Street Fighter 6 Crowns Its First Millionaire Winner At Capcom Cup

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Following an intense, nine-day event at the Avalon in Hollywood, which included several competitive events, last-chance qualifiers, team tournaments, and more, Capcom Cup X recently concluded, crowning a brand-new champion in the Taiwanese player, Uma327. While the tournament was impressive to watch, one of the most notable things about Capcom Cup X is what Uma won for finishing in 1st place: a whopping $1,000,000.

With players from all corners of the world in attendance, and a lead-up that saw the defeat of even some fan-favorite players like Tokido and Punk, there were many shocking moments and upsets both before and during the event.

This is the first Capcom Cup for Street Fighter 6, but a prize this big isn’t just new for Street Fighter–it’s new for fighting games, period. No first-place finish has ever awarded this much money or had this big a prize pool (over $2,000,000 in total). After the tournament concluded, Capcom President & COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto announced that Uma wouldn’t be the last “fighting game millionaire” the company would create, either. Next year’s Capcom Cup XI will also award $1,000,000 (so if you want to try your hand at winning it, I’d start practicing now).

After winning, Uma said, “I want to say thanks to the whole Taiwan fighting game community, and [my] family and friends. That’s why [I had] a chance.” When host RobTV asked Uma when he knew he could win the tournament, Uma’s answer was incredible: “When Capcom announced the prize money of $1,000,000, [I knew I was] going to get it.”

I sat down with Uma backstage, moments after his historic win, to ask him a few questions. He sat, casually holding the giant frosted glass trophy in his lap, as he quietly answered, while the crowds at the Avalon still cheered outside. While his calm demeanor and ability to stay focused under pressure is one shared by fighting game veterans who have played for decades, Uma started playing fighting games in Season 1 of Street Fighter V.

Every player who made it to top 16 trained long, hard hours, and Uma was no different in that regard, playing for around 12 hours a day. He also trained by fighting Japanese players online, which meant he got lots of matchup experience against both highly skilled players and powerful, top-tier characters, but there were still “some players [I] didn’t want to face, especially DCQ,” who played JP during the tournament.

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Unlike DCQ, however, Uma was one of a minority of unsponsored players, traveling from Taiwan to California on his own dime. When I asked if he had plans for his newfound wealth, Uma said he’ll make it last: “I will spend the money for the lifetime.”

Uma also shared his thoughts on the balance of Street Fighter 6, and his hopes for its future. When I asked which characters he would like to see added, he said, “Ibuki and Makoto.”

The post-Capcom Cup update for SF6 means a new character, Ed, has been added. It also adds a few tweaks to several prominent characters, and Capcom has confirmed that a sweeping balance patch is also on the way, which will impact every character. However, even at the time of Capcom Cup X, Uma felt Blanka was “quite strong” and under-represented in competitive play, and the balance at the time of Capcom Cup X was “not too bad,” only needing “one or two [little changes]” for JP and Luke, which the new patch just provided.

So what’s next for Uma? It’s simple: “I’m just going to continue to play.”

Before the tournament, I also spoke with Takayuki Nakayama, the director of SF6, and Shuhei Matsumoto, its producer. When I asked how they feel about the historic nature of Capcom Cup X, and the prize on offer, they said, “[We] are happy with this outcome and how [we’re] seeing Street Fighter today… It’s always amazing to see players from different countries, and younger players getting involved. [We’re] witnessing new talent… new athletes who [we’ve] never heard of.”

“It makes [us] happy to see our product be played at this high-level tournament with this kind of prize pool,” they continued. “Hopefully this will create a reason and more incentives for there to be more tournaments… and not just tournaments of this [scope]. Maybe something mid-tier or something a little more casual and fun. There are different ways to enjoy a tournament, whether it’s actually participating and competing… [or] the viewer perspective. Just watching [these] high-level [matches] is pretty exciting. [We hope] that will continue to support Street Fighter 6 so hopefully there are more opportunities like what [we] have today.”

During the event, the Street Fighter League (SFL) also concluded, which the ‘Bandits’ team (comprised of Caba, Chris T, Xiaohai, and EVO champion MenaRD) won. The SFL had a prize pool of $150,000 and Bandits left with a check for $80,000.