This morning, Street Fighter V executive producer Yoshinori Ono dropped a bombshell on twitter:
Now I can finally breathe! 😀
Today we could make announcement about “INTEL World Open in TOKYO 2020”
We can receive good feedback.I’m so relieved…
We’re making preparation for TOKYO GAME SHOW event stage in tomorrow.
Thanks for your support! pic.twitter.com/YboTR34mdP
— Yoshinori Ono (@Yoshi_OnoChin) September 11, 2019
According to The Esports Observer,* this event will take place alongside an equally lucrative Rocket League tournament. The two events together will be called the Intel World Open. Following the Olympic model, players will form national teams, which will then gather in Poland for a qualifying tournament. The top-placing teams will participate in a three-day event starting on July 22, with the finals occurring the same day as the start of the 2020 Olympic Games. The competition in the team-construction phase will evidently happen online; the rest will occur in person.
Thus far, there are no details as to which countries are eligible, how many competitors will qualify per national team, or how the overall competition will be structured. Nevertheless, the World Open offers the potential for two major contributions to the Fighting Game Community. First, as Intel’s director of business development for games and esports says in the Esports Observer article, SFV is a viewer-friendly fighter that has the potential to appeal to a broad audience, thereby advertising the FGC to potential newcomers. Second, as we just saw this summer in the Tekken 7 tournament at Evo, there are many top-flight fighting game players who live in countries that lack access to the global esports infrastructure. If the World Open is truly as global as its association with the Olympics would suggest, then this event could see the rise of the next Arslan “Arslan Ash” Siddique, the little-known Pakistani Tekken player who announced his presence to the world at Evo.
One way or another, players have roughly a two-year window to train for the event and plan their approach. We will publish updates as they become available.
*update* More details about the Intel World Open can be found here.
Eli Horowitz (@BODIEDnovel) is a software professional and writer living in Pittsburgh. Hopefully his first novel, which is set in the FGC, will have been published before the World Open takes place.