Gate Keeping

So right now in the social media side of KI, tons of discussions are taking place. Same old same old to be honest. “Which Season of KI is your favorite/Why?” “Pro Stars: Do they matter or not?” , “Going 0-2 in offline events” etc.
All being discussed between top players and average players.

My favorite season for KI is still Season 1. Reason being is there were a lot more stronger (fundamental wise) players playing the game. Also Ranked, most played mode at the time, rewarded better play. Yes we all remember how broken the S1 cast were, but it still came down to fundamentals to keep you from eating those high, unbreakable combos. There were so much more Anti Airs and proper punishments going on. Also , the Rank system was really harsh but still rewarded strong play. Everyone wanted to achieve that Level 40 to get the Killer title. For the few of you who managed to get one, they can tell you how hard it was and how you had to play at your best. Almost like playing in an actual tournament. If you lost, chances were you were going to get demoted.

Season 2 came and changed that. Later that year, the KIWC was announced and one way to get points was through playing Ranked and achieving a Top 32 spot where you can no longer get demoted. It’s all about grinding and maintaining an average win ratio. Nothing compared to the win ratio to get to Level 40 in S1.

I knew there was a huge flaw in this system already that made it harder for “known” players to HONESTLY get to the Top 32. Lots of players that were usually in the Top 32 for S2 aren’t that good fundamentally speaking. They would BLOCK you if they knew you were a threat and can mop them up in a matter of seconds. This in turn forced the “known” player to have to grind that much more because they were never going to get those Bonus points from beating them because they were NEVER going to have the chance to play them.

I then decided to prove this and used my wife’s account. I played a FEW days out of the month, compared to playing EVERY DAY on my main account. Truth be told I managed to get a Pro Star for her GamerTag and actually placed higher in the Top 32 than I ever had playing on my account. She wasn’t even at a level 30 multiplayer-wise (number under your Profile Card in game) when she received her Pro Star. That’s how little I played on that account. I ran into so many usual Top 32 players that I would never encounter on my main account. Beat them and took their bonus points. That made it so much easier to climb up the leaderboards.

Now we have KIWC Qualifiers that you can automatically qualify if you get 1st, 2nd 3rd etc . It used to be only 1st place was an automatic qualify but not anymore for unknown reasons. Maybe because it’s usually the same few people always winning these events. Personally I don’t like it, but it’s not my Tour. It takes away the competiveness. It allows you to settle for anything but Number 1. It also shows how many of the current top players are lacking fundamentally. Look at some of the more recent Top 8s. How many jump ins do see not getting anti aired? A LOT. Anti Airing is the most basic thing to do fundamentally in fighting games, yet you barely see it in Killer Instinct.

Take SFV now for example. They literally just had the opportunity to get played at the White House. Yes, the WHITE HOUSE. Look at their recent Top 8s or even Top 16s and do the same for jump ins. The Capcom Pro Tour allowed Gate Keeping. Tokido for a while kept getting Gate Kept by Infiltration. Same with other players. They wanted to qualify for the Capcom Cup but 2nd place wasn’t enough because only 1st place was a guaranteed seed.

They then started to collaborate with other top players in their region. Coming up with anti character tech so they can better themselves in the MU and hope to take down Infiltration in an upcoming event. This in turn, just made more players level up as whole. Tokido finally beat Infiltration. They were the Top 2 players and many believed it would be one or the other to win the Capcom Cup. Sadly they both went 0-2 because other players did the same thing. They did their homework and eliminated the threat.

If we can get back into Gate Keeping both in Ranked and Qualifiers, I feel like the community as a whole can level back up to where it used to be in S1. It will make every player trying to earn a spot in the next World Cup want to learn more; starting in the neutral. From there, it will just roll down hill to the above average players etc. If we can get better fundamentally, then some of the original if not new players might want to swing back into Killer Instinct. This will then help expose KI more when the REAL KNOWN players pick it back up again like Wong, Balrog etc.


I understand why you think the S1 rank system was better, and while I like the S2 rank system for its loss forgiveness I dislike how it’s a bit too easy to get to the higher tiers and stars (no offense to anyone here who struggled to get to Killer or have yet to).

But I don’t see how increasing the stakes will make players play more neutral if their current style is working out for them as it is. Nor do I see it drawing in top players from other games.

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It’s a little bit of both. You ever watch the chats or hear in person while Top 8 or any part of a KI tourney is taking place? They ridicule how we have no fundamentals. You can’t disagree there.
If it’s that obvious that we lack fundamentals, why would anyone want to pick it up outside of KI? Same can be said about picking it up. If you have the fundamentals then you should be able to stomp them once you learn the MUs.

I feel like it’s more based on the character. I think Jago, Fulgore and Kim players play a slower, footsies based neutral while characters like Cinder and Gargos have little choice but to go a but nuts.

Gonna be completely honest, I’m not sure how “fundamentals” automatically makes a better game.

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I’m good with gatekeeping (heck, I played in the last KIPL primarily for that purpose :joy:), and don’t necessarily like that 4th place can get a guaranteed spot at KIWC. I personally despised the S1 ranking system though, which I felt was needlessly grindy courtesy of its absurd loss penalties. The system actively discouraged me from learning any new characters, because it just wasn’t worth the time and energy to lose 3 matches and forfeit a whole session’s worth of effort with my main.

