Supercell has entered a one-year partnership with OGN Esports for the upcoming season of the Clash Royale League, meaning it will handle the production of CRL Asia, CRL West, and the World Finals.
CRL West – a new region for the competition that includes teams from North America, Europe, and Latin America – will begin later this month, hosted from the OGN Super Arena in Manhattan Beach.
To get a better understanding of exactly how this partnership came about and what to expect in the upcoming season, we spoke to Justin Lee, Head of Partnerships at OGN Esports.
Esports Insider: How did this partnership come to be?
Justin Lee: At OGN, we established our relationship with Supercell by working with Clash Royale in Korea. Once we established ourselves in North America last year, we picked up the conversation and – because of our ability to create leagues and shoulder content – they felt as if we’d be the perfect partner for them.
ESI: Did OGN’s work on the National PUBG League help to solidify the deal at all?
JL: Yes, for sure. One of the things we wanted to show with our studio is that even though it was built for Battle Royale, it’s modular. We want to show that with the Clash Royale League.
“We can provide the full package that fits their needs”
ESI: Why did Supercell decide to bring another company to handle the production? OGN wasn’t involved with the inaugural season of CRL.
JL: They look at three different criteria: creating and operating leagues, creating shoulder programming and content, and then marketing and sales. We demonstrated with our past work in Korea that we can provide the full package that fits their needs.
ESI: Are their any unique challenges when it comes to producing a mobile league instead of a PC-based league?
JL: Not particularly, it just boils down to the game. Clash Royale is a massive game – the metrics are incredible – and we feel like we can provide an incredible experience and show that mobile esports require strong, strategic thinking.
ESI: How much independence is awarded to OGN when it comes to the production of the CRL?
JL: It works both ways. We have to get clearance from Supercell on everything we do regarding the league but they constantly look to us for advice and consult with us often.
“This year we’re going back to landscape broadcasting”
ESI: Clash Royale League is opting to move on from the portrait-based broadcast seen in the first season, were you involved in this process?
JL: Supercell really wanted to show the portrait feature off and that’s why they went with YouTube – Twitch couldn’t support it. This year we’re going back to landscape broadcasting and also incorporating a second season into the league, as opposed to only having one like last year. We’re going to be broadcasting the league in Portuguese and Spanish, too!
ESI: Are there any new partners coming into the league?
JL: Yes there are. We’re actively talking to a number of companies right now and while I can’t reveal anything, I can say that new partners will be primarily non-endemic.
ESI spoke to Tim Ebner, Head of Esports at Supercell last year following the Clash Royale League World Finals about the inaugural season of the competition. You can read it here.
Esports Insider says: OGN is a proven entity when it comes to operating and broadcasting leagues so we’re not worried or skeptical about the execution of the CRL, we’re more-so intrigued to see how it improves upon the features seen in the first season.