This seems to be a hot topic these days. I have been seeing comments on Twitter about it, people talk about it on streams, comments from one side trigger the other side and naturally people and so on. It hurts me to see people jumping into conclusions and not looking at the facts or see the bigger picture.
For one let me start by saying there is only ONE KI community and we are all part of this, whether you hate or love the current state it is in, whether you play Ranked as a Pro or quit with no honor, we have one thing that connects us all and that is this game which we are lucky enough to play after it came back 20+ years ago and is still being supported by the devs.
Small history of the EU online scene:
The EU scene started with regionals of it’s own. France had their own tournaments online, Italy as well and also the UK. Looking back I think the main reason for EU tournaments is timezone related. Even this last KI Pro League where ITAmaster had to leave the grand final due to work while playing 6 straight hours from midnight until 6am, it just shows you how inconvenient the time difference can be and that eventhough it is an open tournament very few people of the EU are willing to play at these late hours.
This and also the fact that EU is the minor leagues as well. For the average Joe from EU to participating in a beatdown or KIPL can be very intimidating. Face off against the best of the world and getting their asses kicked can be demoralizing as well.
Thus EU online tournaments were born and it was a way for the seperate EU regions to bond and work together as well to bring an 8 bitbeatdown quality style tournament to the masses. I dont think it was ever intention make them EU only but dont think anyone from USA participated from the start since these tournaments would start at 5-6 am USA time. So once every couple of months we would have these and they were a success, we would see regular faces play and watch the stream. New talents would have some sort of platform to play competitively and get that tournament experience. That is why I think for any local scene it is important to just do it and grow from there.
Moneyprizes, KIWC points and offline Majors
As for money and KI World Cup points so far we had a few online tournaments where the host itself (Albefreak from Italy for example) would give donation money to top 3 or so. Also we had a few figurines from the awesome guys at Ultimate Source. Every other tournament didnt have any prizepot at all. There was 1 online event for KIWC points and that was the first EU tournament my team The Dutch Brawlers hosted last year. Brandon was kind enough to sanction a few points to that event as a one time deal.
Most recently we have been working with Stream.me. A streaming platform focussing on the FGC and tournaments. These guys already have a seperate USA players only tournament going on called Krossup. We agreed on to do a similar series for EU players which we are started next month after KI World Cup. They also provided the potbonus of the KOTR tournament in January.
Last year we had two offline majors: Kombo Klash UK, Kombo Klash The Netherlands and next Saturday Kombo Klash France will happen. These were and are open tournaments. Feel free to fly to Europe like some of us have been doing at EVO or KIWC 2016 to compete with us, no restrictions or anything. This will always be the case for future events as well I reckon.
EU tournaments were never intended to exclude ourselfs from the world scene. It just happened to have no USA entrants in the beginning because of our timezones. It has become a springboard for some EU players to grow and learn the game competively so they do better in the other online tournaments (ITAmaster, Valoraxe and LeChatDuNoir for example). Now with money on the line an ever greater tournament experience can be given.
It is also helping us differentiate us from the US tour and gives more options to MS, KIWC, sponsors,anyone who sees potential to grow new competition/regions. I would be in favor of Continent specific leagues with each of their champions facing each other at KIWC, just like any other sports with regional qualifiers. It just opens up more possibilities and in the process will produce new hero’s/talents for the community as a whole.
As for future online tournaments go we will be more than happy to organize worldwide tournaments, actually we were planning to do so but this mini series opportunity came along so we are doing that first. Stay tuned, support your local scene and #playki
So what do you think? Is it good or bad for EU to have focus on their own tournaments for now? Leave a comment below and tell me what you think and why.