Pot Bonus Distribution for 2017

I know a post a lot, but I’m a man of many words.

With the Kilgore community fund well underway it has come to my attention that pot bonuses are more than likely going to be in effect throughout the 2017 season for both offline and online events. For the last few days this subject has been brought up in various stream chats talking about this very topic and so I wanted to give my personal feedback on the matter from the perspective of a competitive KI player who travels.


Most of the time I would say that payouts for KI are up to the discretion of the tournament organizers. I remember back at EVO 2015 Killer Instinct received a $50,000 pot bonus the biggest one we have ever seen for this game however it was decided that it would be distributed to top32 as apposed to just top8. Personally I’m still upset to this day that occurred. With about half the pot going to the winner, already the rest is usually slim pickings and it felt pretty odd as a 4th place contender to only received $2,000 as apposed to the $5,000+ I would of received if they had otherwise paid out to just top8.

This is important because it rewards the competitors who played well which is what tournaments are suppose to be about, finding the best of the best; not giving players pity pay just to reward people for showing up. This by no means is an insult or shots fired to anyone but it overall just devalues what it means to place high at the event. Honestly I could of bought my first car if they had paid out just to top8 haha just saying.

I know Killer Instinct World Cup is already set in stone for paying out top32 but I feel this should change in the future.

Offline Vs Online

During the 2017 KI Ultra Tour it seems the plan is to focus heavily on online events more than ever as this is a critical component to the KI community currently. Online events are great, they offer the means for players to experience partially what it’s like to compete and test their skills against veterans from the comfort of their own homes not to mention the ridiculous netcode.

My problem with online events comes into play when they start to devalue offline events which carry more weight with the public and ability to grow the game. While there are many reason why people don’t want to travel, not showing up up and building our presence at offline events could be a reason why we aren’t at EVO this year. More recently I traveled to Frosty Faustings which had a $1,000 pot bonus. My reward for placing 3rd was only $150. I spent $550 to travel there which does not include food or other amenities required to travel meaning my net loss was around $400 for doing relatively well at the event. The winner received $500 of the bonus which means they probably broke even which is also weird. The final KI Pro League is coming up which has a $1500 pot bonus; while not much more it doesn’t really make any sense to offer online events more money vs offline events.

Regardless of the argument being people should travel for fun instead of money, there are simply people who don’t view it like that. People treat tournaments as an investment especially the more competitive or top players in their game. Don’t get me wrong I 100% feel Online events are awesome and in some way can do better than offline events however for the future I think this mentality should be considered for future planning of pot bonus spread.

Money drives players, it makes people work and player harder when they know something is on the line. You want more exiting matches but we have to provide incentives for players to travel.

1 Like

Man, times have changed where when i bought my first car, its was just a beater for around 1k i think.

As far as payouts? Why the hell not? Top 8, even top 3 payouts could and i suppose, should, be a standard. But each TO will run their tourneys how they want.

With online vs offline, in a few short words, i like the offline, i can actually see my opponent feel. let me throw a question at you. Ive kinda seen a model develop in the last few years in MLG/ESL and the like. They do a sort of seasonal approach of online matches that lead to a season finale that is usually played live. Now, the season part is irrelevant. But what would your thoughts be to this sort of approach?

For me, its a little less out of pocket for players, sets up for a ‘grander’ stage to play on, and takes advantage of KI’s strength in its netplay. But it does make for kinda … maybe the best word is ‘encouraging’ … players to play online events.

So you suggest about focusing the pot in fewer players, so the amount of players who get some money is smaller, and then a big number of players get nothing (pot wise) for travelling and supporting KI. In your Evo example, you received less money than focusing the pot in top 8, but a bigger number of people got money, so they could recover their investment, and maybe go for more tournaments

You know, I believe that around 20 people who get something back from investing into travelling and participate tournaments would attract more people than making 8 people get a bigger pot. At least from monetary perspective.

Because in your Evo example, you may got less money,but maybe #17 guy covered his travelling back, and he may go (motivated!) for the next tournament. If only top 8 gets money, then 9 and below will get 0, and may not go for more tournaments.

