GAME SFV tournament is making players qualify against CPU opponents

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A single-player tournament?

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UK retail chain GAME is holding a Street Fighter V tournament beginning on January 26 across more than 300 stores. The elimination series will eventually winnow players down to a final set of matches competing at Insomnia for a £1,000 purse in late February. In a somewhat baffling choice though, the initial series of qualification rounds will see players testing themselves against SFV‘s CPU instead of other players. Would be warriors will slug it out against the computer in a sort of time-attack, best of five rounds race. The quickest player to beat the CPU will go onto the next round where he or she can fight actual living humans. What?

I can’t imagine a sillier way to do qualifiers for a fighting game tournament. While I understand that a retail chain trying to organize a large-scale event like this needs to find someway of quickly cutting down the number of competitors that might participate, this has to be the most backward way to go about it. Especially when one reflects back on SFIV‘s CPU opponents. On the hardest difficulties, SFIV‘s A.I was absolutely merciless, completely willing to instantly capitalize on any opening and counter any move… Except for Zangief’s spinning lariat, which due to some quirk in the A.I’s logic would just blow up the CPU up every single time. Many players (myself included) cheesed their way through the harder single-player achievements with the good ol’ spin-to-win technique. 

Given how unpredictable and arbitrary fighting game A.I opponents can be, I can’t see this going down as anything but a shit show. How many great players will be eliminated because the CPU decides to turtle up for a match? How many amateurs will be able to ride the Red Cyclone all the way through the first qualifies? Good on GAME for sponsoring an event like this, but what an odd choice.

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