CEO 2019 Preview: CPT and SFL Bash at the Beach

It’s that time of year again: as summer sprawls on, one of the biggest Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition tournaments of the season looms on the horizon. Community Effort Orlando, otherwise known as CEO, is set to throw down from June 28-30 at Daytona Beach, Florida, bringing plenty of sun, sand, and high-profile wrestling action to an already explosive weekend of fighting game festivities.

Who will dethrone “The Alpha?”

Street Fighter V prodigy Victor “Punk” Woodley is taking heads left and right in the Capcom Pro Tour, having secured three out of five Premier Events thus far. Even taking a Ranking event under his belt, “The Alpha” is looking to be this season’s toughest competitor – but he isn’t without his rivals.

As one of Street Fighter V’s most consistent players, Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi is also a force to be reckoned with, who faced off against Punk earlier in the season at NorCal Regionals. With the duo’s famed rivalry in mind, their Grand Finals set was a definite nail-biter: but Tokido ultimately emerged the victor, having taken yet another win from his EVO 2017 opponent.

Although Punk holds the most Premier victories this season, Tokido isn’t his only adversary, by far. Fudoh’s Fujimura Atsushi went on to take the Taipei Major in Punk’s absence, going up against the likes of Masato “Bonchan” Takashi and Keita “Fuudo” Ai. While Fujimura is likewise a seriously consistent player in SFV, other top names in the CPT’s standings also stand to make waves at CEO, considering the performance of Benjamin “Problem X” Simon at Combo Breaker, or Yusuke Momochi’s hype Grand Finals set against Punk at Final Round.

Last year’s CEO saw a similar victory for Fujimura, who took Grand Finals against Zhuojun “Xaio Hai” Zeng’s Cammy. As Fujimura’s Ibuki remains a major threat to the competition, as well as coming hot off the heels of his recent win at Taipei Major, it’s no mistake to predict a stellar performance from the player this coming weekend. However, with Punk reigning as this season’s strongest competitor – and one of SFV’s most successful players, thus far – fans are waiting with bated breath to see how “Da Gawd” will perform at CEO, considering his record-breaking win streak.

Which team will reign supreme in SFL?

CPT competitors aren’t the only ones who will be throwing down in the ring, either; the Street Fighter League Pro-US 2019 tournament series will hold its Mid-Season Championship at CEO, following ten intense weeks of competition between its hard working players. While the League featured a cast of six teams with three competitors each, only four teams can make it to the Mid-Season finals, and fans have already bore witness to the pre-finale results.

Team Psycho was overtaken by Team Inferno 3-0 in Week 10, bumping them down to sixth place and ultimately eliminating them from the competition, with Inferno taking 1st place as the number one seeded team. While Team Spirit ultimately defeated Team Frost 3-2, Spirit’s standings were surpassed by Team Frost, who secured the final, qualifying spot in fourth place – pitting the Mid-Season Championship between teams Inferno, Gale, Storm, and Frost, respectively.

With the League providing a slew of hilarious moments, epic popoffs, and jaw-dropping, reverse one-character-victories, the Mid-Season Championship is guaranteed to end with a bang.

I’ll totally make this look cool!

CEO is known for many things, but two of them stand out amongst the rest: its non-stop weekend of incredible fighting game action, and, more recently, its star-studded wrestling showdowns. While CEO has boasted past appearances from wrestling celebrities (and of course, its famed ringside entrances for Top 8 players), this year, things are heating up in a major way.

AEW’s Fyter Fest 2019 is taking place at CEO amidst the fighting game action, bringing with it a slew of wrestling stars like Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega, Hangman Page, and more. Daytona’s Ocean Center, famed for such wrestling moments like Hulk Hogan’s historic heel turn in 1996, will see a unique marriage between wrestling fans and fighting game enthusiasts, alike – which is sure to bring a bout of historic battles that attendees will never forget.

Wrestling pros aside, fighting game professionals will also get their own stint in the ring, thanks to CEO’s unique opportunity for Top 8 competitors. Choosing their entrance theme and routine, qualifying players get the chance to walk into the fray in style, as seen in Du “NuckleDu” Dang’s 2018 entrance, which came complete with an R. Mika cosplayer, sporting a steel chair.

CEO likewise precedes the arrival of the Evolution Championship Series, the largest fighting game tournament in the world and the CPT’s first-ever Super Premier Event. The competition at CEO will likely lay the groundwork for one of the season’s most anticipated tournaments – but before it arrives, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition competitors have to throw down in the wrestling ring, in a hype show of strength, will, and bravado at the sunny beaches of Daytona, Florida.