The 2018 Capcom Pro Tour began much like the 2016 circuit did. Final Round 2018's Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition tournament concluded with a meeting between Seonwoo "Infiltration" Lee and Hajime "Tokido" Taniguchi. And just like in 2016, the event ended with Infiltration standing tall as the winner.
If there was a story to Grand Finals, it was Infiltration's new bag of tricks. He showed off just how much he's learned with Menat, not only withstanding Tokido's best Akuma play, but also flustering him as the Evo 2017 champion tried to adapt.
But he Grand Finals were close throughout, as Tokido constantly worked to adjust to Infiltration's Menat. He would end up resetting the bracket.
If this story looks familiar, it's because these two same competitors met in the Grand Finals of Final Round 19 in 2016. Infiltration won there and went on to terrorize the Capcom Pro Tour that year, right up until he had an uncharacteristically bad Capcom Cup.
Infiltration's funk continued all the way through all of 2017, mainly because of the Season 2 nerfs to his main character Nash. But he proved to be a major wild card at Capcom Cup 2017, coming within a hair of winning the Last Chance Qualifier and nearly turning that entire tournament on its head. Now that he's won Final Round and found a new main character in Menat, with a solid backup in Juri, it looks like the old Infiltration is back. That's bad news for the rest of the Capcom Pro Tour field.
Infiltration and Tokido first renewed their rivalry in the Winners Finals. The two players largely went toe-to-toe, as Infiltration often flustered Tokido with his Menat play while Tokido worked to adapt to this unfamiliar matchup. In the end, Infiltration was able to outlast his nemesis and advance to Grand Finals.
Tokido's road to Grand Finals from there wasn't easy. Hyungsuk "Verloren" Kong was not an easy out, but Tokido was just able to hold on against his Cammy.
The Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition Top 8 began in dramatic fashion, with Infiltration taking the stage wearing a Monster Energy T-shirt. However, he quickly pulled it off and threw it into the crowd to reveal a Panda Global jersey. Yes, Infiltration is now playing under the Panda Global umbrella, with the move officially announced just minutes later.
The acquisition is a major coup for esports squad Panda Global, who had recently made news for parting ways with top North American player Victor "Punk" Woodley.
Infiltration takes home 60 percent of the Final Round 2018 prize pool for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and will start this year's Capcom Pro Tour at the top of the standings.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Capcom Pro Tour 2018 Begins with Infiltration's Revenge at Final Round
The old men of fighting games aren't going anywhere it seems.