Supercell launches Clash Royale League with $1m prize

Clash Royale developers Supercell announced recently the official launch of the long-awaited Clash Royale League set to begin next week.

Teams have been forming for the past couple of months representing North America, Europe, China, Asia and Latin America. While the Asian and Chinese region already begun league play in the Spring, North America, Europe and Latin America will begin their seasons in the next week. European and North American teams have both converged to Los Angeles where league play will be held live in studio for the inaugural season. At the end of the fall season, top teams will meet at a World Championship shelling out $1m (£783,000) in prize money.

Supercell has been working on the formation of the league for quite some time, announcing back in March the development of the league along with the first look at organisations involved such as names like Cloud9, Team Liquid, Immortals, Team Dignitas, and 100Thieves. These North American and European organisations have been required to house their players in Los Angeles during the season and provide certain salary parameters much like other esports with league formats.

In order to fill these rosters teams were allowed to sign players as they had already been in contact with but Supercell also held the Clash Royale League Challenge open to anyone that wanted a shot at playing in the league. 25 million players competed with about 7,000 advanced to the next round. More online matches and live combine events were held for organisations to scout players to fill their 4-6 player roster.

Immortals yields a team that will compete in the North American region and while the organisation also holds a team in Arena of Valor, CEO Noah Whinston told Esports Insider there were many factors that came into play when decided to invest in another mobile game: “When we’re looking at games to invest in there are multiple different axes that we look at. First: it’s about the game itself. I love Clash Royale. I play it all the time and I think the game itself already has so many fans. More importantly than that, the structure and the approach from Supercell has been really important for us. It’s not just Supercell coming in and saying ‘we want to make an esports and we’re gonna throw a massive tournament with a huge prize pool.’ They’ve really taken a thoughtful approach on what a centralized league ecosystem looks like, how do we make this really good for the long-term for players, for fans, and for the organisations that are involved.”

Until now, Clash esports has typically been an individual game with one single player versus another. There is a 2v2 mode in the game and the league is implementing a format that’s never been done before with a team style of play. Multiple 1v1 and 2v2 matches will be held with teams able to rotate players making it more of a team based game rather than individual. 

Tim Ebner, Head of Esports at Supercell, told Esports Insider accessibility for viewers will be key when it comes time for league play: “We noticed a large number of our viewers are on mobile so that got us thinking what can we do to make content better on mobile. We’re optimizing for that mobile audience meaning we’ll be broadcasting in portrait mode instead of landscape so we’ll see how it goes with production. We’ve had to look at a lot of different factors such as knowing that the screen is smaller to view on but we’re all in on producing in portrait.”

The fall season of 48 teams from five regions begins with Latin America on August 13th, China on August 17th, North America on August 20th, Europe on August 21st and Asia on August 24th. All games will be available to watch on Clash Royale’s Esports YouTube channel.

Esports Insider says: Mobile gaming may very well be “the future” as it is much more accessible than PC or console gaming, but will it be successful in a major esports route? The fan base for Clash Royale is certainly there and while it is a competitive game we’re cautiously optimistic about such a major move Supercell has taken in an industry like mobile esports which is far less popular in the west compared to the east. If anything, having the support from these massive organisations and the talented players behind it will make for an entertaining inaugural season to witness.