About travelling to Frosty, which cost you around 500, and the first placement takes around 500… well, money wise,that was risky. If you only care for the money, that was a dumb investment. You probably would loss money even winning. So I don’t see why complain there. If I go from Europe(900$ or more) to compete Frosty(500$ for winning)… I’m losing money. I acknowledge that if I have to go to tournament, better be one where the pot covers my spendings IF I only care for the money.

But maybe it’s because you are young Larry. Many FG veterans travelled for no money, maybe only food spendings. Because money it’s the goal of every tournament competitor, but passion should be present too.

If someone only attends to tournaments for money… better he is a ■■■■■■■ beast. Better he wins most of them, and places well when not.

Also, online tournaments give a chance to people like me, who doesn’t live in the USA. Maybe more advertising could be used for online tournaments, like big announces on the forums News section,so MORE people come to participate in online tournaments. Because if people acknowledge how good this game goes online, more people will try to compete around the world, and maybe travelling to local offline tournaments


Trust me - compared to some of us here, you don’t and aren’t. :wink:

As for the topic, I can see how both viewpoints are valid. From your perspective, I agree - I watched Pink Diamond at CEO last year walk away with an envelope labeled $15 - and she was what? Top 5? That was pitiful by tournament standards (granted, I only saw the envelope - it may not even have been the prize money at all; I only assume it was, because I saw her pocket it after she left the stage when top 8 were lined up and praised). However, I do like the idea of a wider spread to entice a wider audience. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I think we just need more money, making top 8 worth it while also rewarding the top 32 to some degree.


Top 32 I don’t think deserve money it’s a competition they don’t deserve money unless they make top 8. All this will do make the people who worked hard and make top 8 feel worse because the ended when less than they deserved. Yes it’s for fun but money is important and I just wouldn’t go to tournaments if I keep coming out at a loss. But I also believe Microsoft needs put money into the pot bonuses for ki.

You know what the online vs. offline debate kind of reminds me of. My parents watching football. They always complain about not being able to actually go there and see it in person. Which always confuses me because of all of the negative aspects of going to the game, rather than staying home and watching it on tv. It’s the same kind of thinking. Certain people just prefer going to the events. An online tournament just doesn’t feel right to them. And that’s okay. People always will like different things.

What you need to understand about double elimination is that, even with great seeding, it is really only an accurate method of finding out who the best two players are that day. Everything past top 2 is a crapshoot. You can increase the typical ‘accuracy’ of that by seeding really well based on previous results, but its never perfect.

This is why, I feel, that payouts must be top heavy, and then drop dramatically after top 2 so that a lot more people can get some reward for their performance.

I went to Seasons Beatings and watched FingerCramp Jago and Marn eliminate Daigo, but neither of them made it to the top 8 to get paid. Deeper payouts, based on bracket size, are a must. I believe that nearly the top 10% of players in a tournament should be getting some money back (if the prize pool allows). They fought hard and performed well. If there was real money in any of this, those ‘low’ payouts would be thousands instead of a pat on the back, but we are not there yet. Instead, we need to change the culture so that instead of top players getting huffy that they didn’t win enough, more upper mid level players are getting SOMETHING from time to time, encouraging them to continue on the path and improve.

TLDR: Double Elim is not very accurate, tons of great players don’t get paid because of the FGC’s extremely dated “only the winner matters” attitude. I support payouts deeper into the bracket, at roughly 10% of participants, for open tournaments.


Yeah I also don’t really see how our focus on online tournaments is a bad thing. I know I wouldn’t have shown up at EVO if I didn’t do pretty well in some 8BBD’s.


I usually placed extremely low in the 8BBDs, but I went to EVO to support KI at majors. Even though it didn’t make it back, I feel like I did my duty.


I dont know… i think top 5 to top 10 is fine for money. But thats it…

I don’t have a horse in this race, so to speak (although I’m tempted to agree with @thekeits on the strength of his logic). But I did just want to point out that there’s an alternative to arguing over how the pie should be sliced, and that’s to make a bigger pie. Making a bigger pie will help everyone no matter how you slice it.