On the “people had fundamentals in KI S1”, I guess my response is “eh…” No, they mostly kinda didn’t. JWong and Rog had fundamentals, and Grimmmz and Valle and FChamp had fundamentals, but no, most S1 players really didn’t. Wulf players abused his teleport backdash to get out of meaty pressure for free, Sadira players got rekt on defense until instinct shenanigans let them turn it around, and Thunder players not named Rico simply copied his vortex and got bodied themselves on wakeup.

S1 didn’t even especially reward you for good control of the neutral - it wasn’t until S2’s addition of the first-hit bonus that Glacius pokes actually meant something or that Jago’s DP really became scary. Before that, I didn’t even really have to care if I ate an ice limb or DP or two with Sadira, because I knew I could make it all back with a single unbreakable instinct combo. And let’s not even get started on Wulf’s knockdown pressure, whether dash-thru meaty eclipse or cr.LP->cr.LP->cr.LP->cr.LP->cr.LP->ok now I guess I’ll do my unreactable overhead. The latter of which was actually stupidly, stupidly good, a virtually infinite frame trap until unreactable overhead, that almost nobody used because no one realized how good it was…mostly because most of our S1 players also weren’t super fundamentally sound, and didn’t know how to properly lab up non-flashy shenanigans like that.

There was no mythical magic to Season 1 that made it more fundamentally sound, and in fact the game rewarded strong neutral considerably less than both subsequent seasons. I think a lot of the rose-colored glasses about that was mainly just about the fact that we saw a lot of long-time FG veterans playing the game at the onset, and so some of that stuff definitely carried over. But no, the larger community around them most certainly were not particularly “solid”.


Cinder is actually one of the more rewarding characters if you can anti air. Fired up dp, cr hp into air trail blazer or even raw light inferno.

Fighting games go off of neutral in one shape or another. It’s still neutral no matter what mechanics get involved after that.

The game is already good. It’s trying to get other players into it. I’m just suggesting a way on how to get them in. I’m not asking for game changing mechanic. Just stating if we can go back to rewarding SOLID play and the ability to Gate Keep, then maybe it can get KI more exposure like it used to.

You can’t lie, even Twitch viewer count has dropped for KI events like Kombo Klash San Antonio for example. Last year had over 1000 views. Last week couldn’t break 400.

Here’s the problem that I mentioned though, how does making qualification harder matter if many of the top players aren’t the most “fundamentally sound” either? If what they’re doing works, why should they stop?

But beating all those players in a game they actively played at the time felt great. It’s honestly what got me known in the KI community after being shut down by so many “elitist” at the time. It wasn’t til I bodied Wong one time while he was streaming. MyGod knew who I was and spread the word about Wong losing to me. Next thing you know, I’m getting challenged by players like Rico who I would never gotten to play before.

This then turned into a mutual friend/training partner. Started playing with the best and it helped in Rank. Very few people got past level 37 cause players like Grimmmz and Pretty E . It helped level me up and in turn helped me level up players like Sleep when he was trying to get better.

We all wanted to get better and the only way other than offline events was showing off our current level at the time. Finally we got level 40. Bass had it first then Sleep and I got it. We still played and grinded all year.

Now Bass is the most accomplished KI player and Sleep won EVO. They’ve had that drive since day one. Since the Gate Keeping days. It’s what keeps things competitive. If you baby your players then they won’t ever get that drive to really want to succeed. I bet if you ask any one of them if they’d like to see Gate Keeping again, they would probably say yes.

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I think Sonic’s question is valid though - who’s to say that 1000 people were watching last year because of “fundamentals”, or that the 3K viewers (random number) KI had at WNF in S1 was about fundamentals? People watch different games for different reasons…no one watches Marvel for footsies, and you don’t watch SFV for crazy air-dash shenanigans.

KI is a 3-year old game, and unfortunately, yeah, some people have left off from watching the game. But I think it’s a reach to see the viewer numbers decrease from year to year (as tournament attendance at big KI tournaments has often gone up or remained constant), and definitively say “if these players had fundamentals, everyone would still be watching us.” The two could be intimately tied together, or they could have almost nothing at all to do with one another. And Twitch chats are a uniquely bad place to gauge what the real cause is, and hearsay at a given tournament is only slightly less bad. At the tournaments I’ve gone to, most of my non-KI friends have actually been pretty darn excited about how crazy the game’s mechanics at any given moment are - they couldn’t really care less whether JagoBlake hit all the anti-airs he should.

Not trying to bash you or anything - you’re a great player and I think the conversation is worth having. But I really, really, do see the “we used to have fundamentals” argument as a red herring. The game’s systems have rewarded better management of the neutral progressively more as the seasons have progressed, and I just honestly don’t think the “quality” of our community (absent the pro multi-game savants like Champ and Wong) has really changed all that much. KI was and remains a young community, and a lot of its top players reflect that. But by the same token, they always have.


