After suffering a memorable defeat to Kenneth “K-Brad” Bradley at Final Round, Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot said that he would turn in a better result at the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational.
On Wednesday, Wolfkrone proved to be a man of his word.
Wolfkrone and his Laura play dominated the preliminary round on Wednesday to win Group C. He finished the day with a victory over K-Brad and an overall record of 6-1, which was good enough to qualify directly for the invitational event’s semifinal stage. Ai “Fuudo” Keita also went 6-1 on the day to secure a spot in the semifinals, but Wolfkrone won the group thanks to a head-to-head victory.
Wolfkrone’s victory was made all the sweeter by his rival’s struggles in the group. K-Brad not only lost a head-to-head matchup with Wolfkrone, but he failed to qualify for the next stage of the invitational event after limping to a 1-6 record. K-Brad’s early exit means that there will be no chance for a rematch at ELEAGUE.
That may be for the best, as if their battle on Wednesday was anything to go by, another match between the two may be too hot for broadcast television.
The ELEAGUE production team milked the rivalry match for all it was worth. Event commentators covered the recent history between the two players, Wolfkrone’s pre-match interview was “invaded” by K-Brad, and a security guard was visible on-stage for their match. There were no physical exchanges between the two, but there were plenty of verbal fireworks after Wolfkrone’s win.
While the Wolfkrone and K-Brad show got most of the attention, there was no shortage of great play in the rest of the group.
Ho Kun Xian, the only player able to blemish Wolfkrone’s record on Wednesday, placed third with a 5-2 record. Ryan “FChamp” Ramirez went 4-3 to finish fourth in the group. Egami “MOV” Joe and Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime each finished with 3-4 records to take fifth- and sixth-place respectively.
All four of those players will advance to the quarterfinal stage on May 5. The top two finishers from that group join Wolfkrone and Fuudo in the semifinal stage later that evening on TBS.
There may be several surprises when these players meet again, as their quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will almost certainly be the first of the competition to take place after the release of the upcoming balance patch. The target window for release of the patch is late April.
The preliminary rounds conclude on Thursday with action in Group D. Du “NuckleDu” Dang, the reigning Capcom Cup champion, headlines the group. Group D also features all three of the event’s European participants: Ryan Hart, Arman “Phenom” Hanjani, and Olivier “Luffy” Hay.