Momochi wins Capcom Pro Tour, forced to forfeit $46k prize due to lack of a ‘pro-gaming license’

Can you imagine how you would feel if you won a Capcom Pro Tour Street Fighter 5 tournament and only took home a measly $558? That is exactly what happened with pro player Yusuke Momochi, a Japanese junior high school student.

The Street Fighter 5 competition was held during the Tokyo Game Show 2019, with a prize money of 5,000,000 yen ($46,221) going to the winner. However, Momochi only received a small sum due to his failure to comply with one significant requirement.

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Momochi doesn’t have a pro-gaming license, something that is mandatory for Japanese pro gamers. According to Screen Rant, Momochi is a controversial figure due to his refusal to join the Japanese Pro-Gaming license system, something that ended up costing him a large sum of money. Momochi lost the Capcom Pro Tour prize money and only received $558.

Without the required Pro-Gaming license, the maximum amount that he and any other player in the same situation can earn is $925. There is some controversy surrounding Japanese Pro Gaming, due to the country’s harsh gambling laws, with tournaments requiring an entry fee being considered gambling, and seen as a way to entice customers to purchase a product or service. Some publishers such as Namco have tried creative ways to make sure the full prize money goes to the competitors, like sponsorships, but this remains a gray area.

The Capcom Pro Tour 2019 is taking place in December in Los Angeles, with Momochi likely to be one of the competitors. Currently sitting in fifth place and with the top 26 players going to the finals, Momochi will be fighting for a $250,000 prize pool.

But there was another gamer that was forced to forfeit the prize as well. Junior high school student Yuwa won the Puzzle & Dragons tournament, but according to Kotaku, players aged between 13 and 15 require a junior license to compete, waiving any rights to receive the prize money.  Instead, Yuwa received a trophy, a gaming headset, and a year’s supply of chocolate almonds and energy drinks. He later said on Twitter that he “received honor instead of money.”