Turner and IMG, encouraged by the results of its ELeague competitive-gaming venture so far, have set their next eSports tournament for this spring — featuring 32 players duking it out in Capcom’s “Street Fighter V” hand-to-hand fighting game.
The ELeague “Street Fighter V” Invitational will kick off from Turner’s eSports arena in Atlanta with preliminary rounds March 27-30. Those will stream live on Twitch, with a one-hour recap show slated to air Friday, March 31, at 10 p.m. ET on TBS. The 24 players advancing from the preliminary rounds will compete in the regular season (six players per week), running from April 7-May 12 with live coverage available on TBS and Twitch on Fridays at 10 p.m. Expanded coverage will also be presented live on Twitch.
The tournament’s playoffs will be held Friday, May 26, with live event coverage throughout the day on Twitch and the final stages – including the championship – to air live on TBS at 10 p.m. The 32 players in the competition will comprise the top 16 competitors based on the 2016 Capcom Pro Tour, with an additional 16 players to be selected based on special invitation from the game publisher.
“‘Street Fighter’ has a rich history and an extremely deep and passionate fan base and we’re thrilled to further diversify our ELeague portfolio with this exciting eSports title,” said Craig Barry, EVP and chief content officer for Turner Sports.
Turner and WME/IMG formed the eSports league in 2015, and last year produced two seasons featuring Valve’s “Counter Strike: Global Offensive,” along with the first-ever open tournament for Blizzard Entertainment’s “Overwatch.” ELeauge was awarded its first-ever “CS:GO” Major, held last month in Atlanta, which set a record on Twitch with its channel becoming the first on the platform to surpass 1 million concurrent streams.
As of the end of last year, Capcom said “Street Fighter V” had shipped about 1.5 million copies after its February 2016 release, short of the company’s previous goal of 2 million. Founded in 1983, the Osaka, Japan-based company’s other franchises include “Resident Evil,” “Monster Hunter,” “Ace Attorney,” “Mega Man” and “Devil May Cry.”
Watch a teaser trailer for ELeague’s “Street Fighter V” Invitational announcement:
Pictured above: Chun-Li in Capcom’s “Street Fighter V”