In a presentation at the conclusion of Sunday’s Capcom Cup 2015, Street Fighter series executive producer Yoshinori Ono announced the first details of the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour.
“With a baseline prize pool of half a million dollars, the tour next year will kick off on March 18 with Final Round in Atlanta, Georgia, featuring Street Fighter V the official game of the tour,” said Ono through a translator.
The return of the tour was widely expected. Matt Dahlgren, Capcom’s director of Brand Marketing and eSports, has repeatedly mentioned the importance of esports to the success of the upcoming Street Fighter V. Furthermore, data discovered in a recent beta of the game includes sound files which mention the Capcom Pro Tour and several tour events by name.
The biggest surprise, then, may be the word ‘baseline.’ A baseline prize pool amount implies that the total amount could increase in some form. While no announcements were made, it is possible that Capcom may implement a way for gamers to help contribute to the prize pool.
This could take the form of something similar to Dota 2’s Compendium, which added more than $16 million to the prize pool at The International 2015. It could also come in the form of skin and costume sales, much like the ones that Killer Instinct and Mortal Kombat X used to boost prize pools at EVO 2015 and other events.
The announcement also confirmed a later start to the season. Final Round is approximately a month after the release date for Street Fighter V, which is currently scheduled for Feb. 16. Last year’s first event, Cannes Winter Clash, is scheduled for Feb. 26. While that event has already confirmed that Street Fighter V will be a part of their lineup, it appears that Capcom wants more time between the game’s release and its first major competitive event.
Ono also announced that the third stage of the Street Fighter V beta test will run from Dec. 18 to Dec. 20. Whether this stage of the beta will be open to PC players has not been confirmed.