Kemp and King's 15th-place finish in the pairs at the World Championships back in March wasn't enough to book them a ticket to Russia and so they find themselves in Germany.
Seven nations have already secured 16 places for the Olympics with Kemp and King bidding to earn one of the four remaining spots at the Nebelhorn Trophy.
Kemp and King find themselves in Oberstdorf with some of those qualified nations but only need to finish in the top four of the non-qualified pairs to earn their place.
And they got off to a perfect start on the way to achieving a spot, sitting seventh overall and as the best non-qualified pair after scoring 51.33 for their short program.
World champions Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov lead the way with 81.65, more than 20 points ahead of the German pairing of Maylin and Daniel Wende in second.
Kemp and King return to the ice along with the rest of the field for the free skate on Friday where their hopes of competing at a second Olympics will be realised or dashed.
They finished 16th at the Vancouver 2010 Games and are bidding to secure Britain a place in the pairs for Sochi to go with those already achieved in the ice dance and ladies events.