Daigo Seizes His Chance at Capcom Pro Tour Japan 3 Qualifier

Jason Bennett,

November 2, 2021 7:22 PM

With his victory, he will be competing at the Capcom Cup VIII with a prize pool of $200,000

This past weekend the Capcom Pro Tour held its third qualifier for Japan, and as with past events this outing offered up some memorable Street Fighter V action. The Grand Finals saw a rematch of Kawano and Daigo who had met in the opening round with the vanquished Kawano earning redemption by winning a grand finals reset. But once the dust settled, Daigo moved on to claim his spot in Capcom Cup VIII.

The third stop of the Tour in Japan saw 320 players vying for the chance to compete in the lead-up to an event that felt like a moment of renewal with "old guard" players giving way to a new generation of talent.

Saturday saw the top 16 Street Fighters play against one another to sort out the brackets for the Top 8 to be held on Sunday. Those who didn't advance to the top 8 competed in the loser's bracket for a chance to face off against the Final's Winner in a Grand Finals match-up.

The weekend saw 16 incredible players compete for a berth in Capcom Cup VIII [Image Source:CapcomProTour.com]

The eventual Grand Finalists - Kawano and Daigo - kicked things off Sunday with their first match-up in the Winner's Semi-Finals. For the battle, Kawano's decision to play Vega seemed like a promising choice against Daigo's Guile. For large parts of the game, Kawano was able to control play and maintain pressure, but at nearly every moment where Daigo seemed critically in danger of going down to defeat, he hung on to land the last combo or kick for the game. Despite the official 3-0 result in favor of Daigo, the matches were much closer than the raw score would suggest.

As Daigo moved on to the Winner's Final where he prevailed 3-0 against Moke, Kawano dropped down to the Loser's Quarter Finals for head-to-head action against Fujimura who had come off a 3-1 win over Sako. Kawano's Vega was gone in favour of Kolin to battle against Fujimura's Cammy in a highly entertaining series of offense-based matches. Kawano ultimately prevailed 3-2 as he continued his march through the Loser's Semi-Final past Dogura 3-1 before winning the Loser's Final 3-2 over Moke.

The Grand Finals served as an exciting rematch between two incredible players. Kawano had no interest in having a repeat of his first encounter and put on an incredible performance. In a display of pure nerves, both Kawano's Kolin and Daigo's Guile traded clutch moves and well-time combos to claim 2 games each. Pushed to round 3 in the final game, Kawano seemingly did the impossible and stood his ground with no health meter left to dispatch a depleted Daigo and force a Grand Finals Reset.

Commentators Vicious [left] & James Chen [right] jump for cover after Daigo pulls off an insane victory [Image Source: CapcomProTour.com]

With the start of the reset, Kawano's streak appeared to be continuing as he dictated the pace of the game and held the advantage of a stronger health meter. Although Daigo played fewer matches through the day, he never waivered in the face of the pressure. When it appeared that Kawano missed a beat in execution on the verge of winning the match, Daigo brilliantly seized upon the input miscues to secure victory. The fact that Daigo was able to do so a second straight time and thereby secure a formidable 2-0 lead prompted commentators Vicioius and James Chen to hide in disbelief before re-emerging for the third game.

On the brink of elimination, Kanamo pushed it to three rounds but Daigo would not concede as he put on a dizzying offensive display, pinning Kawano down with a barrage of sonic booms before jumping in to perform a flash kick and punch his ticket to the Grand Finals.

Daigo unleashes a final barrage of sonic booms to set up his final flash kick combo to victory [Image Source: CapcomProTour.com]

In a post-game interview, Daigo was gracious in victory, sharing through a translator that since Kawano's arrival in Tokyo, he got to know him and watch as he honed his skills and evolved into "one of the top players" of the game. But there can be no doubt that Daigo was the top player of the Japan 3 qualifier, and will be joining a growing roster of incredible Street Fighter talent for the 2022 tournament.

As the Pro Tour continues its trek across the globe, its next stop is the Asia Southeast region for the next qualifer, to be held November 6 and 7.

To catch more Capcom Pro Tour action, head over to CapcomFighters on Twitch and Youtube.


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