Revamped points system, simpler qualification highlight 2017 Capcom Pro Tour changes
The path to this year's Capcom Cup might not be easier than it was last year, but it will be easier to understand.
Capcom revealed the first details of this year's Capcom Pro Tour on Monday. The 2017 edition of the tour, which begins in less than two weeks, will see several changes from last year's version. The biggest of these changes will be a new points structure and a simplified methodology behind Capcom Cup qualification.
Pro Tour events will once again be divided into three categories: Ranking, Premier, and Evo. Players will earn points for finishing well at these events, and those points will determine who qualifies for the Capcom Cup, the tour's season championship.
In previous years, the tour's format placed a massive premium on winning events. An event winner earned twice as many points as the second-place finisher, four times as many points as the third-place finisher, and eight times as many as the player who earned fourth place. This year's point structure features smaller gaps between placements, meaning that placing well consistently will be more important.
The format also places an emphasis on doing well at big events, as a top-three finish at a Premier event will be worth more than a win at a Ranking event. Likewise, a top-three finish at Evo will be worth more than a win at a Premier event.
Points will also be awarded to more players at larger tournaments. Players who finish in the top 64 of a Premier event will earn points, as will those who finish in the top 256 at Evo. In previous years, players had to finish in the top 16 to earn points, regardless of the size of the event.
While Evo and Premier events are more important points-wise, winners will not receive direct qualification into the Capcom Cup. Instead, qualification will be nearly completely determined by the global leaderboard. The top 30 finishers in points will qualify for the championship event, alongside defending champion Du "NuckleDu" Dang and the winner of a last-chance qualifier the day before the finale.
There is a caveat to that top-30 rule: The winners of each of the regional finals in each of the tour's four regions—North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe—will be guaranteed berths in the Capcom Cup. If any of these winners are outside of the top 30 at the end of the season, the number of players qualifying through the global leaderboard will be reduced. However, each winner will receive a 400-point bonus—an amount equal to a Premier event win—which means that these winners will likely finish in the top 30 anyways.
While the simplified points system does address one of the big complaints about last year's tour, another point of contention—the amount of events—appears to be unchanged.
Capcom confirmed 66 events—50 offline events and 16 online tournaments—as tour events on Monday, and promised to announce additional events "in the coming months." This means that the 2017 tour will likely equal, and possibly exceed, the 72 events that made up the 2016 tour.
The 2017 tour will also feature a $600,000-plus prize pool, an increase from the $500,000 offered in each of the last two years. Capcom did not disclose a prizing breakdown, but the company did announce that $30,000 will be up for grabs at each of the four regional finals.
The 2017 Capcom Pro Tour begins at Final Round XX in Atlanta on March 10.