Capcom and Street Fighter haven’t had the best track record as of late when it comes to appearing in the news. Hot of the heels of a generally mocked DLC reveal, rumors of a sixth Street Fighter game being shelved due to quality issues, and former face of the franchise Yoshinori Ono’s plans to leave the company, even more trouble comes for the game developer. Capcom announced via social media earlier today that it would take action against professional Street Fighter V player and former champion, Panda Global-sponsored Victor “PG|Punk” Woodley, for remarks made to an opponent and tournament organizer following his loss in a Capcom Pro Tour North America Qualifier held last week. Woodley accused his competition of cheating and lashed out at tournament organizers. Capcom said that Woodley’s actions were “a clear violation of the CPT Code of Conduct.” However, the punishment appears to not fit the crime in the same way it would normally.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) August 20, 2020
Capcom admits in the statement that the typical punishment for such violations would be a multi-event suspension. But due to the limited number of events being held during the pandemic, that the punishment was thought to be too severe. Instead, Punk will start in the loser’s bracket of the next qualifier tournament in November, if he even chooses to participate. Woodley’s comments to Tournament Organizer Alex Valle and adversary Alex Myers are allegedly based around his frustrations with the online-only tournaments and the game’s less-than-stellar net code leading to events with asterisks placed over them, much like many esports typically played in-person that have now moved to online-only play.
Well time to make this losers bracket run count. https://t.co/dv5ltwKOwG
— PG Punk (@PunkDaGod) August 20, 2020
While Woodley did apologize for his actions and even his opponent has expressed regret with the entire situation, it does raise a question over Capcom backing off of what would be the standard punishment for a player that is one of the biggest faces for the pro scene. An argument can be made that moving one of the best players of the moment to the loser’s bracket for a single tournament is hardly a punishment at all. That said, the qualifiers are a “win and you’re in” situation for the planned grand finals of the Capcom Cup in 2021, meaning that every regional qualifier counts. This year has also been unlike any other, and tournament organizers are dealing with a great deal of new territory and unknowns when it comes to handling what would traditionally be in-person play.
Woodley finished last year’s CPT rankings with the highest amount of points, finishing second in Capcom Cup 2019 when he lost in grand finals to fellow American Derek “iDom” Ruffin.