4 Reasons Capcom Should Partner With Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega

With the rise of competitive esports to near-mainstream popularity, it's easy to see how crossover opportunities with other forms of entertainment can help build engagement and create  bigger audiences for all involved. 

Professional wrestlers share some stylistic similarities with the Fighting Game Community, with competitors building fanbases for their signature moves and prevailing narratives driving fan excitement and anticipation.

Two prominent professional wrestlers, Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega, have been interested in the FGC and gaming content in general for quite some time. They have become involved in the FGC and both play Street Fighter titles competitively. 

So, the question arises: should Capcom make an effort to work with these personalities? And, if so, why?

4. Wrestling Moves

Both Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega use signature moves that reference the Street Fighter series already, such as the "hadouken" move shown above, mimicking the fireball move of the same name that has become a gaming icon. Kenny Omega even has a "V-Trigger" finishing move as a direct reference to Street Fighter V.

These moves already exist and act as promotion for the series, and Capcom could only stand to benefit from capitalizing on this acknowledgement from their famous fans.

3. Crossover Appeal

Professional wrestlers build fanbases as part of their personalities. They know how to grandstand and entertain crowds, and they know how to make head-to-head faceoffs appealing. 

This video from CEO 2016 (which notably already uses the pro wrestling motif in its top eight production) shows an exhibition match between the two.

Fans of either wrestler are more than just fans of the sport, they are often fans of their personalities, so seeing them compete in another context (which allows for some of the same style and trash talk) is probably going to be entertaining to them as well.

2. Producing Content

Xavier Woods already runs his own gaming YouTube channel, and the clip above of his stream of Tekken 7 shows exactly how he can use his platform and personality to promote games. The title of the video reads like an advertisement (likely by design), and Capcom could work to help Xavier create even more Street Fighter V content.

Also, Bandai Namco put Bullet Club attire in Tekken 7 as a customization feature. For those who don't know, Bullet Club is Omega's wrestling faction in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

1. Making Fighting Games "Cool"

Many people in the world who enjoy watching competitive entertainment are waiting to discover what fighting game fans everywhere already know: fighting games can be cool.

Far from the stereotype of gamers (especially competitive gamers) as basement-dwelling social outcasts, competitive fighting games show how these hobbies can channel competitive tendencies for people from all walks of life. Who better to fight the stereotype than professional  wrestlers?

Not only are Xavier Woods and Kenny Omega athletes in the traditional sense, but they can act as a bridge between the separate worlds of sports and esports entertainment. They embody the deconstruction of "gamer geek" stereotypes and show how competitors can express themselves through the game.