Making a bigger pie is harder but it’s a much better long term strategy. This would involve growing the community, but also things like making sure the tournament players are good ambassadors for the game. Daigo is an ambassador for SF. He has a reputation and his presence generates interest in events. He gets paid to play exhibitions against rappers. He’s going to get paid even if he doesn’t win every tournament. Making the pie bigger includes growing the industry so sponsors can come in and support players and so people can professionalize their tournaments etc. not just making bigger pot bonuses.

Not to pick on you Larry, but as an ambassador for the game I think you could do a lot better. I think the blowback from the Kilgore fund is a bit of an indication that the playerbase for KI isn’t super happy with the tournament players right now. Posting an open letter that amounts to “fix the pot bonuses so I get paid more,” isn’t a politically astute move in this environment. Neither is constantly complaining about the game.

It could be that you’re the patron saint/martyr of KI who gives selflessly to develop the scene out of pure love. But you don’t come across that way and in marketing (which is what you are doing whether you know it or not) you don’t come across as a desirable brand.




I think the amount of attention/value that gets placed on “Online vs Offline” is a valid and interesting conversation, and one I was recently having with @ZeroSyndicate.

As it relates to the online vs offline discussion, I personally think that online has to some extent “saved” (hate that word, but can’t think of another that is more apt) KI at the competitive level. Even when KI in S2 had 16 entrants for events with $1000 pot bonuses, we had the 8BBD throwing 100+ man tournaments, tournaments where we got to see a huge variety of character being played in a bunch of different styles. Seeing KI’s onlines is what got me to eventually come to an offline, not the other way around, and I know that I’m not alone on that. There’s an argument to be made for KIWC points or prize money perhaps that online is perhaps too stressed, and possibly that KI’s great online scene has hurt us at the local tourney level, but on the whole I think KI’s emphasis on great net play and tournaments has in fact grown the game. KOF14 proves that the absence of great netcode doesn’t automatically mean a scene will travel. KI’s community is largely new to the FGC and isn’t used to traveling, so great online events are often the biggest gateway they have to seeing how great a big tournament free-for-all can be.

On the split of pot bonuses, I fall on the side that says payouts should indeed be split further down the pot. Depending on tournament size, I think Top 32 should generally be getting paid something. So much of tournaments is just who you play and when - I won my pool at Evo and then ran into Thompxson. If your argument is that compensation fuels attendance, then I really can’t see in what world narrowing the pot entices more people to come. By all means I think Top 3 should get the bulk of the money, but great players that make it into Top 16 (or Top 32 for a big enough event) should also get something, because getting something is a way to incentivize those players to actually come back.

Big tournaments aren’t made up of a bunch of people who are trying to get first place. They’re made up of online warriors and casual-ish players who like the game and think competing would be fun. The “only the absolute best should get paid, and they should get paid as much as humanly possible because they’re the best” mentality is precisely what keeps those guys from wanting to support the scene. Guys have literally said “I want to buy Kilgore, but I don’t want to support those entitled jerk pro players.” I think that’s the wrong attitude, but it’s precisely that “I’m good, so you should come out and give me your entry money” mentality that keeps those people on their couches and just tuning out the offline scene. The players who put the work in to qualify for KIWC all* deserve something, whether a monetary payout or the medals or whatever, because those are the people who have participated in multiple events (online and off) all year and given the community the opportunity to see great high-level Killer Instinct play. That should be rewarded by the TO, and I’m glad that’s the route Brandon is taking.

If your competitive scene is only comprised of the people who want to get first place, then I’d submit to you your competitive scene probably isn’t very big. Making the payouts reflect that only the absolute best players mean anything is a poor message to send, and does nothing at all to grow the scene.


So couple things, and you know this from our conversation. I think the online tournaments should NEVER go away. It is indeed a staple of this scene especially and should continue to be celebrated. My only comment on this was in regard to KIWC qualification and how online gets triple the opportunities to travel whereas offline does not. Offline you spend money to travel to events to attempt to gain points toward world cup, the reward I feel should justify the cost. Online you don’t have to spend money and have the opportunity to qualify by doing well in one of these events. The opportunities are the same for everyone as everyone can participate, but I think the online scores get you more than they should due to the sheer amount of online events.

