Despite the madness of 2020, this season of the Street Fighter League is heating up hotter than ever before — in no small part thanks to a confrontation between pros Victor ‘Punk’ Woodley and Gustavo ‘801 Strider’ Romero.
Fighting game fans around the world are eyeballing the Street Fighter League after two of the series’ top competitors got into a heated argument when a set left them especially salty.
The Street Fighter League differs from traditional fighting game competitions in that it is a team-based affair. Instead of 1v1 battles, the SFL pits competitors against one another in groups of three, where losers are removed and winners requeue. (Teams are also allowed to ban one character from the opposing group.)
On December 3, teams Alpha 3 and All-In — lead by none other than SFV prodigy ‘Punk’ and Capcom Cup champion Derek ‘iDom’ Ruffin — were set to face off, which ended in a heated encounter that no one saw coming.
It’s worth noting that ‘All-In’ had previously been undefeated in the SFL — a trend that was thwarted on December 3, with team Alpha 3 soundly defeating the opposition without taking a single loss amid their own ranks.
However, it seems like some salt was left on the table due to these results — as well as Punk’s trash talk in the post-game interview — as shown by a video that has gone viral among the FGC.
The video, taken by SFL host and former competitor RobTeeVee, showed Punk and 801 Strider getting into a heated argument backstage, which appears to have been the result of some issues with a monitor.
Things took a turn after Punk asked Strider if he was “f**king dumb,” to which the player closed the distance between them, seeming to hint at a physical altercation.
“Those are f**king fighting words, man,” Gustavo replied.
Luckily, Rob put himself between the heated pros, who then argued about whose team was better than whose — leading to a seriously biting moment.
“How many tournaments y’all got compared to me?” Punk challenged.
“Are you talking to the Capcom Cup champion?” Gustavo answered, motioning toward a completely unbothered iDom sitting in a chair nearby.
Gustavo later explained the altercation as having been the result of Punk coming up to their section and “talking s**t.”
However, Punk argued that Gustavo was “twisting things up,” claiming that Strider had asked him what he’d said in his post-game interview and “got salty” as a result of his trash talk.
It looks like things have settled down between the players, though, with Punk clarifying in a later tweet that there is “no animosity” between them.
“We all get salty, and Strider was salty,” Punk explained. “I’ve been there, I understand, which is why words are just words. People gonna say dumb stuff when salty, that’s how it goes. I have no problems with Strider and there’s definitely 0 action needed to be taken.”
We all get salty and Strider was salty. I’ve been there I understand which, is why words are just words people gonna say dumb stuff when salty that’s how it goes. I have no problems with Strider and there’s definitely 0 action needed to be taken.
— Panda | Punk (@PunkDaGod) December 4, 2020
Considering that there’s a whopping $150,000 on the line for the winning team, it makes sense that tensions would get high for the players involved — and the kerfuffle definitely has people talking.