the future, based on either their performance at the Capcom Pro Tour or via a special pro license tournament. As for non-licensed players and non-Japanese players, the pro license system does not affect their ability to compete in Capcom Pro Tour events. It will create a divide between those classed as pros and those classed as amateurs though, as there will be special “pro-only” events with much larger prize pools. At present, non-Japanese players cannot apply for a license, meaning they are limited in the amount of prize money they are allowed to win at Japanese tournaments.
Expect more news on the pro license scheme as the year continues, and tune into Tokaigi 2018 to see the first ever “pro” Street Fighter V tournament.
Source: Capcom Japan