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Red Bull Kumite is back for 2021. The fighting game tournament will take place this year in London. The tournament will be the first major one to be offline since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year. Featured at the tournament will be Street Fighter V, along with a showcase of the upcoming Guilty Gear Strive.

Guilty Gear Strive will kick the event off on Saturday, May 22. The invitational showcase will feature 12 prominent players from the fighting game community. In addition to the professional players showcasing the game, the event will also feature interviews with developers from Arc System Works about the game. The event is planned to run for six hours.

Then on Sunday, May 23, Street Fighter V will take center stage. Red Bull Kumite London will feature a 16 man invitational tournament. 15 of the players will be predetermined from the greatest competitors the game has to offer. The 16th slot will go to a United Kingdom player who wins a last chance qualifier on May 2.

Redbull Kumite tournament to take place in London
Image provided by @GDorison

Red Bull Kumite is significant in the fighting game community because of its radically different tournament structure. Fighting game tournaments are often open entry affairs, giving competitors big and small the chance to prove themselves in the heat of battle. Having Red Bull Kumite be an invitation only event allows it to be similar to events like The International.

Red Bull Kumite moves to London

The tournament’s original home was in Paris, held in France’s capital from 2015 through 2018. The event would then move to Japan in 2019 as a nod to the spiritual home of Street Fighter. A 2020 competition was not held due to COVID-19, but now Red Bull Kumite will go ahead at the Red Bull Gaming Sphere, located in London, England.

Previous champions include Masato ‘Bonchan’ Takahashi in 2015, Naoki ‘Nemo’ Nemoto in 2017 and Atsushi ‘Fujimura’ Fujimura in 2018 and 2019.

Josh Petrofsky is an aspiring journalist currently studying at San Diego State. Josh is a San Diego local of 10 years and is the current Fighting Game Coordinator and former President of Aztec Gaming, San Diego State's video game and esports club. During his downtime Josh like to relax by playing Apex Legends or watching old WCW shows from the 1990s.
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