Time slowed down at Evo Japan

Evolution Japan had a great Street Fighter V Top 8 from start to finish. Even the convincing decisions were exciting. Maybe it was because of the settings, the players or the stakes. It all blended into this masterpiece.

So when I saw the totals for each player, one number jumped out immediately: the average round time. Part of me thought the number was reversed but that wasn’t the case.

The average round time was 52.29 seconds. That is a number that doesn’t just jump out at you, it comes in and engulfs you slowly like The Blob. This was a slow, majestic masterpiece.

The 52.29 average time was about 7 seconds slower than the average round time during the Capcom Pro Tour 2017 season. Here were the 10 slowest CPT events from last year.

10 slowest round times - CPT 2017
CPT Online East Asia 156.14
North America Regional Final Open Tournament55.93
Versus Fighting Cup (Latin America Regional Final Open Tournament)55.63
Final Round XXI53.57
Northern California Regionals 1653.23
CPT Online North America West 151.97
Versus Fighting Cup (Latin America Regional Final Championship)51.77
CPT Online Latin America North 150.74
Fight Club NRW50.71
Fighting Fest50.55

There really isn’t an event to compare it to. Manila Cup was the only tournament to clear 50 seconds. If we want to read into things, eight of those tournaments were outside North America, and the lone North American tournament had notoriously cautious players in the Top 8.

It didn’t even seem like the rounds at Evo Japan were that slow when watching the tournament. It’s probably because every round of every game was so intense that time becomes something that isn’t accounted for in the players’ minds.

Plus, the only other major event of the year, Frosty Faustings, had an average round time of 46.7 seconds. That is one second off of last year’s CPT average.

It wasn’t one player who was the culprit. Six of the eight players were over 50 seconds. The two others, Storm Kubo and Itabashi Zangief, were under 50 seconds. The haves and have nots to the extreme.

Player Time
Storm Kubo38.45
Itabashi Zangief38.71
John Takeuchi53.45
Daigo Umehara55.65

It took looking at Infiltration’s stat line to make me look at everyone else’s stat line. After going through the rounds, it started to make sense.

The numbers from every Round 1 looked fine. It was Round 2 and Round 3 that looked funky.

Round Total Time

Now it makes sense. Round 1 felt like any other round in any other game in any other match in any other tournament. And after that, the players slammed the brakes hard. A 9 second difference on average from Round 1 to Round 2 had to be mentally taxing on the eight players.

In looking at CPT and Frosty Faustings, this was an outlier.

The CPT events went 45.57, 45.05, 46.52 in order of rounds.

Frosty Faustings, a Street Fighter V Arcade Edition tournament, went 47.12, 47.27, 44.58. Evo (U.S.) 2017 went 44.18, 41.55, 46.35.

With the more than 70 CPT events and Frosty Faustings, it’s clear the time stays close to each other. The six players who went over 50 seconds at Evo Japan understood the high stakes and chose to slow the game down as possible. The other two also understood but said screw it, let’s run.

With several weeks before the 2018 CPT season begins, there has to be some hints as to what to expect during the year. Will we get a Juri Army because of Infiltration? Will people have a pocket Abigail? Is this going to be a year of overseas players dominating the charts? That’s all still to be determined, and we’ll break it down as the year goes along.

I’ll take a safe bet on pace of play being nearly the same. We’re unlikely to get the grind we got at Evo Japan. If we do during the upcoming CPT season, it’ll be drowned out by the other events.