RZR - Fuudo
Runner up at this year’s EVO, Fuudo already has a Street Fighter IV EVO win under his belt, but this year, during the Grand Final, he looked a bit shaken up by the scale of it all. Sure, it was the biggest EVO to date, televised on ESPN 2 and all, but he genuinely appeared to let the occasion get to him. Ranked joint fifth overall in the global rankings and with consistent top 8 finishes—but no big win at any tournament this season. Still, he plays as Mika and her frustratingly deadly mixups can beat anyone on the day, especially in these skilled hands.
Statistically the best Chun-Li player in the world right now, sitting at number eight in the global leaderboard. Finished in the top 8 at EVO and won three events in Europe, solidifying him in the global ranking qualification positions. Also won one of the Capcom Pro Tour Online events! Chun-Li is a ridiculously good character, possibly even the best character in the game, so anyone playing as her stands a real chance of taking the prize at Capcom Cup. Also, MOV apparently stands for MASTER OF VAMPIRES, which is obviously cool as hell.
FOX - Julio Fuentes
One of the three American players who sit in the global top ten and one third of the Ken ‘Trinity’. Julio had an impressive year, attending thirteen tournaments around the world, winning two and finishing top eight in most, racking up enough points to qualify through the global leaderboard in 10th place. Was part of one of the more bizarre moments in this year’s Pro Tour, when in the Grand Finals at Texas Showdown he called one of his Trinity pals mid-set to ask for some coaching. Controversial!
RZR - Xian
Another Street Fighter IV EVO winner, Xian is the master of the interesting character choice. He won EVO with Gen, he’s attending Capcom Cup 2016 as the only player (that we know, anyway) to be picking F.A.N.G., or sometimes Ibuki. There’s some debate as to how well a player of his ability would do should they pick someone like Mika or Necalli, but that’s just not his style. A fairly inconsistent year by his high standards, Xian qualified through his global leaderboard placing after attending a massive fourteen CPT events and finishing inside the top eight in most.
YOUDEAL MJS - Haitani
Another player who has had a busy 2016 season, attending events all over the World, from his native Japan to StunFest in Rennes, France to Battle Arena Melbourne, which was his only first place finish. Ranking as the best Japanese Necalli player, Haitani qualified for Capcom Cup through the global leaderboard. After missing out in 2015, it’s set to be a grand opportunity for another one of the Japanese Gods of Street Fighter.
HM - Eita
One of the players who made up this year’s historic EVO top eight. Much like the other players who have qualified through the global leaderboard, Eita has had a busy year, grabbing points in every region, winning two in Asia (including the brilliantly named Thaiger Uppercut event) and finishing in the top eight of every Premier event he entered. A strong first year in Street Fighter V for one of the best Ken players on the Pro Tour.
RB - Luffy
Red Bull’s only qualifier this season, after some disappointing performances from Bonchan and Snake Eyez. Luffy had a slow start to Street Fighter V, leaving many (myself included) wondering if the unique aspects of USFIV were so important to his game that without them he was a bit lost. It was far from the case. Luffy topped the European leaderboard, re-establishing himself as the region’s dominant force, and qualified through the global leaderboard.
DR - Ray
Winner of the Latin America Last Chance Qualifier, Ray—from the Dominican Republic—had a fairly quiet year. He entered five tournaments, finished top 8 in all of them, then fired himself into Capcom Cup by winning the Qualifier, making him the sole Vega player in this year’s event. If only it was that straightforward for everyone.
Another one of the former MadCatz team, Mago picked up where he left of in USFIV as a name you see in almost every top 8. However, despite a couple of first place wins, he officially qualified for Capcom Cup when he won the Asia Regional Last Chance Qualifier. Another one of the best players in the World who remains unsponsored, which is totally baffling.
HM - Go1
Another top Japanese Chun-Li player, Go1 has had one of the busiest seasons of all. He finished 4th at EVO, and attended events in USA, France, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Puerto Rico and his native Japan to net enough points to qualify on the global leaderboard. Talk about a World Warrior!