The prize payout is always dependent upon turnout. If you want more players to get paid we need more turn out. I believe the usual is set at 64 and under is top 3 payout and above that is top 8 payout, with some rare exceptions due to pot bonuses. The more people that show the more that can get paid. Because if its say for example top 32 pay out you get essentially a “participation” trophy for simply showing up with the low turnouts that we have. Win one match in a 50 man bracket, congrats you’re in the money! While I agree that it would be cool to get a pay out higher up, I also think the payouts should be reflective of entrants.

In regards to payouts I’m not concerned at all. I love the game, love competing so I’ll go regardless. I’ve saved money by driving to events over flying. Unfortunately west coast has fewer events than east when it comes to KI, but West coast in general has to travel more in all games.

1 Like

I’m also of the opinion that growing offline scenes doesn’t happen by paying fewer players. LCD asks what benefit there is for a top player to spend $500 to go to an event and then only get $100 for placing 5th… well, if scene growth is your goal, what benefit is there for any player to spend $500 to go to an event if they have almost literally 0 chance of earning money, because they won’t make top 8? If you expect these people to go to events for the experience and love of the game, not for the expectation to make money, then I think that probably has to extend to everyone.

Anyway, at least you have a chance to earn some of this money coming from the Kilgore pot. There are lots of people who invest tons of time trying to grow the scene, but who don’t enter tournaments (I am such a person, but I am not the only one), and we will still be playing our roles for free.

Also, I kind of understand why you might think online events are distracting people from traveling to offline events (although Storm’s post seems to indicate this might not be as true as you think), but at the same time, literally nobody has said “I wish the next SF game has poor netcode so it will have a greater presence at offline events!” The reason KI has a smaller presence at offline events is a complicated discussion, but there are lots of factors at play… most notably, we are a niche scene in an already niche genre, we are on Xbox so fewer tournaments can provide equipment and fewer players are already bringing sticks/controllers capable of playing on Xbox, and we are a younger scene, many of which are playing their first ever fighting game seriously, with lots of people who can’t travel, even if they wanted to.

To be honest, I wish KI kinda doubled down a bit on the online thing. Fix up the replays so input display isn’t broken, provide ways for people to view replays/search by gamertag (a “replay channel” like this is, I’m sure, too much work at this stage in the game, but they really missed a big opportunity for growth here… look at what SF-centric Youtube replay channels have done for growth of that game), etc. I would really love to see there be a North American Topanga League-style round robin invitational tournament, with money coming from the Kilgore pot. You could have some play-ins available for some spots, and some spots auto-chosen based on past results. Pay Sajam or someone else to do live commentary. This type of round robin league is really awesome to watch, and I wish there would be an event like it.


Fun fact: UFGT’s tournaments had scaling payouts that aimed to pay out the top 10% of participants. As the number of people entering a tournament grew, so did the number of people getting a payout and the pot bonus added by UFGT (me) out of pocket.

I think it was a good first step, but no one else wanted to adopt it.


UFGT was before my traveling time, but that sounds great! The little things kept me coming back to events, aside from getting to see my friends from across the nation and an all around good time. But CEO giving me a keychain for simply attending, Combobreaker gives me a shirt for simply participating in KI, Frostys giving me free raffle entry for signing up. All small things, but things im SUPER grateful for!

What’s this?

Here you go Geek


I agree and I also disagree. I know plenty of people in the KI community who refuse to travel unless there is a juicy pot bonus involved namely myself and a few others I won’t speak for. Pot bonus or not, what makes anyone spend money to travel for events knowing full well they will get bodied?

I truly wish more of the budget and resources were spent developing and or updating key aspects of the game like replays as you mentioned. Provding casual content like shadow lords is great, but having a solid foundation for people study and learn the game should always take some sort of priority. The number one thing we hear people telling other players is to hit the lab but training mode in KI is hard. It’s still missing quite few key features that makes recording setups and things very frustrating and time consuming. I’m a trial and error type of learner and so I try and sty out of training mode mostly because of this.

Online training mode would of been dope. Lots of new people picking up KI and it would of be so simple to bring players in and teach them step by step instead of sending them to youtube videos.