The fighting game community (FGC) is one of the largest communities in all of esports, but it is also grassroots to the core. So when Capcom announced last night the next Capcom Pro Tour would have Street Fighter players duking it out for a chance at $2 million, it wasn’t just the SF players who took notice.
That’s right, Capcom Pro Tour 2023 will be shifting away from Street Fighter V and embracing the new title, Street Fighter 6—which launches globally on June 2. Not only that, but it will feature the biggest prize pool for any fighting game ever while bringing the competition into a new format.
Likely starting this summer once the game is actually out in full, the 2023 CPT will see the return of more offline premier events while also keeping online premieres around too. This will allow SF6 to hopefully improve upon this last season of SFV, which truly turned the game into a global stage for players from around the world.
That global appeal will once again be helped by the World Warrior program, a series of open tournaments where the top players from select regions will compete for an invite to the Capcom Cup. The details about tournaments and these programs have not been shared for CPT 2023 yet, but this should be a step up from what we saw in 2022.
Not only will this improved format help SF6 reach more players, the FGC’s collective eyes are on Capcom now after the company announced Capcom Cup X will feature a $2 million prize pool—with a full $1 million going to first place.
In comparison to Capcom Cup IX, this is an increase of over $1.7 million overall—with first-place finisher and two-time Capcom Cup champion MenaRD taking home $120,000 of this year’s $300,000 prize pool. This increase also doesn’t include how the increased support from Capcom for CPT 2023 will impact other tournaments’ prize pools on the circuit too.
Prior to this announcement, Brawlhalla had the biggest prize pool in FGC history with its 2022 season totaling over $1.32 million across all regions. If you only look at the more traditional fighting games, you are looking at Capcom’s $300,000 as the cream of the crop compared to Bandai Namco’s $100,000 for the Tekken World Tour Finals and $200,000 split evenly for Guilty Gear Strive and DNF Duel at the ARC World Tour.
This is Capcom making a statement that SF6 will revolutionize the competitive scene and bring Street Fighter into a new spotlight that is closer to that of larger esports. It also has players who are playing other games looking with raised eyebrows, either contemplating making a switch or wondering how the publishers of their own games will respond.
We should hear more about CPT 2023 in the coming months as Capcom gears up for SF6’s June 2 launch. And expect to hear a lot of talking about players from other games preparing to flood the servers to get in on that million-dollar action.