Xian wins his first Capcom Pro Tour event of the season at Moscow Fighting Arena
Russian Street Fighter fans had plenty to celebrate on national holiday Russia Day on Monday.
A Capcom Pro Tour title was not among them.
Ho Kun Xian of Singapore claimed his first Pro Tour win of the 2016 season with a victory at Moscow Fighting Arena 2016 on Monday. Xian secured the title with a nail-biting 3-2 win in the grand final over Wilfried "Will2Pac" Jean-Baptiste of France.
Xian, who won four Pro Tour events last season, had finished fourth or worse at all three of the Pro Tour events he entered prior to Moscow. His victory gave him 128 points, enough to propel him into the top 15 in the global Pro Tour standings. At least nine players will qualify for Capcom Cup through global leaderboard positions.
The Evo 2013 champion also earned a spot in the European Regional final, the winner of which qualifies directly for Capcom Cup.
Xian and Will2Pac were two of the few foreign players to attend the Russian event. This could partially be attributed to the event's unique Saturday-to-Monday schedule, which coincides with Russia Day.
Still, most of the international players that did make the trip to Moscow found success. Benjamin "Problem X" Simon and Ramz Shaft "RMZ" Kiggundu Luswa, both of the United Kingdom, placed third and fourth respectively. The Brits were followed by Norway's Vegard "Veggey" Bugge, who placed fifth. Only ninth-place finisher Cuong "Cuongster" Cao of France failed to finish among the top six.
Co-fifth-place finisher Fedor "Fidoskin" Podgurskii was Russia's highest-placing representative. He provided the highlight of pool play on Sunday when he defeated Will2Pac on his way to Monday's top eight session. Once there, he was dispatched to the losers' bracket by Xian and lost a hard-fought rematch with Will2Pac.
Will2Pac's revenge was part of an impressive losers' bracket run. He rebounded from his early defeat by rattling off seven straight wins to reach the grand final. His run included victories over Cuongster, Fidoskin, RMZ, and Problem X.
Although he fell short of a title, Will2Pac's second-place finish could be a good sign going forward. He has earned his two best Pro Tour results over the past two weeks, with his second-place finish here and his fourth-place finish at The Fight in Colombia.