Solid play is rewarded. Strong fundamentals is rewarded. You don’t see that if the players lack it though. People don’t anti-air. Therefor people don’t think they have to in order to succeed. To fix this, we need more people to anti-air. How do we get more people to anti-air? Top level needs to show it. Either the current top-level anti-airs more or lower levels do and dethrone the top. I do agree with 1st place only though.

Shoutout to me, I made that post btw lol

Make it harder so it forces you to want to adapt better and learn the MU more. My main thing is Gate Keeping.

Unfortunately ranked gives you KIWC points despite the flaw in system allowing you to block players from playing you. That’s why I brought up fundamentals. It’s actually another topic I wouldn’t mind discussing but my main concern is Gate Keeping.

All I’m trying to say if you bring back Gate Keeping it will make players want to strive to be better i.e. the SF community with Infiltration.

They will collaborate a lot more and actually bring some useful info to the table rather than always complain. You can’t deny some of our Top Players don’t complain about specific characters . Instead of looking for a solution, they’ll make rants about how OP he/she is and request nerfs. They then have their followers believing the same thing and it’s just chaos.

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Hm. I get where you’re coming from, but I guess I don’t necessarily see the correlation between gatekeeping and drive. I think it’s really cool that you got to bop JWong (seriously, kudos - dude was nice at KI), but I can say that to a certain extent that same mechanic (beat top player, get noticed) still exists in the community. I got semi-noticed for putting up a good fight against Liger and Bass at CEO, and then I really got noticed after I won a KIPL. People I’d never heard of and a few “known” players almost immediately reached out to me for games and sets, and friends from on here and online started asking me about MU’s and how to train and the like.

I guess what I’m saying is that the hunger is still there for some people, even if there’s no name as big as Justin Wong to take down. The grind for level 40 in S1 was stupid. That’s 100% my opinion, and I’d stand by it until the end of time. But it worked for you, and for Bass and Sleep as well. But the S2 system worked for me, and made me want to get outside my comfort zone and learn other characters and styles, and through that exploration I found my character and my competitive drive. Gatekeeping at high level for KIWC - yes please. Absurdly punishing gatekeeping that discourages experimentation in Ranked - I’ll pass.

There’s a definite argument to be made that perhaps the current Ranked system is too accommodating (though I’d expect the data shows it’s probably less accommodating than we might think), but again, I don’t think a lack of online gatekeeping is what’s making people not watch streams or not develop “fundamentals.” Those same people would play just as well or poorly as they do now in the S1 system - they’d just have a slightly lower number beside their name to show for it.

This thread is moving too fast for my slow-■■■ posting :joy: TL:DR - I’m good with Gatekeeping for KIWC. I don’t think it matters in day-to-day Ranked stuff though. The people who really want to level up will level up; the people who don’t and just want to play around will do that instead.


I think it’s worth pointing out that this was fixed (unless it later got reverted or broken and I’m not aware of it), so even if you have someone blocked you can still be placed against them in Ranked.


[quote=“TexAceFGC, post:12, topic:16829”]
Make it harder so it forces you to want to adapt better and learn the MU more. My main thing is Gate Keeping.
[/quote]In my experience, this is more likely to cause others to give up rather than make them work harder. S1 was a nightmare for me personally, for example, and the ONLY reason I didn’t give up entirely was because of S2.

I’m not against a gate system, but S1 ranked set you up to fail, and hard.

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The only reason I request Gate Keeping in Ranked is because it gives you KIWC points at the moment. If you couldn’t get points for grinding ranked then leave it as is.

Since you can actually get points which in turn is a chance for making money at the actual event, then yea; I’m all for going back to Gate Keeping. Even with the flaw that I made a thread about proving it in S2.

Some of us can’t travel too much for offline events and are never available for the 8BBD or KIPL cause of our work schedule. So what we are left to is grinding Ranked. Sad part is you can make it harder for someone if they’re always getting blocked from the usual Top 32 players.

I wasn’t aware of this. I’m not sure if you remember or were part of the forums in S2 but I did do my homework on this.

Grinded all month on my main account and never played the usuals. The next month, played a few days out of the whole month and made it higher than I did on my main account. Also got to play the usuals and get that 1000 bonus points for winning.

Had screen shots of win ratios and matches played between the 2 accounts. My wife’s account even placed higher.

Always thought it was more on the Microsoft side. If you block a GT, you can’t play them in any game.

The block change was done either at the end of S2 or during the Ranked changes at the start of S3 - I don’t remember.

Well, to @xSkeletalx’s point, I think the game now expressly ignores “blocked” designations while searching in Ranked. I know it used to be a thing for some people to do that, but the patch to fix it went live quite a while ago I believe. Not sure just how effective it is though.

And while I love the KIWC, I can’t say that I think the devs should modify their matchmaking system to accommodate a slightly more entertaining tournament with 32 total players. S1 Ranked legit made people quit playing the game - I think the community has a lot more to lose implementing a similar system than it stands to gain for the marginal improvement in our World Cup.

And damnit - too slow again :sweat:


This is the part I just don’t understand. I don’t get how people can possibly argue season 1 was more neutral-oriented or rewarded solid play better when poking and AAing didn’t do real damage.