Supercell is on schedule to launch its fall season of its Clash Royale League on August 20, with a prize pool that will total $1 million.
The Helsinki, Finland-based company hopes that mobile game esports will take off as awareness of the competitive play around Clash Royale grows, said Tim Ebner, head of esports at Supercell, in an interview with GamesBeat. Clash Royale is a realtime multiplayer online battle arena style game, and it is a big contributor to Supercell’s annual $2 billion in revenue.
This week, Supercell hosted a number of teams, owners, and other esports ecosystem players at a gathering in Los Angeles. The group included 16 of the 44 teams that will compete in the league. The trailer above introduces the teams and the competition for the league, and it is aimed at getting people excited about embracing mobile esports. Market researcher Newzoo expects esports to grow to $1.65 billion in revenues by 2021.
“We’ve learned people watch more during gameplay and they drop off when analysts are talking,” Ebner said. “More of the players watch on mobile, and that makes sense. We are optimizing the content more for mobile, with smaller screen sizes. We’ve learned competitive integrity is really important for the players. We look forward to maintaining fair standards during the season.”
Fans can tune into all the action on the new Esports Royale YouTube channel. The all-new Fall Season trailer, released today, features a number of players fans will be seeing compete during the coming months, and highlights the unique Path to Pro of the Clash Royale League.
For the regular season, Supercell will not have the events in front of live audiences. Rather, the company will stream the gameplay from the tournaments so that people can watch it anywhere.
This year, Supercell offered players around the globe a Path to Pro: the chance to be signed by an elite pro team starting with an in-game event called the Clash Royale League Challenge. 25 million players competed to qualify for the CRL in 2018 starting in March, and just under 7,000 players from 113 different countries made it to the next round. Now the top players have been signed to teams.
“It’s great to see the whole industry growing,” Ebner said of esports. “We are in an interesting place in the mobile world. We know there are a lot of mobile gamers and a lot of people watch on mobile. Someday it will be a big esports audience, and hopefully it begins with Clash Royale.”
Rosters have now been finalized and competition will begin for the eight teams representing North America in the CRL, which are Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Tribe Gaming, Immortals, NRG, Complexity, 100 Thieves and Counter Logic Gaming.
The European competitors are FNATIC, Misfits, SK Gaming, G2 Esports, Team Liquid, Team Queso, Team Dignitas and Allegiance. The Mainland China teams are EDG.M, GO, JDG, LGD, NOVA, OP, SNAKE, WE. Asia is represented by OGN Entus, Sandbox, Kingzone, OP.GG, GameWith, PONOS Sports, DetonatioN Gaming, FAV Gaming, AHQ ESPORTS CLUB, KIX, Chaos Theory and Bren Esports. Latin America’s regional teams are Vivo Keyd, Giants Gaming, Movistar Riders, MAD Lions E.C., RED Canids, paiN Gaming, Cream and SandStorm.
The Fall Season start dates for each region are: Latin America: August 13; Mainland China: August 17; North America: August 20; Europe: August 21; and Asia: August 24. Supercell only about 250 or so employees, and it doesn’t have a big esports staff. But it does have esports employees in each of its five major offices around the world, Ebner said.
“That speaks to how important it is,” Ebner said. “It’s a reasonably big effort. We’re learning there is a lot involved and it’s a complex operation.”