For its next iteration, ELEAGUE will expand its list of competitive games by hosting a Street Fighter V Invitational in March.
The event will feature 32 of the best players in the world, all fighting for a share of the $250,000 prize pool.
Invitations will be extended to the top 16 participants of the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour. Another 12 will be invited based on their global standings in the leaderboards. Finally, Capcom will select the top player from each of the four regions who are not among the global elite to make up for the remaining four slots.
“Our fighting games and esports initiatives are extremely important sectors of our business and partnering with ELEAGUE provides us with an excellent opportunity to deliver the excitement of live Street Fighter V competition to a wider audience,” said Kiichiro Urata, Chief Executive Officer at Capcom United States.
Eight players will be eliminated during the preliminary rounds, scheduled to run from March 27-30. Following that, competitions will be held on April 7, April 21, May 5 and May 12 to trim the remaining 24 players. The finals will then take place on May 26.
Based on the criteria of selection, some of the invitees will be prominent figures from the community such as Lee “Infiltration” Seonwoo, Taniguchi “Tokido” Hajime, Du “NuckleDu” Dang, Ryan “FChamp” Ramirez, Bruce “GamerBee” Hsiang, Ai “Fuudo” Keita, Daigo “The Beast” Umehara, and Justin “JWong” Wong.
Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) will be airing the entire invitational live, with special coverage planned for March 31, April 28, and May 26. The live streams will also be available on Twitch.
ELEAGUE began as a professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive league a couple of years back, and has since then conducted two successful seasons of competitive play.
It also hosted last month’s ELEAGUE Atlanta Major where Danish organization Astralis took down Russian powerhouse Virtus.pro for the cup, and partnered with FACEIT last year for the Overwatch Open tournament.
However, this will be the first time that ELEAGUE is hosting a fighting game. While it stands as a new challenger in the eyes of the fighting game community, the decision to expand its portfolio is based on “diversifying… with exciting esports titles”.
This is a tremendous opportunity for Capcom and the Street Fighter V player-base to reach out to a wider mainstream esports audience. A regular cycle of similar invitationals will help the fighting game community grow, which includes other titles as such the upcoming Tekken 7 installment.
It should be noted that the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational will not be part of the 2017 Capcom Pro Tour. This means that participants will not earn any points for the game’s official circuit.
More details about the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational will arrive as we approach closer to the event.