ELEAGUE Street Fighter V Invitational held some incredible plays, but like all competitions, only one winner walked on top, with a grand final that ended with a monumental and expensive miss by his opponent.
Victor “Punk” Woodley defeated Arman “Phenom” Hanjani in the grand final to claim the invitational title and its $150,000 grand prize. Punk, currently ranked No. 1 in the Capcom Pro Tour global standings, won the nervous championship set by a 4-2. With so much money on the line, a $110,000 difference between first and second place, both finalists’ nerves were on full display.
With Punk holding a 3-2 lead and both players below 50 percent life in the final round of the sixth game, Phenom landed a hit. He immediately activated his V-trigger, then hit standing heavy punch into heavy Valiant Rebellion stomp to set him up for his Critical Art. It was a combo he had hit hundreds of times, but this time, he didn’t input his double quarter circle cleanly and his dragon punch move, Raging Light, came out instead. Had Phenom converted the combo, he would have held a commanding life lead and been in a strong position to force a decisive final game. Instead, the dragon punch missed and Punk punished the mistake with a Critical Art of his own to take the round, the game, and the title.
“That drop is going to be haunting me forever,” said Phenom in a post-match interview. “It’s the easiest combo I could do, but I just dropped it. I’m not happy with how I performed. It was very sloppy. Even from his side, we both played very sloppy.”
Ai “Fuudo” Keita finished in third place and took home $20,000 after losing to both of the finalists. PR Balrog took home $12,000 for his fourth place finish, and Xiao Hai and Momochi tied for fifth place and earned $5,000 each for their efforts, while Umehara Daigo and Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot each took home $3,000 for tying for seventh place.