ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational Recap
All four Echo Fox Street Fighter players have been invited to Atlanta to compete in the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational. Tokido will kick off the action in Group A, followed by Momochi and Punk in Group B. JWong will close out the group stage for Echo Fox in Group C. Punk returns to ELEAGUE with hopes of defending his title from last year while Tokido and JWong hope to prove themselves after being eliminated before top eight in 2017. Throughout June, the fighting Foxes will try to secure their spot in the top eight for their shot at the title and piece of the $250,000 prize pool.
Tokido was the first Echo Fox athlete to compete in the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational in Group A. Group A appeared to be one of the strongest groups including Capcom Cup champion MenaRD, Challenger champion JB, Dogura, Luffy, and PR Balrog. Even against some of the most talented players in the world, Tokido is currently ranked as the number one player and was a clear favorite to make it out of his group.
Tokido started off the round robin strong by sweeping PR Balrog in an Akuma mirror match as well as taking down Dogura 2-0. Tokido lost his match against Luffy causing Luffy to secure first in the round robin shortly after. Tokido was not deterred by his lost and proceeded to beat JB in four straight rounds. Tokido finished the round robin by sweeping MenaRD and getting revenge for Capcom Cup.
By securing second place in the round robin, Tokido was placed in the winner's side of the bracket against JB. Similar to their previous game, Tokido dominated almost every match to take down JB three games to one and moved on to the top eight qualifier match. Luffy took a quick 2-0 lead in the series and was on the verge of winning the match. However, Tokido had figured out how to beat Luffy and was ready for anything Luffy could throw at him. After stealing away game three, Tokido won the next four rounds to complete the reverse sweep. Following his clutch victory, Tokido became the first Echo Fox player to qualify for top eight at ELEAGUE.
Both Punk and Momochi competed in Group B of the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational. Group B included another strong lineup: Phenom, Fuudo, Commander Jesse, and 801 Strider. Momochi had a great showing at ELEAGUE last year finishing in fifth place. However, Punk had returned to defend his ELEAGUE title. The two Foxes fought their way into playoffs but by very different methods.
Punk kicked off the group with a rematch of last year's ELEAGUE finals and replicated the results by taking down Phenom once again. Punk used Cammy to beat Phenom but went back to Karin to sweep Fuudo. Punk continued to show his mastery of the game by taking down Momochi in a Kolin mirror match. Commander Jesse was the only player to beat Punk to beat Punk after Punk chose to use Rashid in their match. Punk completed his round-robin by sweeping 801 Strider as Karin to secure first going into the knockout stage. While his teammate found great success, Momochi struggled through the round-robin and did not win a single match.
Only needing to win one match to move onto playoffs, Punk continued his dominance by sweeping Phenom to secure his spot. Momochi faced a much longer road to reach the playoffs. Momchi quickly dispatched 801 Strider before taking down Fuudo 3-1. Momochi only needed to win two more opponents and now had momentum on his side. Commander Jesse hoped to sweep Momochi once again in the bracket stage but Momochi had other plans. Momochi put Commander Jesse on ice in four games to move on to the qualifying match against Phenom. After winning three series in a row, Momochi continued his streak by sweeping Phenom to secure his spot in the playoffs.
Justin "JWong" Wong was the only Echo Fox athlete left to qualify for the ELEAGUE playoffs. While Group C was not as stacked as others in the invitational, it was one of the most competitive. Justin Wong would have to fight through Street Fighter stars like NuckleDu, Problem X, and Smug in order to secure his spot in the top eight. Unfortunately, Justin fought hard but fell short of the playoffs.
Group C was the only group at ELEAGUE where every player won at least one match during the round-robin. In the first match of the group, JWong fell to NuckleDu's Cammy but was able to make a comeback to sweep Brolynho. He traded two more series after losing to Smug but defeating Problem X. In his final match of the round-robin, JWong played his only three-game set against Snake Eyes but eventually fell 1-2.
Following his performance earlier in the day, Justin was placed in the first match of the bracket against Brolynho. Even though JWong took down his opponent in their first match, Brolynho emerged victorious during the knockout stage to eliminate Justin Wong from ELEAGUE.
Tokido, Punk, and Momochi will return to the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational on July 13 to compete in the top eight and fight for the championship.