2016 Canada Cup: A Street Fighter V bloodbath

Daigo "The Beast" Umehara, 35, is one of the oldest professional esports players. Provided by Stephanie Lindgren/Dreamhack.

This weekend is the Canada Cup 2016 in Toronto, and it is the last Capcom Pro Tour Premier Event that will reward points. The player list is enormous, and a number of tournament-killers line each and every pool. This will be a bloodbath of an event.

The winner, as with every other Premier Event, will automatically qualify for the Capcom Cup, but there are other players who can enter the final without outright winning. Because of Chris Tatarian's absence at the Canada Cup, Hail Mary's Goichi "Go1" Kishida and Kenryo "Mago" Hayashi will qualify through the global leaderboard. In addition, several North American players, such as Evil Geniuses' Kenneth "KBrad" Bradley or Mikey "XsK_Samurai" Chea, could still qualify, though they'd need several factors to fall in their favor.

There will also be a "pool of death" for all players who enter through on-site registration. The winner of the pool might be a strong candidate for the dark horse in the tournament. With all the increasing incentives and stakes, this tournament is easily a must-watch for Street Fighter V fans.

Asia's incoming armada

The favorites from the Asian region are Chinese superstar Qanba Douyu's Zhuojun "Xiao Hai" Zeng, Razer's Lee "Infiltration" Seon-woo, Zowie's Bruce "Gamerbee" Hsiang and Red Bull and Twitch's Daigo "The Beast" Umehara. Each of these four players is a Premier Event winner, Capcom Cup-bound and in the top tier of Street Fighting elite. Of the four, Xiao Hai is the one with the most momentum, and he will look to add Canada's top event as his latest accomplishment.

The other names to watch from Asia include Razer's Kun "Xian" Ho, YOUDEAL's Fujimura "Yukadon" Atsushi and Takeuchi "John Takeuchi" Ryota. All three players boast incredibly efficient and innovative offensive styles, with fearlessness that reflects their youth. My favorite to stun the masses is South Korea's Park "Xyzzy" Han-Byul and his ridiculous Birdie.

The favorites to win the Canada Cup should be from the Asian region. The trends of the Capcom Pro Tour dictate that Asia is still the superior part of the world in terms of depth, talent and results.

The Western defense

The best hope for a western hemisphere victory is Evil Geniuses' Justin Wong, Team Liquid's Du "NuckleDu" Dang and Europe's BX3 TP-Link's Arman "Phenom" Hanjani. All three are world-beaters and consistently put up top results against even the strongest of fields. Although all three have already qualified for the Capcom Cup, this should prove to be a great warm-up and should test their abilities against some of the best in the world.

As with every North American tournament, the majority of the player pool will be from the continent, and as such, many surprises and killers can emerge from the pools. It will be interesting to see which player from the deep region can step up and shock the masses.