Daigo Umehara and Olivier “Luffy” Hay are the last two players invited to participate in the Street Fighter V tournament, which will take place in Paris on April 24. The news was first reported on Red Bull’s French site.
Daigo, the 2009 and 2010 Street Fighter IV Evo champion, is perhaps the biggest celebrity in fighting games. He’s authored a book, been the star of a manga series, been immortalized in figure form, and played against world-famous rappers? Yet even with so much going on in his life, he remains one of the best players in the world. In 2015, he successfully defended both his Topanga A League and Topanga World League titles. He also won a pair of Premier events on the Capcom Pro Tour and finished second at Capcom Cup.
Luffy has been the best European Street Fighter player for the past few years. He has won 12 Capcom Pro Tour events over the past two seasons, the largest of which was his Evo 2014 Ultra Street Fighter IV win. He will be at home in more ways than one, as the event will take place in his home nation of France and will be run by Red Bull, who just signed him to a deal this past week.
The additions of Luffy and Daigo complete the list of the 14 players who are invited to the event. All but Alioune qualified for Capcom Cup last season, and seven of the top eight finishers at that event will be in the field. The invitee list also includes eight players who have won a combined 23 championships at EVO, including six of the seven titles awarded in the Street Fighter IV series.
Here’s the full list of invited players:
- Umehara Daigo (JPN), Mad Catz
- Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime (JPN), Mad Catz
- Inoue “Kazunoko” Ryota (JPN), G-Tune
- Momochi Yusuke (JPN), Evil Geniuses
- Takahashi “Bonchan” Masato (JPN), Red Bull
- Gon “Poongko” Lee-Chung (KOR), r/Kappa
- Lee “Infiltration” Seon-Woo (KOR), Razer
- Olivier “Luffy” Hay (FRA), Red Bull
- Alioune Camara (FRA)
- Justin Wong (USA), Evil Geniuses
- Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis (USA), Red Bull
- Keoma Pacheco (BRA), Innova
- Kun Xian Ho (SNG), Razer
- Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang (TWN), AVerMedia
The final two competitors will be determined in a last chance qualifier tournament held the day of the event.
Last year’s Kumite, which was won by eventual signee Bonchan, was the first fighting game event produced by Red Bull, and it was well-received thanks to the quality of play and the quality of the production. The Austria-based energy drink company began running Dota 2 events in 2014 and Hearthstone events in 2015.