KI Tournament in Review

After an extremely enjoyable two days of KI, I would consider it an overwhelming success. I want to thank everyone, from Keits to Max to Sajam to Rukizzle, and of course - the players!!! What a magnificent display of the best game out there, and for everyone who made the trip, you are great! It’s amazing to see something we love played at such a high level. I had several friends over on day 2 and we had a marvelous, alcoholic time.

I’m not sure if we’ll have this next year, but from an event management standpoint here are a couple of thoughts.

1.) It was pretty clear who the best character in the game is (or was, for S2) - Wulf, followed in no particular order by Shadow Rico, Fulgore, Sadira and Spinal. We were fortunate that Swordsman, LCD, Rebelo and Diamond played out of their minds as long as they did. Shadow Jago was especially a problem in that he makes the game almost unwatchable for casuals. When you advertise as being predicated on 2-way interaction, it’s not a good look to have an excruciatingly boring series of electric swirls and characters stuck in the hitstun of 10-hit, 15% damage combos.

While there will always be balance issues, and the discussion can be had another day (require one full shadow meter before surge kicks in?) seeing as we’ll probably have similar problems next year how about saving some announcements? Alternatively, having “commercial break”-style entertainment could break up the monotony of the same four characters on the same four stages and keep people tuned in for the full 48 hours. It would also allow for sorely needed bathroom breaks.

2.) Speaking of streams, would there be some way to have the official stream broadcast the loser’s bracket? We missed a LOT of great matches. During the breaks on channel A, you could re-play some of the great matches that weren’t broadcast live on Channel B (Gutter/Diamond). Maybe make that a 99cent stream or something? Just a thought.

3.) House rules really should be random stage select. Aganos/Shadow/Jago/Kan-Ra/Devil’s Landing/Maya gets old after a while, and while some entrants were brave enough to try Aria or Hisako occasionally the constant dingy blue/light blue coloring really isn’t representative of all the effort that went into creating this game.

4.) Last but not least, how about some brief interviews with the participants? My friends were particularly baffled at the existence of PinkDiamond and wanted to hear more about her, but they also weren’t clear why some people were salty about PaulB, or what we were talking about with the amazing Sleep comeback. Some pre-recorded content might really help set the stage.

Hope this makes sense after four rums and tonic, but you all are great and you’ve made this nostalgia exercise into one of the great video game triumph stories ever!

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I forgot I posted this. Captain and Mount Gay, man. To clarify:

I had six people over. Only one plays KI with any regularity, and he hasn’t watched a tournament since the first EVO, because seeing how Wulf and Sadira broke the game kind of caused him to be an online-only guy. The other three guys were FG casuals, one who was there purely because of the Arbiter announcement. There were two women, one GF and one wife, who spent most of the time playing Final Fantasy 14 on their laptops while the guys played ping pong and pool and we put Twitch on the One.

Pink Diamond was the star. They couldn’t get enough of her and her matches were must-watch. The girls tuned in and were rooting for her, starting to talk about the game and shouting advice at the screen in a way that startled us. I guess that for better or worse, people still distinguish between the PinkDiamonds and Chereezes’ of the world and T players like Starcraft’s Scarlett, but whatever – Diamond has serious crossover appeal.

On the flip side, Rico went over like a lead balloon. That surprised me, but maybe I overhyped him, and I feel bad. I think a lot of it had to do with Shadow Jago, who was loathed (the one casual just said, “Great, so he’s playing Akuma.”). Generally, the characters/players that made people tune out were the ones that took away from the two-way interaction and forced blockstrings – for example, everyone turned on Nicky after some match (I forget which one) where he charged up Fulgore and then just played keepaway. The Wulf dash-through/throw shenanigans were particularly disliked, but once I explained that he was getting nerfed in S3 it became a drinking game to root against anyone using Wulf, so that salvaged the situation somewhat. Spinal was considered “cheap” but because it seemed largely limited to instinct he didn’t elicit the same reactions as Shago. What really sucked was that everyone was gone by the time Rico pulled out the amazing Omen counterpick and then flattened MyGod with Glacius, since they all left around the time of my original post.

But the good news is two guys have downloaded the game and are trying it, and both say they’ll stick with it for the Arbiter. So hopefully we’ll have the party next year and the stream quality will translate onto the big screen. Thanks again for everyone who made this a reality!

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Pink Diamond caught the attention of my girlfriend and asked “Is this why you play this game?” I said “Yes”. LOL

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Some Shago matches have been hard to watch. Sometimes 4-5 or more dash through eclipse stuff in a row.

But as long as it works - why not do it. It is super ambigious and even on block hard to punish.

But still the shago matches were no fun to watch and im happy that i wasnt the only one.

It’s hard, though. Fighting games aren’t always just about swinging wildly at your opponent’s face until somebody dies, which might be the most entertaining style to watch but is not sustainable at tournament level. Not everybody can make Rebelo’s play style work.

If it was just complaints about Shadow Jago, then I could maybe see it. But if they dislike Shago mixups, Fulgore runaway, Spinal pressure, and Wulf footsies… I dunno what they do like? Rico played keepaway with Glacius in grand finals, I can’t imagine they would have liked that (except for the fact that he was beating on Wulf, which your group was rooting against I suppose).

Part of playing any fighting game, KI or SF4/SF5 or whatever, is that you have to get used to playing against different styles and you have to get used to fighting things you might think are unfair, because this definition of unfair changes depending on who you ask and many feelings of unfairness aren’t rooted in anything concrete. It’s fine to root against the playstyles you personally dislike (we all do it), but your group seemed to dislike a wide variety of styles all at the same time, so I’m not sure what they were hoping KI would be like.

I think the stuff they disliked was the stuff that gave one side perceived excessive momentum. Again, it’s probably my fault by hyping KI’s 2 way interaction, but generally the stuff that gave one person all the control, or perceived control, caused people to look away and start talking (I had to explain how KI was different from Marvel after Bass popped instinct, for example). I was surprised that they seemed indifferent to Kan-Ra, but then again he wasn’t really selected often.

Again, these were amateurs in it to be entertained and learn about the game. None of them are really die-hards besides me, and they left early. For what it’s worth two of the guys who had never played before said they’ll try the F2P on Season 3 and really look forward to Combo Assist mode (including Arbiter guy) so I think it was a success.

Yeah people say he does not do damage so it balances out but Jesus Shago has every tool under the sun and his back dash on wake up is insanely good. Shago makes it so you play his game not your own and even if you do get the upper hand he can easily run away and just fireball to win.

Just meaty his dash. It isn’t invincible on start up.