As announced a few weeks ago, I will be doing some coverage of the next offline KI tournament held in Tokyo, Japan. This tournament, Kombo Klash Japan, kicks off on January 21st and features most of the mainstream players from the Japanese KI scene.
Before the start of the tournament I had a chance to talk to Ogty, well known organizer of local KI tournaments, and main organizer of Kombo Klash Japan. For a lot of the exposure that KI gets in Japan, we probably have to thank Ogty and the hard work he and others do to keep the KI fire burning.
This interview is the first of two pieces that I will bring to you over the next 2 weeks. Enjoy the read!
I would like to start by introducing you to our readers briefly. When did you start playing fighting games? And most importantly, why KI?
“In junior high school I played fighting games casually but it wasn’t until 2009, when “Tatsunoko vs Capcom” came out on the Wii, that I really got into the fighting game genre. Also, being a fan of American video games, I imported an Xbox One from Amazon. KI was one of those titles on the Xbox One that I considered a quality title.”
What are some of the fighting games that you are playing at the moment?
“Well, right before EVO last year I mainly practiced SFV but these days it’s 100% KI.”
I know you as a Hisako player but of course we sometimes switch characters or decide to learn new ones. Do you currently have a favorite character or a character that really interests you?
“Currently the character who has sparked my interest is Sadira. I think she is a lot of fun since they added a flipout and other moves to her ■■■■■■■ (in s3).”
We recently got a surprise with the sudden reveal and release of Kilgore. Any impressions on Kilgore so far? And what do you hope for regarding the two remaining characters?
"To use one word: difficult. Kilgore seems difficult and has a lot of potential for mid-air combos and unbreakables but as you know, you have to constantly watch his overheat mechanism. Oh, and that self-destruct mechanism, “Short Circuit”, is way too strong. Keits PLEASE!!
As for the remaining two characters slots, I definitely hope that they will be original characters rather than characters based off of any current ones."
When did you start organizing fighting game tournaments? Are KI tournaments the only tournaments that you organize?
“Actually, the first tournaments I organized were online and offline Ultimate Marvel v Capcom 3 tournaments. Right after UMvC3 was released I started holding these events. I have organized probably around 10 or so UMvC3 events up until today.”
What do you think of Kombo Klash coming to Japan for the second time? And what do you expect from the participants?
“Last time we didn’t have anyone from Japan attending the KIWC (after the first KKJ) but this time all of us, including myself, are aiming for a spot at the world cup.”
Are there any new Japanese players who we should be keeping an eye out for?
Of course, we expect a lot from the players who attended EVO but this time please keep an eye out for our secret weapon “Gemako”. Gemako is an Aganos player, who I believe is on a level good enough to hold his own on an international level.
We have almost come to the end of our interview. Just a few more questions on some random topics. There was a lot of talk about a PC version potentially bringing in new players. Can you comment on the situation here in Japan with respect to the Windows 10 version of KI?
“The PC release has definitely increased the number of players but the passion to continue to play KI is noticeably different compared to original XB1 players as the number of PC players that stick to KI has been far less.”
Any new features that you would like to see in KI? Or perhaps anything that the KI community needs to have?
“What I would like is a “replay channel” similar to what they have for street fighter. A channel to be able to watch good KI players more closely. That is probably what I would like to see”
Final question, what is your goal for 2017 with respect to KI and perhaps other fighting games?
“As I am putting quite some passion into KI compared to other titles, my goal this year is to finish in the top ranks of KI tournaments. Also, being a fan of (Capcom’s) “Versus” series I am looking forward to the release of Marvel v Capcom Infinite later this year.”
Okay, that is it folks. Please tune in to Kombo Klash Japan on January 21 (maybe 20th if you are in the US). Again, I will be posting a report after the event has ended, so please come back again for more special reports.
Thank you for reading!!!