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Street Fighter 5
Street Fighter 5
World

The Street Fighter subreddit is sponsoring spots for EVO

r/SF is currently holding a fundraiser to send some of its top players to the biggest tournament of the season. Joe Munday, author of Gief’s Gym and organizer of the initiative, breaks down his goals for the sponsorships and discusses the results of his online tournament for the subreddit.SFV

player NeonVerte earned his claim to fame after taking out CAG | Dogura at Final Round earlier this year. After winning the set 2-1 in Loser’s Top 16, he made his way up to Top 8, going against Liquid | Nemo in the loser’s side. Although he ended up losing the set, Neon’s journey was ultimately a success that put him on the map as a definite threat. Reddit Street Fighter Header This Cinderella story is something that Joe Munday, moderator of r/StreetFighter and author of Gief’s Gym, hopes to replicate for more players. He, along with artists Quasimodox and MellowDIGITAL, are creating an initiative to help unknown competitors make their way to major tournaments. He understands that travel for budding players can be difficult, considering high expenses for flights and board, and the points distribution within the current Capcom Pro Tour doesn’t make it any easier, either. “These [sponsorships] are mainly in part because of the CPT,” Joe explained. “The way that points are distributed limits the player pool to players who can either afford to travel to all the premier events, or players who are sponsored to travel to those events. Pro players are beaten by people from local areas.” Joe believes that Neon’s story provides the perfect example of local killers’ potential, and wants to help that potential blossom into professional careers by using his platform as a starting point. “That was one the purest examples of someone who can’t travel,” Joe said. “As [Neon is] a college student, and a very talented player to get Top 8 at a Premier Event, it makes sense to give a little bit of power back to the regular people who are very talented, but don’t have the resources. Along with that, we have the platform. We can do it. There are so many strong players that aren’t represented.”

Subreddit sponsorships

The sponsorships begin with a nomination phase, where subreddit members toss out names of players they feel are worthy of fighting in the name of r/StreetFighter. Once the list is compiled, Joe takes the suggested players and creates a poll, after which the top two competitors are selected from the sub’s userbase. However, in EVO’s case, four players were selected. “For EVO, I took the top 4 players,” Joe explained. “It’s a huge event and points distribution is more gratuitous, so makes sense to turn more players out so they can gain more points.” Nominations can’t send a player off by themselves: therefore, Joe created an open donation pool through Matcherino, as well as worked with artists Quasimodox and MellowDIGITAL to create custom T-shirts for the selected players (which can be purchased through Teespring). Those looking to support these competitors can purchase their shirt and wear the design of their favorite nominee to show their allegiance. Joe likewise allowed the players to sell the shirts on their own to help further fund their careers following their sponsorship. “After [Neon] was our player at CEO, we handed that design over to him so he can use that on his own channel, however he wants to sell shirts,” Joe stated. “It gives them the ability to raise extra money on the side. They can make a little money after they’ve been sponsored to go to events.” Reddit Street Fighter T Shirt

Raindrop, drop top, iDrop

Two of the four nominated players have already been fully sponsored. One of these competitors, iDrop, was both shocked and elated at his nomination, overjoyed to be within the ranks of strong players like Neon and AM KIDD. “I was on discord with a bunch of my friends as the polls were closing, and all I can remember from that night was the pure excitement we all felt once we read the tweet that I had won,” he recalled. “It was very surreal to be able to win that poll with the likes of ElChakotay, AM KIDD, Hifight, PianoDensetsu, etc., who all have way more social media presence and tournament placings under their belt than I do. Thinking about that has put a smile on my face since it happened.” Aside from providing him with ample excitement, iDrop’s nomination has pushed him to work hard and buckle down in preparation for EVO. “Since being nominated for the sponsorship, there's a weight that I've put on my shoulders to not perform terribly at EVO,” he admitted. “As a result, I've been putting in a few more hours into the game, hoping to make sure I'm not too rough around the edges come game time. The goal when I go to any tournament is to always reach for the stars, but not drowning in pools would be nice. While I am there, I'm hoping to learn new things to evolve my game and ascend to the next level.” He also recognizes that the sponsorship has given him an opportunity to gain experience and level up his game by grinding with other top players. “The sponsorship is nothing short of great for the FGC,” he continued. “It gave me an opportunity that I otherwise might not have had to compete in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year. The past r/SF sponsors have been very notable up-and-comers, so it's definitely something to always look out for. One notable name from the weekly online tournaments is a Gief player named ‘Mhike2Stronk.’ He always gives me trouble and is usually my opponent in Grand Finals most weeks. He's a very solid player that I hope gets more opportunity.”