On Sunday, he began the Street Fighter V era as the player to watch.
Mister Crimson took top honors in the Street Fighter V tournament at Cannes Winter Clash on Sunday, which was the first Capcom Pro Tour event of the 2016 season. For his efforts, he earned 128 CPT points and the honor of topping the rankings for the next three weeks. He also won a spot in the 16-player CPT European final later this season, the winner of which will receive a Capcom Cup berth.
Even before he won the title, Mister Crimson established himself as the star of the event. He had the support of most of the crowd who hoped to see a French player win a French tournament, but he earned the support of neutral fans with a Laura that was both highly effective and highly entertaining.
Mister Crimson punctuated his run through the bracket with an impressive 3-1 win in the grand final over Arman “Phenom” Hanjani of Norway. Phenom entered the event among the favorites, as he was ranked first in Europe and fifth globally in Street Fighter V’s online rankings at the start of the weekend. Unfortunately for the 19-year-old Norwegian, he couldn’t find an answer to Crimson’s Laura.
Ryan “Prodigal Son” Hart of the UK finished in third place after suffering back-to-back 3-0 losses to Crimson and Phenom in winners’ and losers’ finals respectively. Hart failed to qualify for Capcom Cup last year thanks in part to poor results early in the season, so his third-place finish could very well be a good omen.
France’s Adrien “Mordesai” Chemin, who is known as a strong player in France but hadn’t gotten many good results international results, finished fourth. Ryan “Gootecks” Gutierrez of PogChamp fame tied for fifth alongside Frenchman Joanny “Myakyo” Pavaillon. Adel “Big Bird” Anouche of the UAE and Wilfried “Will2Pac” Jean-Baptiste of France rounded out the top eight.
If most of those names don’t ring a bell, it’s because most of the top eight finishers weren’t regular contenders on the Capcom Pro Tour last year. None of the top eight finishers at Cannes Winter Clash qualified for Capcom Cup in 2015. Ryan Hart and Phenom were within striking distance of qualification via points, but the other six players combined to earn just two CPT points in 2015.
Mister Crimson’s came as a pleasant surprise to French fans, who saw several of their countrymen make surprisingly-early exits. Valentin “Valmaster” Petit and Cuong “Cuongster” Cao both failed to advance beyond pool play, but their exits were overshadowed by that of 2014 Evo champion Olivier “Luffy” Hay.
Luffy, the newest Red Bull Athlete, finished tied for 33rd after he failed to get out of his pool. Luffy’s draw was fairly unlucky, as he had to deal with a pair of big-name players: His defeats came at the hands of eventual ninth-place finisher Ito “Kindevu” Yosuke of Japan and eventual-runner-up Phenom.
Luffy has been a common name thrown around by fans when the discussion turns to players who may not transition well from Street Fighter IV to Street Fighter V. He rose to international prominence in IV thanks to his mastery of Rose, a strong defensive character who made great use of Focus Attacks and invincible backdashes, neither of which are present in SFV. While many of these fans will point to this weekend’s 33rd-place finish as evidence he’ll falter, it should be noted that he finished tied for 25th at last year’s Cannes Winter Clash. He followed that up by winning each of the six ranking events he entered the rest of the year.
The Capcom Pro Tour now enters its longest period between events of the year. The next event is Final Round in Atlanta, which will begin on March 18. The tournament will be the year’s first Premier event, with the winner earning the first spot in Capcom Cup 2016. Final Round begins a stretch of 18 straight weeks with at least one CPT event, a run that will end at Evo in July.
The next European CPT event is Hypespotting V in Glasgow, Scotland, which will begin on April 2.