Dreamhack Austin, the latest tournament in the Capcom Pro Tour, concluded yesterday with a grand finals that has gone down as maybe the best one yet for Street Fighter V. The two last remaining contestants were both the winners of the 2 previous and most recent premier events. Haitani, who won the Ultimate Fighting Arena, and PG Punk who won NorCal Regionals a couple of weeks ago. While Haitani only came in 17th place at NCR, him making it to grand finals via the winner’s bracket made it seem like he was still undoubtedly one of SFV’s strongest players.
But despite his 20 year long legacy being a professional at Street Fighter, he still couldn’t defeat the newcomer who isn’t even 20 years old.
Punk, using Karin, defeated Haitani, using Necalli, in two sets emerging from the loser’s bracket. The first set was 3-1, and the final set was 3-2. Haitani, being a player known for unpredictable risk taking and switching up strategies on the go, was unable to outplay Punk’s ability to adapt to each new style switch so swiftly. If Haitani started delaying his divekicks, Punk would learn to walk under them with the necessary new timing. If Haitani started to go for counter hit set ups at a longer distance, Punk would adjust his own spacing accordingly. No matter the situation, there was always an answer to it.
As per the rules of the CPT scoring system, Punk was awarded with 400 points. He remains in first place, with 970 points total. Haitani is now in second place with 740. The top 32 players on this chart will be selected to go to the final tourney in December, the Capcom Cup, and compete for a prize pool of $600,000, the most that has ever been on the line in FGC history.
You can catch the grand finals on YouTube now, as it’s already been uploaded by the official Capcom Fighters page, which also streams all Capcom Pro Tour events.