The esports world is experiencing heavy change, as evidenced by Wednesday night's announcement that EVO would be going online. The Capcom Pro Tour often uses EVO as one of its flagship events and it looks like they're going in the same direction for this year's competitive Street Fighter V season. On Thursday, Capcom announced that the Capcom Pro Tour will take place this year, but it will be held entirely online.
"In light of the various travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines around the world, Capcom has decided to cancel all remaining offline (live) premiers, ranking events and World Warrior events for the 2020 season," reads the announcement on the Capcom Pro Tour website. "We recognize this may cause difficulties for our tournament operators and production partners, but we strongly believe that this is the best way to protect the community."
The new Capcom Pro Tour scehedule will now begin with 18 online regional tournaments for Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, starting on June 6 with a North American East event. All 18 regional winners will advance to this year's Capcom Cup. One of the remaining two slots will go to 2019 world champion iDom, while the final spot will go to one of the other Top 31 players from last year's Capcom Cup. This final player will be voted in by the community.
As of now, the 2020 Capcom Cup is still scheduled to happen in a normal offline environment, with the venue shifting from Paris to an unknown site in the United States. Whether this will ultimately happen remains to be seen, given how COVID-19 continues to devastate the world.
How all of this will play out also remains to be seen. There's already some concern from members of the Street Fighter community over the game's subpar netcode, so it'll be interesting to see if Capcom can pull off an entire competitive year based on online play. If nothing else, this year's Capcom Pro Tour could be more proof that online play will mean more than it ever has for the competitive fighting game scene.