May 10, 2019

JP 2019 Fall Street Fighter League

Fall 2019 SFL College Arcade banner

On Thursday, 2019-05-09 (as far as I can tell) Capcom released details about the upcoming Fall 2019 JP Street Fighter League.

It has some changes from the Japan Capcom Street Fighter League Powered by RAGE that ran from January 26th to March 21st in 2019 (or from December 4th, 2018, if you include the Beginner Class Auditions). If you hadn't heard of these events, I wrote extensively about them on my personal blog, which as a personal blog for a random dude just writing about hobby stuff, rightly should not be read by many people. It was a really interesting and fun series that followed on in the footsteps of the 2018 RAGE All Star League Powered by Capcom (note the intentionally different naming) and was a pre-cursor to the currently running Capcom Street Fighter League currently running in America. I couldn't find an official link for that, which shocks me, but read this cool article about Toi by Ginni Lou.

1 2019 JP SFL Fall Overivew

SFL 2019 Overview

The copy on Capcom's Street Fighter League website talks about building a system that helps players move into the Pro League. There are three leagues that feed into a tryout event and draft for the 2019 JP Pro Street Fighter League. Each League has its own rules.

  • Rookie Caravan: an individual format, travelling around to different locations in Japan, culminating in a 3 person team representing Eastern Japan and one for Western Japan to join the draft pool.
  • College League: Online locked character winner stays on 3 on 3 tournament. Limited to college, technical college, or graduate college students. The winning team joins the draft pool.
  • Arcade League: 3 on 3 winner stays on tournament with no repeating characters on a team. 30 arcades across the country pick a representative team, and a tournement decides the three teams that join the draft pool.
Date Event Stream Comments
2019-06-15 (Sat.) SFL College JP 2019 Day 1 Twitch Capcomfightersjp Organization is done via a Discord server which has detailed rules. Enter by May 31st. Starts at 13:00 JST.
2019-06-22 (Sat.) SFL College JP 2019 Day 2 Twitch Capcomfightersjp Organization is done via a Discord server which has detailed rules. Enter by May 31st. Starts at 15:00 JST.
2019-07-28 (Sun.) SFL Arcade JP 2019 Finals Twitch Capcomfightersjp Representative teams from 30 Arcades will be decided from May 25th to July 21st.

The winning team of Street Fighter League Pro JP 2019 will then face off against the winning team of Street Fighter League Pro-US.

2 College League

The College League information site is set up by it looks like "Japan eSports Student Federation" and "eSports Communications limited liability corporation". Entry is open until May 31st, and students at Universities, Graduate Schools, and Technical Colleges are eligible. It is an online 3 on 3 winner stays on, locked character pokemon style team battle. You can change player order with each match. There are more detailed rules here. There was nothing particularly interesting there, except that this is an online tournament and they made no mention about valid stages. I wonder if Super Joe Monday has any opinion at all whatsoever if online tournaments should be specific about using Training Stage. Probably not.

The teams do not need to have members from the same university. Teams can all be from the same location, but it isn't necessary. I've already seen that Okumura Mami (SFV Beginner Class member on Nemo's team, Blanka player now) is joining up with Kawano and Anman's team.

If you are on a College team, you can not be on any other teams that have an entry point into the Street Fighter League: Tryout stage. So you can't join this, and one of the Rookie's Caravan events, or the Arcade Version event. If it somehow happens that the winner was also a representative of an Arcade Shop's team, then the second place team will proceed on to the Tryout stage.

Only a single winning team will advance into the Tryout stage.

3 Arcade League

The official name for this league is the Street Fighter League Arcade 2019 powered by Taito.

The format is a single elimination 3 on 3 team tournament. It is running at 30 arcades across Japan, which participate in the qualification round. Each arcade will determine a representative team for their arcade from 2019-05-25 to 2019-07-21. The playoffs will run on 2019-07-28 from 10:00 to 19:00. Each arcade has a specific day and time that they run their tournament to determine the winner for their shop.

Some format specifics:

  • FT2 for a win
  • Winner stays on in the team battle
  • Teams are not allowed to have duplicate characters on them
  • Every game, you can change your character (but not during a match)
  • V-Trigger can be selected before the match, but can't be changed during a match
  • Stages are set to random (the machines will be in Event mode, which is always random)
  • Rainbow Mika's cheerleader outfit is banned
  • You can use your own controller (but they have some rules around what happens if your controller isn't properly recognized)
  • If buttons on the cabinet don't work, you can stop the match and the staff will investigate. If they find no issues, you lose that match (not the game).

Taito announced the location of the arcades that are participating 2019-05-14, with a complete list of the 30 shops here. The first tournament is May 25th, in Saga-ken, and the last is July 21st in Saitama. I counted 7 arcades in Tokyo (Plaza Capcom Kichijoji, Hey, Taito Station Takadanobaba, Shinjuku Sportsland, Taito Station South Gate Game World, Gamespot Versus, and Taito Station Tachikawa), and otherwise spread out all over the country. You need to register for the tournament at least 15 minutes before the tournament starts in person at the arcade, but can probably register in advance before that. Swing by your local arcade and see what they say.

4 Rookie Caravan

In July and August of 2018 Capcom ran their Rookie Caravan events, which was basically a road show around Japan in different locations (usually Aeon Malls, but one occurred at Kumamoto Castle) with a Pro SFV player representative and one representative usually from the entertainment world. Each region got a regional winner, and they got support from Capcom to attend the Japan Premiere at Tokyo Game Show that year.

Details haven't been announced for this part of the event yet, but it will be an individual tournament, not a team tournament. Their graphic shows six teams coming out of the series of Rookies Caravan events (I assume it will be regional as the previous run was) so I'm not sure how they are going to form the teams. Those feed into a tournament to decide the Eastern Japan and Western Japan representatives, two teams total, so I'm assuming one from each region.

5 Tryouts

I haven't seen any information about Tryouts yet. I'll update this

6 Draft

I haven't seen anything about the Draft yet either.

7 JP Pro League

The Pro JP 2019 Street Fighter League will consist of 6 teams, each with a team captain that holds a JeSU Pro License. The other members of the team will come from the 24 person draft pool of 6 JeSU Pro license holders, 3 people from the Street Fighter League College JP 2019 winning team, 6 people from the East and West winning team of the Rookie's Caravan 2019 league, and 9 people from 3 teams from SFL Arcade 2019 League.

Specific details about the 3 on 3 team format haven't yet been announced, but one thing that has been announced is that there will be a Character Ban that operates the same as in the Street Fighter League US. That rule is only for the JP Pro League, and specifically is not used in the Arcade or College leagues.

7.1 My thoughts on the character ban rule

So far I've really enjoyed the different incarnations of team battles that I've watched in Japan and the US. The character ban changes what is important in evaulating player capability. It adds an aspect of generality over being a character specialist. I think that is fine, although I'm personally more interested in seeing players play to the best of their capability. Since Capcom is involved in this, it seems that they are setting the precendent in valuing a player's ability to play multiple characters.

One thing I have enjoyed seeing are the different focuses different seasons have had. The most recent JP Street Fighter League powered by RAGE had an interesting focus on players at different skill levels, and I thought it was very interesting to watch the Beginner class player improve over time. In the US Street Fighter League I've enjoyed watching character specialists play with secondaries and improve over time, although I would prefer to see more high level play. At a very high level I think players should have the ability to quickly pick up characters, at least faster than casual players would, but generally I don't think the character ban has introduced much strategy into the choice of who to ban. I don't think it has done much to improve diversity of characters played either, if that was the intent.

Still, I'm interested in seeing experimentation, so I'm not too worried about things.


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