It seems like the Street Fighter games exist forever and ever. The first one was released in 1987, and since then, we regularly get new installments and improved versions. And yeah, Street Fighter II defined the genre and became the inspiration for lots of future fighting games. Still, isn’t the series rather old? Do we keep talking about it only thanks to impressive achievements of the past?
Street Fighter V: Champion Edition is the most recent version. Capcom had a rough start with SFV back in 2016, but thank goodness, they did not abandon the product and put lots of effort into making the game better in every possible way. The company succeeded, and the work continues with amazing power even in 2021. Activities around SFV make the whole fighting games community interested in the title and allow the game to grow. Can it reach the level of the biggest fighting game on the market?
Yes, it can! And here are the aspects in which SFV is obviously dominating over many competitors. You don’t need to go deep into analyzing playing mechanics to come across the advantages around the game — they are clearly visible in many Street Fighter 5 news posts.
Capcom Pro Tour — the power of online tournaments
We are living in a weird time. Lots of things have changed, and fighting esports competitions is one of them. Traveling around the world to visit big tournaments and gatherings of thousands of people in one place seems to be almost impossible in 2021. It’s a huge challenge for fighting games developers to handle this situation and keep their competitive communities active.
While many companies just keep silent and hope for soon coming improvements in this worldwide pandemic situation, Capcom has adapted to the online-mostly esports environment pretty well. The online tournaments Capcom Pro Tour happen throughout 2021, attracting top players and a big audience of fans.
Having this official long-term competition is a perfect move to make the fighting games community talk about Street Fighter and actually play the game. The legendary title gets an incredible boost thanks to CPT.
Season 5 in SFV: Champion Edition
However big and perfect a fighting game is, the developers should bring extra content into it to add new levels of joy for existing players and give lots of gamers a reason to return to the fights or try them out for the first time.
Many other games do the same. We got new characters in Tekken 7 and Mortal Kombat 11, for example. But Street Fighter V is doing that much better.
It’s not only about the characters. Dan, Rose, Oro, Akira, and someone unknown expand the game roster with SFV Season 5. But also, Capcom decided to bring a new game-changing mechanic and then re-balance the whole roster. They’ve added V-Shift, a trick for avoiding attacks, and V-Shift Break for counter-attacking. In this way, the 5-year old game feels surprisingly fresh even for those who actively play it all this time.
And that’s not only about one big update dropping time after time. It’s regular care for the community. After getting complaints on how Cammy is overpowered (three out of four CPT winners are Cammy players), Capcom released a patch that nerfs her and also brings changes to most other fighters.
Kumite London — a big offline event
Capcom Pro Tour and online tourneys are good and everything, but a top-level offline event can create a much bigger hype around the game. Street Fighter V has one thanks to a huge one-day tournament in London. Why is that huge? Because it gathers some of the biggest names in fighting esports.
IDom, Tokido, Luffy, Gachikun, Punk — the level of these and other players is absolutely amazing. Having them playing at Kumite London is like creating an excitement blast in the fighting games community.
Other games also got offline treatment this year. WePlay Ultimate Fighting League treated the communities of MK11, Tekken 7, and Soul Calibur 6. The difference with Kumite is the full support from Capcom — they use this momentum to grow their game. For the current situation in the world, it’s a success even beyond the traditional fighting games community, and we can expect many new gamers to take gamepads and start fights on the virtual streets.
Sets — great showcase matches
Creating a show is a big part of fighting games. Players want to compete, but they also want to watch players with exceptional skills demonstrating breathtaking tricks. It’s a great way to entertain yourself (people love following various competitions), and also it’s a method to learn something new and become a better player.
Capcom knows how important spectacular shows are for supporting a fighting game. In 2021, they started a series of showcase matches named Sets. Two prominent players have a First-of-10 session — just for fun.
Sets happen regularly, and making them possible is another clever step by Capcom.
The fighting games community is stable but not the biggest in the vast gaming multiverse. All the other activities described in this article are dedicated mostly to bringing people from FGC into Street Fighter V. But this one has a more ambitious goal — attract all sorts of gamers into SFV.
Capcom has very interesting collaborations with a few companies, and together they add iconic characters to other games.
- Fortnite — Ryu and Chun-Li have become heroes of this bombastically popular Battle Royale;
- Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid — the same characters from the Street Fighter Universe, Ryu and Chun-Li, are Crimson Hawk and Blue Phoenix Rangers now. This is also a fighting game, but the fan-base of the Power Ranger franchise is enormous;
- Fist of the North Star LEGENDS ReVIVE — a few SFV characters join this free-to-play mobile game based on the popular manga and anime.
Of course, such collaborations work in both directions, and many fans of Street Fighter become interested in those games. Still, it’s an excellent way to spread the word about SFV as a game and let it expand to new gaming dimensions.
Street Fighter V is not an easy game, you should invest time and effort in training, but the results are super rewarding. It’s great to see Capcom working hard to make the Street Fighter community even bigger and the game even better. Do you play it?