Capcom’s forthcoming Capcom Cup competition, featuring the best Street Fighter 5 players in the world competing for a $300,000 prize pool, will be run entirely on personal computers. Capcom Fighters announced on Twitter that all battles would take place on PCs with 144Hz screens.
Input lag is the delay between pressing a key on a keyboard or pressing a button on a game controller and the corresponding action appearing on screen. The business doesn’t say what hardware will be used in these PCs (or whether they’ll just utilise gaming laptops), but the move is intended to eliminate latency. For competitive players, low input lag is a must in the fighting game arena, where even a split second delay in a punch or kick may change the course of a match.
Players of Street Fighter 5 on the PlayStation 4 have complained for a long time about the console’s input lag, and the PlayStation 5 doesn’t seem to have fixed the issue much. After the covid epidemic hit, many players switched to PC from PlayStation4, according to Arman Hanjani, a Street Fighter pro who goes by the moniker Phenom in competitions, who spoke with The Verge.
Over the past three years, “we’ve all been playing on PC basically,” Hanjani explains. “That’s the sweet spot,” one player said. That, in addition to the fact that the game runs smoother on PC, is probably what swayed Capcom to make the call it did. Street Fighter veterans like Arturo Sanchez, aka Sabin, have been advocating for PC tournaments of Street Fighter 5 for quite some time.
While last year’s MSI-sponsored Defend the North event gave us a taste of what an all-PC Street Fighter 5 tournament may look like, lesser competitions are unlikely to follow its path. Event organisers may not be able to afford to buy and maintain enough gaming PCs to accommodate hundreds or thousands of participants, as noted by Supercombo.gg co-founder Kevin Higgins.
On top of that, as Higgins points out, input latency isn’t necessarily uniform across all devices. This may be because of minor setup differences across devices or because the event organiser forgot to update a driver on one of the PCs. Consoles with more consistent performance levels make it easier (and cheaper) to provide a level playing field.
It’s unfortunate that it took one of the largest tournaments until seven years after Street Fighter 5’s premiere to enable PC play, but better late than never. Other prominent fighting game events may or may not make the switch to PC (although it might not happen at Evo, since Sony partially owns it).
Hanjani predicts that this is the final Capcom Cup for Street Fighter 5, and that it is going out with a bang. All of us will be able to perform at our peak levels. On February 12th, the commencement of the Capcom Cup will be held.
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