This year's Tougeki (Super Battle Opera) qualifiers of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition begin today (April 29). Though it'll end on August 6 for some shops, Daigo Umehara is likely to play in May to avoid schedule conflict.
In case you don't know how it works. Players will have to pick which (Tougeki-affiliated) game center or shop they want play, and apply there. This's the first stage. After winning the first stage, they'll have to win a block qualifier (in the same shop or another). A block qualifier is where the winners from the same block compete for the ticket to the final in September. The process from applying to getting the final ticket can be done in a day if you choose the right time and right shop. (see shop & schedule here)
Last year, thanks to TKD's blog, we got to know what's going on behind the scene, such as Umehara didn't practice, since at the time there's no SSF4 arcade edition yet. And before they played, Umehara played "air hockey" with Bon-chan.
I'll post again as soon as I know who's his partner this year.