Group A of ELEAGUE's inaugural ELEAGUE Street Fighter® V Invitational kicks off tomorrow. The $250,000 event set up by Turner and IMG will be televised nationally on TBS, tomorrow April 7 at 10 p.m. EST. The whole event starting with the quarterfinals will kick off at 6 p.m. on ELEAGUE's Twitch and YouTube channels.
WWG had the chance to talk with ELEAGUE sideline reporter, Malik Forte ahead of the debut of the regular season in which Lee “Infiltration” Seon-woo, Victor “Punk” Woodley, Yusuke Momochi, Bryant “SMUG” Huggin, Thomas “Brolynho” Proença, and Julio Fuentes will fight to move out of their group. Only two spots are available in the playoffs that begin on May 26.
The remaining groups will be played with Group B on Friday, April 21; Group C on Friday, May 5 and Group D on Friday, May 12.
Everyone had to know, what was going through Forte's head during that now infamous clip in which Kenneth "K-Brad" Bradley and Joshua “Wolfkrone” Philpot shared an exchange of choice words based in a heated rivalry.
"I just wanted to let them both get a chance to say their piece," Forte said. "A lot of the stuff that has happened between those guys has happened away from the camera. My goal was to get them to shake hands and respect each other but it didn’t quite pan out like that," Forte said with a laugh.
When asked about his stance on trash talk in esports in general, Forte had a nice way to put it, "Talk trash….but keep it tasteful.”
Sharing his thoughts on Group A, the sideline reporter explained it was the hardest one to really pinpoint what its theme was. "Group A is an interesting group to me because it’s the only group we couldn’t title right off the bat. For instance, Group B is the legacy group, Group C is the death group, and Group D the Euro group," he explained.
When asked to dig a little deeper into Group A, he straight up said three players stand out above the rest. "SMUG, Momochi, and Punk."
As with any interview, Forte had to share his picks for coming out of the groups moving forward be we let him go.
"Group A: Punk and Smug - Honestly they’re the young guns and they’re just really good and they’re training partners, so I think the regular season we’re gonna see punk and smug.
As far as Group B goes, that one is tough. I think PR Balrog is definitely shoe-in to come out. I want to say Snake Eyez is too, but there's always this Justin Wong factor. I feel like he’s just one of those people that you can never count out.
Group C is even tougher. All these guys are championship caliber players. I think Wolfkrone. After the K-Brad thing and the way he weathered the pressure and the drama and still went 6-1 against so many kills. I definitely think Wolfkrone is going to come out of Group C if he keeps playing like he is right now I could see him winning the whole thing. Xian and Fuudo are kinda like neck and neck to make it out of the group I think.
The last group, this one is actually really easy for me. Nuckledu is gonna make it out because he’s Nuckledu" he said with a laugh. "Doesn't look like he really broke a sweat that entire day," he added. "I think second would be Phenom. Nuckledu and Phenom are just gonna keep moving on."
Malik Forte will be leading viewers behind the scenes and into player interviews and more starting tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET on Twitch and YouTube prior to airing live on TBS at 10 p.m. ET.