Street Fighter V in 2021: A Retrospective

author
Femi Famutimi
4 min
Street Fighter V in 2021: A Retrospective
It's the start of a New Year and It's time to look back at SF5's best moments

Happy New Year! Understandably, not everyone is feeling particularly cheerful with all the stuff that is going on with the world, but humans have this incredible resilience that makes them so amazing. What this means is that we are able to keep plugging away and finding the little things in life that make it all worth it.

For a lot of people, that ‘little thing’ is fighting games— in this case, Street Fighter V. So, what did Capcom’s biggest fighting game have to offer in the year of our Lord 2021? There was a lot of excitement to be sure and all in all it's hard to argue that Street Fighter did not have a good year. 

Character Announcements

In 2021, there were five new characters added to the SFV roster namely:

  • Dan

  • Rose

  • Akira

  • Oro

  • Luke

Yes, I know Eleven was also added in 2021, but considering that he is simply a mimic character, he doesn’t count. Back to the characters that were added, Akira and Luke were of particular interest as this was their first appearance in the Street Fighter franchise. Some people were familiar with Akira from her time in Rival Schools, but Luke is a brand new character. There were mixed reviews when he was first teased, but it seems that there is a general acceptance after his release especially with how well he has performed so far. 

Tournaments

I believe this is where Street Fighter really triumphed and made waves. The past year saw a lot of tournaments, but the return of the Street Fighter League in both the United States and Japan was most welcome. Even more impressive was the incorporation of other teams into the US edition as we saw teams like Bandits (made of players from the Dominican Republic), Vodafone Giants, and Nordavind. This has made for a more varied tournament which has been an absolute joy to witness so far. There was also the Red Bull Kumite which took place twice and was one of the first tournaments to offer offline competition. 

Also, there was CEO which was returning for the first time since 2019 and featured a Grand Final which should go down as a classic for the ages.  Finally, Evo returned in 2021 and while it was online, it was nice to see the tournament return. Understandably several fans found it underwhelming especially with the regional format which made for a fragmented competition and there is a lot of controversy regarding the status of the winner of each region in terms of respect and visibility. This wasn’t helped by the fact that the showcase tournament which was to hold towards the end of the year and feature all the winners had to be cancelled due to COVID. But, all in all, 2021 was a blinding year for tournaments in Street Fighter V.

Crossovers

And lastly, the final huge highlight from 2021 as regards SFV was the crossover content we got. Street Fighter is easily one of the most popular fighting games of all time and in 2021 its fame only increased as for the first time, we saw Street Fighter characters available in Fortnite. Earlier in the year, both Ryu and Chun li joined Fortnite and soon after, Guile and Cammy were added. However, that was not all as there was also a crossover with Power Rangers and in addition to the presence of Ken and Ryu to SSBU, only added more appeal to an already incredible fighting game. 

2021 was a good year for Street Fighter and with Capcom Cup, and hopefully, a more traditional Evo, we can hope for even better tidings for one of the greatest FGs. 

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