Japanese fighting game legend Bonchan joins Red Bull

One of the modern legends of the fighting game community has found a new home

Photo via Red Bull

One of the modern legends of the fighting game community has found a new home.

Takahashi “Bonchan” Masato has long been considered one of the world’s best fighting game competitors, most notably due to a long and successful career as a Street Fighter player. Masato is now capitalizing on that resume by becoming the latest competitor to join the Red Bull team.

Masato has most recently earned a reputation as one of the world’s best Sagat players in Street Fighter 4. His biggest accomplishment game was likely a second-place finish at last year’s Evo tournament where he lost to Olivier “Luffy” Hay in the final.

His performance at this year’s Evo was more disappointing, highlighted by a shocking upset loss to veteran player and community leader Alex Valle. Masato was able to recover quickly, bouncing back by winning the FV Cup in Malaysia, which is part of this year’s Capcom Pro Tour. The victory better positioned Masato for a spot at this year’s Capcom Cup final in San Francisco, where $250,000 will be handed out to the competing players.

Masato’s wants to set an example from his new position.

“As a Red Bull athlete, I would of course like to win a lot, but I would also like to be the role model for the younger generation of gamers in my community,” Masato said. “I had wanted to become a professional gamer for the longest time, yet struggled to find the right fit until now.”

Masato joins a growing roster of fighting game luminaries at the Red Bull team. In July, American Darryl “Snake Eyez” Lewis signed on with the organization. Masato’s addition gives the team new depth and international reach.