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The inaugural season for Street Fighter 6 has been an exciting one with new players stepping into the spotlight alongside Pro Tour veterans. With the regular season in the rear view all eyes turned to the grand finale at Capcom Cup X and its staggering special prizing of $1 million awarded to the winner. During the regular season 47 players earned spots at the event and at the final one was decided at the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). Over the course of three grueling days, from February 16th through 19th, over 320 players from around the world gathered to take part in the LCQ. When it was all over the last player standing was MOUZ|PROBLEM X from the United Kingdom after an incredible runback in Grand Finals.

The final qualifying spot for Capcom Cup is a big enough lure to draw in many of the world’s best players and the level of competition makes the LCQ one of the toughest events outside of the monolithic EVO and Capcom Cup itself. This year’s LCQ started with eight pools of around 40 players each and all of them were full of sharks. Just getting out of pools was a challenge with only two players emerging from each to make top 16. From each pair one would start on the winners side and the other on the losers side of the top 16 bracket.

Japan had the biggest representation in top 16 with ROHTO Z!|TOKIDO, DFM|JOHN TAKEUCHI, SNB|YAMAGUCHI and IBUSHIGIN|KAKERU making it on the winners side and IXA HT|ACQUA, SBI|HIBIKI, GYOGUN|MOKE and SS KUMAMOTO|NEMO on the losers side. Four US players made it through with three on the winners side. FLY|PUNK, CHAT|JB and JULIO FUENTES started in winners and NOAHTHEPRODIGY in losers. Rounding out the top 16 was UK’s MOUZ|PROBLEM X in winners and China’s NARAKABP|VXBAO, Germany’s SML/2BCU|RANDUMB and Canada’s ZHEN in losers.

ZHEN, originally from China but living and studying in Canada right now, deserves special recognition for having incredible performances in back-to-back LCQs. Last year he not only won the LCQ but he made it to Grand Finals at Capcom Cup IX. This year he made it all the way to top 8 again to finish tied for 7th place.

Other early standouts were RANDUMB and Hibiki. RANDUMB, using Manon, was a nightmare in the Germany World Warrior events. This LCQ was his first offline event and despite the level of competition made it to top 16. Hibiki was a treat to watch as he showed us what Lily could do in the right hands. Hibiki would make it all the way to top 8.

The legendary Tokido took two tough losses in top 8 to finish in 5th place. His first match in top 8 was in winners semi-final against Punk. This was a thrilling match between two players at the apex of the sport. As you would expect it was a back-and-forth match, but Punk narrowly came out on top. Once in losers his first match was against Kakeru. It was another match that went to the last round of the last game. Kakeru landed JP’s level 2 super while Tokido was in burnout to win by a razor thin margin.

Kakeru was a favorite to win the event, but it seemed like JB had his number. Fans favoring Kakeru were likely surprised when JB beat him in winners quarter-finals to send him to losers. Kakeru clawed his way through losers with hard-fought wins against ACQUA, Zhen, and Tokido before being eliminated by JB in losers semi-finals.

JB was one of two Rashid players to make it to top 8 along with John Takeuchi. John Takeuchi was knocked into losers in winners quarter-finals by Tokido, where he eliminated Moke and Hibiki before running into JB in losers quarter-final. John Takeuchi would finish in 5th. Both players really showed what Rashid is capable of, but JB would ride the turbulent wind all the way to losers final to finish 3rd. Like Kakeru, both of JB’s losses were to one player. Problem X beat him in winners semi-final. JB would eliminate John Takeuchi and Kakeru before running into Problem X in losers final.

When it comes to picking favorites to win an event Punk is always in the conversation, whether he starts top 16 in winners or losers. Here he started in winners and made it to Grand Finals on the winners side. In all his top 8 matches up to Grand Finals his only close match was the nail-biter against Tokido. He would hand Problem X his first and only loss of the event in a shockingly one-sided 3-0 match in winners finals.

The journey for Problem X up to the LCQ was not an easy one. He openly admitted in an interview after the event that he had trouble adapting to Street Fighter 6 early on. With the help of other players, he worked hard to improve and at the LCQ he made a statement that he was back to being at the highest levels of Street Fighter. He had played with other characters throughout the season but here he used Blanka from start to finish. It’s obvious that he and the character are a good fit and his winning one of the season’s toughest events with the character supports that.

He came into top 16 red hot, not losing a single game until he lost a game to Julio Fuentes in winners quarter-final. His first and only match loss came in winner’s final against Punk and it was a brutal one. He didn’t have time to dwell on the loss as he had to quickly play JB in losers final, where he won 3-0 to get the runback against Punk in Grand Finals.

In Grand Finals Punk started things off with a perfect round but after that Problem X seemed to have the momentum for the duration of both sets. Problem X won the first set 3-1 to reset the bracket. In the second set Punk switched from Cammy to Luke after losing the first game, hoping to reverse his fortunes. Problem X would go on to win the second set 3-0, making him the 48th player to compete at Capcom Cup X with a chance at $1 million.

France 2023 Top 16 Results
Placing Handle Characters
2nd FLY|PUNK Cammy, Luke
3rd CHAT|JB Rashid
7th ZHEN Dee Jay
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