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One of the top esports sponsors, Red Bull, revealed today that Red Bull Kumite is coming back! The fighting game invitational skipped their 2022 installment, but is returning with the release of Street Fighter 6. But this time, some of the top SF pros on earth will take their talents to Africa on July 1st.

Red Bull Kumite got its start way back in 2015 and generally features some of the best Street Fighter players in the world. This year’s Kumite marks the first time that a major FGC invitational is taking place in Sub-Saharan Africa. Back in 2022, the company hosted a much smaller West African regional in Lagos, Nigeria. This tournament, however, will see invites go out to all of the top players in the world. Also, there will be a Last Chance Qualifier for anyone who wants to enter that includes pros who were not among the 15 invited players AND local players looking to get into a top bracket. And unlike most FGC events, the Kumite is single elimination. So it's win or go home for every match.

Red Bull is making a major push into the African esports scene with these past two events, and continues to be one of the top supporters of the FGC. Even more so, they are one of the only major brands(endemic or not), to physically host esports events in Africa. Red Bull Kumite 2023 also marks the first major FGC event in South Africa as well. Other esports such as Rocket League and CS:GO have healthy communities in the country, so it will be interesting to see if players from across the continent can make the long trip down to support their region.

Typically, Red Bull Kumite has been dominated by Japanese players. In fact, all but two Kumite have been won by players from Japan. FGC veteran Atsushi Fujimura, won the tournament back to back in 2018-2019. The only two outsiders are the UK’s Benjamin “Problem X” Simon in 2021 and South Korea’s Seon-woo “Infiltration” Lee in 2016. So will there be a champion from Africa for the first time? Or will Japan tighten their grip on the competition? You can find out with the rest of us on July 1 when it all goes down in South Africa.