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Killer Insight: Neilimen “GutterMagic” Alicea

UltraTech Timestamp:

This week we talk to GutterMagic, 2nd place finisher at EVO 2015 in Killer Instinct with a hunger and positive outlook in growing the competitive scene.


Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Neilimen Joel Alicea and I go by GutterMagic in the community. I’m from Norristown, Pennsylvania but now reside in Hawthorne, California.

As for tournaments I’ve competed in and my placings: 

NCR 2014 – 3rd MLG Anaheim 2014 – 5th EVO 2014 – 4th EVO 2015 – 2nd SCR Prelude – 2nd KI World Cup – 17th

Character of choice? 

The Chief himself Thunder.

Favorite KI theme?

MAN this is hard. I love multiple ones but Orchid’s will always be my favorite.

What were your first memories of playing Killer Instinct?

What got me into playing it now was playing it when i was younger. I only played Cinder back then since the game was very casual. I was just beating up my dad and uncle on it! We had it at home and I had to sneak to play it since I was limited on any tv/game time I had. I always managed to sneak some games in against the CPU when I could.

Do you remember your break thought moment in competing in KI or when you simply just “got it” in fighting games? 

I only took Street fighter as a casual game online and when I attended any local tournament. I know i was outclassed and had no real practice and had no interest until Killer instinct. The breakthrough was attending TRB (The Runback) in Walnut,CA during the Super Arcade days. RIP. I attended it over and over during season one and just kept losing. Then, I got this competitive edge while figuring out a few things with the game and how I can out mind game players like I do in shooters. So I took this into effect and started to win a little more and won 8 TRB’s in a row. Shout outs to Pusha T. Miss him so much with his Wulf/TJ.

Tell us about your EVO 2015 experience where you came in 2nd behind Rico Suave.

EVO. WOW. I had a great time. Kinda went there on a whim to be quite honest! I wasn’t expecting to go since my financial situation wasn’t allowing it. Got a ride and a spot to stay and just … played! I did what I do best. Get into a zone and just do my thing. Play as solid as possible and earn my way up! I felt like I just wanted to have a good time and that’s what i did! It was crazy afterwards. The amount of support I got and everyone I met at EVO was fantastic. It’s great to see how far I’ve come and the people who have been around from the beginning! Much love guys seriously.

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Did you feel frustrated with all of the different characters Rico would use.

NOPE! I felt that if ANY person where in the shoes he was in with the amount of characters in his arsenal I assumed the worst haha. I went up to top 8 with a smile and never let it down. I lost to the best player in Killer Instinct hands down playing the game exactly how I wanted to. If I were to lose it was with my heart and soul. Again, I was having fun and that’s what I did. Would I change anything about my play? Not really, I felt like I played my game and was beat by the better player. I was going to stick to my character 100% so I know what my journey entails. Bad match ups!


Any advice for upcoming players in KI? What is your usual practice regimen like for a tournament?

ASK QUESTIONS! Dont be afraid to ask questions and reach out. I am one to help out ANYONE who asks. Play your game and show what you know. Take criticism from top players. I did and I am who I am now. One thing I do notice is when people DO ask for help they do not inherit the advice to their game play. Ask to play Ft5’s and then ask what you did wrong. I do it all the time for my viewers and Subs to my channel. For my practice regimen for a tourney I like to take it easy. Keep a clear mind and hit the lab on the monitors to be able to break offline. There is a small difference so you need that TRUST ME. I’ve won matches IN TOURNEY towards players that couldn’t break shadows and after realizing it I kept doing it.

You got a chance to play Kim Wu/Season 3 balance changes at PAX South, Any thoughts about her or the changes?

I cannot WAIT for season 3. I did play Kim Wu and shes amazing. The changes though will make the game less crazy I think. I feel people will play the neutral more and over all become better players. For my character the changes felt right at home. I felt everything done for Thunder fits how I want to play him.

What was your KI World Cup experience like?

It was very fun! It was Great to meet everyone alhough people didn’t recognize me! Sat down and talked to a few people and helped out a few before their matches on stream. Being around everyone was a blast. Seeing ONLY KI at a venue, I felt at home. Became friends with people as well and meeting everyone again was spectacular. Shoot I went 1-2 and I’m not even upset. Thank you to Brandon Alexander for setting it all up and his crew of people that spent countless hours working on it. As the KI community we appreciate it. Shout outs to all of you I met at the World Cup and talked to!

Are you excited about Season 3? Any characters you’d like to see or features in the game? Characters?

Tusk and Arbiter. Rash looks very fun too but we shall see what comes next! Features?? I’ve been asking for this for a long time but its hard I think to insert. A replay system! Being able to save a replay or choose someone that you look up to and be able to save their ranked or exhibition game play. I am super excited though to see what comes in March!

Discuss the Interview here: