Last night was the long-awaited finale of the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational which saw Tokido, Punk, Problem X, Daigo, Dogura, Momochi, Smug and Fujimura duke it out for the $150,000 grand prize. Every match was an amazing display of skill from the best players in the world and Daily Esports was there for every fireball and uppercut.
Let’s break down each match, starting with:
Tokido vs. Punk
After defeating Punk last year at EVO, this was a rematch many were looking forward to seeing. Punk was taken out by Tokido 3-0, sending Punk to loser’s bracket. Having faced arguably the greatest player in the world multiple times, even though Punk lost he is still young and has nowhere to go but up and continue to improve his game. Next up…
Problem X vs. Daigo
Being the first UK player ever to make it this far in ELEAGUE, Problem X had a lot to fight for. But his opponent was the legendary beast, Daigo. Problem X played his absolute best, but Daigo was able to take the match 3-0. Right at the start, winner’s finals were set to feature Daigo and Tokido, two gods of Street Fighter. The tournament was already off to an epic start, and it hadn’t even begun airing yet!
Dogura vs. Momochi
It was a toss-up whether Momochi was going to bring his Cody into the tournament. Cody being released only a few weeks ago, it wasn’t clear whether Momochi had trained enough to feel confident in such a new character. On the flip side for Momochi’s opponents, they had no way to prepare for a high-level Cody because, well, one simply didn’t exist — before this match, that is. Momochi brought out his Cody and was able to dominate Dogura in a stunning 3-0 match, showcasing the full power of the Mayor of Metro City. Dogura was out of the tournament, and the stage was set for the second match of the loser’s bracket.
Smug vs. Fujimura
If one was a betting man, it wouldn’t be an unusual move to put your money on Fujimura. The greatest Ibuki player in the world (and not a fun matchup for Balrog, especially), Fujimura was the favorite to take this match. Then the unexpected happened. Smug began his night-long TEAR through the tournament. Like the Terminator, he relentlessly rushed down Fujimura and overpowered him with good reads, great confirms, and even better defense as he withstood a barrage of mixups from the high-school ninja. Smug took the match 3-0, sending Fujimura home early and setting the tone for the rest of the night.
Problem X vs. Momochi
After a night of 3-0 blowouts, we saw the first back and forth match of the night. Starting out with Kolin, Momochi wasn’t able to hold his ground against Problem X’s legendary Bison, forcing him to switch to his brand new Cody. Taking it to the final match, Problem X was able to take down Momochi’s Cody, despite a lack of matchup experience, and knock Momochi out of the tournament in a clutch final round.
Punk vs. Smug
A match we have seen many times before in major tournaments, it was a hard call to make who would come out on top. That is until the match started. Smug continued his reign of terror, stalking Punk like Jason Voorhees hunting down a hapless camper, with a relentless offense and an immense amount of pressure taking Punk out 3-0.
Problem X vs. Smug
The first one to put up an obstacle against Smug’s reign of terror was Problem X. Despite his best efforts, he was only able to take one match off of Smug, being knocked out of the tournament 3-1. Problem X had an absolutely amazing performance at ELEAGUE this year, bringing prestige to his home in the UK, and showing that the Brits are able to compete with the big boys on the world stage. I look forward to seeing Problem X throughout the rest of the competitive season.
Tokido vs. Daigo
No matter how many tournaments go by, it is rare to see a match of this caliber go down. Two legends did battle atop the proverbial Mount Olympus of Street Fighter, and it was anyone’s guess who would come out on top. The last time we saw these two play was a first-to-10 exhibition, and Daigo was able to dominate Tokido throughout the set. History would not repeat itself at ELEAGUE though, as Tokido was able to take Daigo out 3-0 and send him to loser’s bracket where he would face off against Smug.
Daigo vs. Smug
Despite tearing through the competition, Smug now had a legend standing in his way. Would he be able to continue his winning streak with Daigo next on the list? What proceeded was easily the best match of the night, which saw Smug take out Daigo in an amazing 3-2 set, knocking Daigo out of the tournament and setting the stage for the final event. Smug had already taken down a legend, but could he do it again?
Tokido vs. Smug
The last match of the tournament was upon us, and it has all led to this. In order to claim victory, Smug had to reset the bracket and win against Tokido six times. A tall order for anyone. But Smug proved that his run through ELEAGUE was no fluke, and reset the bracket 3-0 against Tokido.
After a quick commercial break, both players stretched and gathered themselves. The situation harkened back to Tokido’s grand final against MenaRD at last year’s Capcom Cup. After MenaRD reset the bracket at that event, he was able to take the title from Tokido. Tokido was determined to not let that happen again and ended Smug’s amazing run, taking the final match 3-0, and bringing home the $150,000 grand prize as the newly crowned ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational champion.
— ELEAGUE (@ELEAGUETV) July 14, 2018
Once again ELEAGUE put on an amazing show, showcasing the best talent Street Fighter V has to offer from around the globe, and broadcasting an amazing top eight for the world to see. It is a safe bet to say that ELEAGUE will be back next year, and when they do, Daily Esports will be there to bring the action home to you.
Also, stay tuned to Daily Esports for interviews live from the tournament floor with Problem X, Sajam, Daigo, and Fujimura — plus an exclusive post-victory interview with the freshly crowned champion, Tokido.