Supercell has announced that the Clash Royale League will return for 2021, but with major structural changes in tow, along with a larger overall prize pool.
The revised league structure will adopt a global approach that spotlights individual competitors, scrapping the previous regional, team-based format based around participating organisations.
For the last three seasons, the Clash Royale League was based around team organisations such as Team Liquid, Dignitas, Tribe Gaming, Team Queso, and others, and included a mix of 1v1 and 2v2 events during each competition. In the recently-concluded season, the league was split into East and West divisions.
In 2021, however, players will compete individually online in global events. The format will span eight-month-long seasons, each allowing all eligible players to earn trophies to qualify for the monthly qualifiers and finals. Over the course of the season, the top 24 highest points earners will qualify for the World Finals, with another eight players added through a last chance qualifier in October.
Ultimately, the 2021 season will award more than $1.6m (£1.2m) in prize pool funds. Previous seasons awarded approximately $1m (£750,000) over the course of each season.
According to a PR email, “players will no longer be a part of a professional esports organisation” under the new format, although it’s unclear whether organisations can still sponsor individual players and if so, whether their branding will be used during official broadcasts and content.
UPDATE: Esports Insider was provided the following statement from the Clash Royale esports team regarding the place of organisations within the league ecosystem under the new format:
“Organisations are absolutely welcome in CRL moving forward, just as we see them participating in our equivalent Brawl Stars and Clash of Clans esports ecosystems. In 2021, the structure will be far more flexible for both players and orgs – instead of a limited number of teams signing a fixed number of players, we want players and orgs to find relationships that work best for them. Orgs can invest into 1-2 star players, or cast a wide net and try to get as many winners as possible. For players, they may opt to join an org or remain independent, based on their personal needs.”
Esports Insider says: This is a major change for the Clash Royale League. The previous format was appealing for teams and brought in many of the major multi-game organisations, but I wonder if this new approach will pare that list down to mostly mobile-centric orgs like Tribe, Team Queso, and Nova Esports. In any case, this format is probably easier to execute during the pandemic, and it’s good to see Clash Royale esports continue on in some form.