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In the final Capcom Pro Tour event of the 2021 calendar year, Infexious earned his spot to Capcom Cup by winning the second United Kingdom and Ireland event. The way he did was sound, but even I was surprised at some of the stats that came out of the Top 8.
To win the title, he had to defeat Problem X and did so with Ken. That was a surprise given he used Luke in Winners Semifinal and Zeku in Winners Final (more on that later).
It was a 3-0 finish in favor of Infexious, and Ken gets the notation of having closed out the tournament.
It was the first time in 3 years a Ken won the last match of the tournament, be it Grand Final or Reset Final. Prior to Sunday, Chris Tatarian defeated Young Hou on Sept. 23, 2018, at Never Give Up to win the tournament.
Infexious is the seventh different Ken user to win a CPT event. It’s really incredible it’s been 3 years since the last Ken CPT victory.
I thought the Ken stats were kind of amazing, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg with what Infexious did.
Sunday was Infexious’ fourth CPT event win. Him closing out the match with Ken makes it the third different character he’s finished a tournament with. He’s won twice with Zeku and another with Necalli.
From the database, Infexious became the ninth player to close out a CPT event with three different characters, joining Bonchan, Infiltration, MenaRD, NuckleDu, Phenom, Problem X, Punk and Xian.
Going deeper into that list, only two of the nine have closed out with four characters: NuckleDu (Birdie, G, Guile and R Mika) and Phenom (Bison/Dictator, Guile, Karin and Necalli).
OK, let’s get to Luke, because finally someone decided to take a chance on the character. When it didn’t happen last week during the second Midwest event, I thought it wouldn’t happen until the 2022 season. First one through the glass always gets bloodied.
Infexious took the chance. Luke became the 19th character used in a CPT Top 8 on their first or second week of eligibility.
This means the only characters that still have not been used in a CPT Top 8 match all year are Oro and Blanka. Oro has been eligible for 14 CPT events. Blanka was last used in a CPT Top 8 match on Sept. 27, 2020, by The Griffon Mask.
Oro’s prospects are unknown, he might go the way Cody did where nobody took a chance for more than a year. Our hopes for Blanka might come down to annual events where we have to hope the specialists come through.
I was hoping Infexious would go all the way with Luke, but he did not. Instead, he went with Zeku in Winners Final and then Ken in Grand Final. Three different characters in three separate matches, won all three and did not do an in-match character switch.
I believed that was a rarity and my guess was correct. In a deep dive in the database, I could only find one other player to have used a different character in Winners Semifinal, Winners Final and Grand Final, not do an in-match character switch and win all three matches to win the event. It was Punk, who at East Coast Throwdown on Oct. 20, 2019, used Chun Li in Winners Semifinal, G in Winners Final and Karin in Grand Final.
One for the veterans
While Luke did not close out Sunday’s CPT event, Luke did get a notable win in a live event.
Gamerbee took home the Global Esports Games title earlier on Sunday in Singapore, defeating MenaRD in the single-elimination Grand Final.
MenaRD opted to go with Balrog/Boxer in the final to counter Luke. Even after two games, Gamerbee closed out the series with four round wins in a row.
One of the things I noted while the broadcast was going on was the highlight from the hosts about Gamerbee, who is 42. At the time it was still in the preliminary rounds, so he had not clinched the win yet, but I was curious who was the oldest player to win a Street Fighter V event.
Daigo Umehara, who is 40, won the third Japan event of the year. That’s all I could think of. If you know anyone who is older than Gamerbee who has taken home a Street Fighter V event, let me know in the comments.
Not believing in Game 1
The commentary duo throughout the Top 8 of the event in Singapore repeatedly brought up a stance that got me curious: they were not believers in the importance of Game 1. It’s research. There’s still potentially 4 more games. The players are too good and can come back.
Of the eight matches in the bracket, the Game 1 winner won four. Gamerbee did not win Game 1 in Grand Final.
Were the commentators correct, that Game 1 does not matter in the long run of a 5-game series?
I pulled the whole Capcom Pro Tour database to try to come to a conclusion. Regardless of match length, the winner of Game 1 prevailed 73.3 percent of the time. Limiting it to just 5-game series, it’s just a shade under 70 percent.
In the CPT Top 8 on Sunday, 7 of the 10 players who won Game 1 won the series.
The results — and this is approaching 4,000 matches over the course of 6 years — are hard to knock. And remember that this is the Capcom Pro Tour, and that this is the Top 8 where every match means getting to the big show or not. Could it be personal preference or just a long-standing theory that the numbers say is false?
It could be looking at the results in the vacuum, it could be confirmation bias, or a mix of both. In the moment of eight matches, that’s a small sample size.
It reminds me of the initial debates about 2-X stats. All things equal, a player who gets to 2 wins first wins 81.3 percent of the time. But confirmation bias sets in anytime someone breaks the stat, the people who don’t believe in 2-X found their moment — kind of strange this has happened during every CPT Midwest event or big Midwest major tourney.
I want to believe that the commentary was about viewing things in the moment and confirmation bias setting in. If you told me that winning Game 1 puts you at almost 3-to-1 odds to win the match, I accept that in a heartbeat, no questions asked. I’m not dismissing the stat, and I’m pouring what I can to win that game.
It also creates a want to do research on the players and how they take a look into Game 1. If they view it as a research game, that’s worth pouncing on them to get that advantage.
It was a real strange commentary point that I had to take a look at.