Street Fighter V is about the get the ELEAGUE treatment, and make its debut on TBS network television.
The competition, which starts on Monday and will run through late May, will feature many of the game’s best players fighting for one of the largest prize pools in fighting game history.
The event marks a big investment in the Street Fighter series. Yes, Turner is investing a quarter of a million dollars into prizing for the event, but they are also providing a significant amount of airtime to the game. Eight hours on a major cable network is a big deal. Whether or not the invitational event changes the fighting game landscape remains to be seen, but it will be a significant moment that you won’t want to miss.
Here is everything you need to know to watch the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational.
What is it?
The ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational is a multi-week invitational tournament that will air on TBS as well as on Twitch. The tournament features a prize pool of $250,000, making it one of the richest fighting game events of the year. It is not part of the Capcom Pro Tour, but it will feature most of the tour’s top players.
The field consists of 32 players from around the world. The 32 players are divided into four groups:
- Semifinalists: Victor “Punk” Woodley and Momochi Yusuke
- Quarterfinalists: Thomas “Brolynho” Proença, Lee “Infiltration” Seon-Woo, Julio Fuentes, and Bryant “Smug” Higgins
- Eliminated: Martin “Marn” Phan and Ricki Ortiz
- Semifinalists: Eduardo “PR Balrog” Perez and Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis
- Quarterfinalists: Umehara Daigo, Nagata “Eita” Hiroyuki, Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang, and Justin Wong
- Eliminated: Alex Valle and Leah “Gllty” Hayes
- Semifinalists: Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot and Ai “Fuudo” Keita
- Quarterfinalists: Ryan “FChamp” Ramirez, Egami “MOV” Joe, Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime, and Ho Kun Xian
- Eliminated: Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez and Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley
- Semifinalists: Du “NuckleDu” Dang and Arman “Phenom” Hanjani
- Quarterfinalists: Chris Tatarian, Olivier “Luffy” Hay, Ryan Hart, and Zeng “Xiao Hai” Zhuojun
- Eliminated: “LI Joe” Ciaramelli and Long “LPN” Nguyen
What’s the format?
The ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational has three phases: qualifying rounds, the regular season, and the finals.
In the qualifying round, each player faces everyone else in their group in a best-of-three round robin. The two players in each group with the worst records at the end of the round are eliminated, while the rest move on to the regular season.
The regular season has two stages; the quarterfinals and the semifinals. The players who finished between third- and sixth-place in the qualifying rounds advance to the quarterfinals, where they will compete in a best-of-five double-elimination tournament. The top two finishers in the quarterfinals advance to the semifinals, where they will join the top two finishers from the qualifying rounds. Those four players will compete in another best-of-five bracket to determine which two players advance to the finals.
The finals will consist of an eight-person double-elimination bracket. The players who win the semifinal group will be placed in the winners’/upper bracket, while the runners-up will be placed in the losers’/lower bracket. The finalists will compete in best-of-five sets until a champion is crowned.
What’s the schedule?
The qualifying round for Group A begins on Monday, March 27 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT. Qualifying rounds for Groups B, C, and D will begin at the same time on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday respectively. These rounds will be streamed exclusively on Twitch.
Group stage play will take place on Fridays throughout April and May. Group A will play on April 7, Group B on April 21, Group C on May 5, and Group D on May 12. Each group’s quarterfinal round will begin at 6pm ET / 3pm PT and will be streamed on Twitch and YouTube. Each semifinal will begin at 10pm ET / 7pm PT and will be simulcast on TBS, Twitch, and YouTube
The eight players who make it to the finals will compete on Friday, May 26. The opening rounds will begin at 6pm ET / 3pm PT and will air on Twitch and YouTube. The final rounds will begin at 10pm ET / 7pm PT and will be simulcast on TBS, Twitch, and YouTube.
There will be three special episodes spread throughout the season. A recap of the qualifying round will air on Friday, March 31. Another special episode will air on Friday, April 28, and a finals preview will air on Friday, May 19. The regular season recap will be exclusive to TBS, while the other two special episodes will be simulcast on TBS, Twitch, and YouTube. All three will begin at 10pm ET / 7pm PT.
How can I watch on Twitch or YouTube?
All matches and the last two special episodes will be streamed on ELEAGUE’s Twitch channel and YouTube channel. Fans can also watch on the ELEAGUE site itself in order to earn Fight Money, Street Fighter V‘s in-game currency.
How can I watch on my TV?
The events that will air on TV can be found on TBS. TBS is part of most basic pay-television packages in the United States, so if you have cable or satellite TV, you probably don’t need to order any additional packages.
If you have cable or satellite service, you may be able to watch TBS online through its website. This is only available through certain service providers.
If you do not have cable or satellite service, TBS is available through a subscription to either Sling, PlayStation Vue, or DirecTV Now. All three services currently offer free seven-day trials for new subscribers, with monthly service starting at between $20 and $35 per month.