XiaoHai and Momochi advance to the ESL Brooklyn Beatdown grand final
XiaoHai and Momochi will meet in the grand final at the Barclays Center later today. The two will square off for a $30,000 grand prize, the largest awarded at a Street Fighter V tournament not part of the Capcom Pro Tour.
The two finalists had to survive a star-studded field on Saturday to reach the main event. Of the top 16 players who began the weekend atop the Capcom Pro Tour global standings, 14 entered the Brooklyn Beatdown in hopes of winning a share of the $75,000 prize pool.
China's XiaoHai turned back the best Japan had to offer on Saturday. He scored victories over Umehara Daigo, Ai "Fuudo" Keita, and Taniguchi "Tokido" Hajime, the three top-ranked Japanese players in the Pro Tour standings, on his way to Sunday's final.
"In front of so many people tomorrow, I want to live up to the expectations," XiaoHai said through a translator.
XiaoHai reached the final from the winners' side of the bracket, so Momochi must win two best-of-five sets in order to win the grand prize. XiaoHai only needs to win one of those sets to take home the trophy.
"I think that I have a special connection [to the game] when I play in the losers' bracket," said Momochi through a translator, noting that he came out of the losers' bracket to win the Capcom Cup in 2015.
Momochi was sent to the losers' bracket by Hayashi "Mago" Kenryo, but rallied to score five straight wins to reach Sunday's main event. His run included wins over two of his Evil Geniuses teammates, Ricki Ortiz and Justin Wong, as well as Haitani Tatsuya and Tokido.
Tokido, fourth in the Pro Tour standings, finished in third place after a winners' final loss to XiaoHai and a losers' final loss to Momochi. Haitani, who began the weekend ranked 16th, finished in fourth place. Justin Wong and Fuudo, ranked second and third respectively, tied for fifth place.
Thomas "Brolynho" Proenca and “Commander Jesse” Espinoza, the co-seventh-place finishers, provided Saturday’s most memorable moments. Brolynho, who officially qualified for the Capcom Cup last week, upset reigning Evo champion Lee "Infiltration" Seon-Woo in four straight rounds. Later in the evening,Commander Jesse scored a rare Double Perfect on Mago en route to a 3-1 upset victory.
The grand final is scheduled to take place at 6pm ET/3pm PT.