ELEAGUE Playoffs Recap
Thirty-two players entered, but only eight made the ELEAGUE finals. Echo Fox’s Yusuke Momochi, 2014 Capcom Cup Champion and 2015 EVO Champion, was among those eight players.
With his sight set on the first-place prize, Momochi would have to climb from the lower bracket and overcome the fierce competition. His first opponent was 6-time EVO Champion and 2015 Capcom Cup runner-up, Daigo "The Beast" Umehara.
From the second the "FIGHT" logo appeared on-screen, Momochi pressed Daigo with a fierce punching offensive. Momochi continued his aggressive-style and finished Game 1 with a flashy Critical Art.
Daigo answered back in the second game with an offensive that culminated in a Somersault Kick. This forced Momochi off his aggressive strategy. But, Momochi found an answer, dodging Daigo’s Sonic Booms and pressuring him into the corner using mid-air Tatsus. This gave Momochi the chance to start another offensive onslaught and take Game 2.
By Game 3, Daigo had adapted to Momochi's game plan, using V-Trigger to create space, and countering Momochi's Tatsus.
Though Daigo took the first round, Momochi did not divert from his plan. He jumped in on Daigo again with mid-air Tatsus, but Daigo found an opening in Momochi’s defense and struck, winning Game 3.
Game 4 went back-and-forth but a whiff during V-Trigger from Daigo have Momochi the opening he needed. He put pressure to Daigo with Fireballs and baited a low kick, which he Crush Countered to claim Round 1. Momochi continued to bully Daigo with Dragon Punches in the second round and took game 4, securing a 3-1 victory.
Momochi’s next opponent would be Keita "Fuudo" Ai, who fell to Arman “Phenom” Hanjnai in a 3-0 sweep.
Fuudo started the round aggressively. Momochi tried to create space and start an offensive of his own, but was unable to do so. Fuudo’s overwhelming offensive gave him the first game of the match.
In Game 2, Momochi avoided getting caught in the corner again. He used EX Dragon Punch and EX Tatsu to give himself some breathing room and win Round 1. In Round 2, Momochi attempted to turn Fuudo's game plan back on him and to walk him into the corner. This plan backfired as Fuudo went on the offensive and won Round 2.
In the third round, Fuudo again forced Momochi into the corner. Though Momochi was eventually able to get out of the corner and deliver an EX Tatsu that drained Fuudo to a sliver of life, Fuudo was resilient and fought backing, taking Game 2.
Game 3 saw Momochi double down on his aggressiveness in an attempt to counter Fuudo. After Momochi claimed Round 1, Fuudo recovered. On a full V-Trigger meter, Fuudo called Nadeshiko and used belly flop, winning Round 2. In Round 3, Fuudo pushed Momochi to the corner again. Despite his best efforts to escape, Fuudo was able to keep him trapped, taking the round and ending Momochi's run in ELEAGUE at 5th place.
In the other lower bracket match, Joshua "Wolfkrone" Philpot and Zhoujun "Xiao Hai" Zeng faced off in a close match which Xiao Hai's won in 5 games. He would move on to face PR Balrog in another 5 game set. PR Balrog was victorious and faced Fuudo. This set also went the distance and Fuudo advanced to the lower bracket finals with a 3-2 victory.
The upper bracket finals featured Punk and Phenom. Phenom won 3-1, sending Punk to the lower bracket finals where he faced Fuudo. Punk earned a 3-2 victory and the chance to take revenge on Phenom.
After his match against Fuudo, Punk started to find his groove again. He took 2 straight games to start the grand final. Phenom recovered recover to take Game 3 but Punk was not fazed. Phenom was on the offense and backed Punk into the corner, but whiffed a mix-up. Punk capitalized on Phenom's mistake resulting in $150,000 and the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational Championship.
The Fighting Foxes put on an impressive showing at ELEAGUE with every member making it out of the preliminary brackets and into the group stage. Momochi was the highest placing Fox, earning 5th place and $5,000 in prize money.