MoEsport has had the pleasure of speaking with some members of the Supercell team recently. The team had openly admitted that the tournament rules and format in Clash Royale were still very much a “work in progress”, and we can expect a lot to changes to come in regards to the game’s competitive play. Today, we have a first glimpse of what’s to come, as the Clash Royale team has announced that there will be a Live Spectator Mode for friendly matches in the next update!
Being able to live spectate matches will make it a lot easier to stream/broadcast tournaments; many popular eSports tournaments such as Hearthstone rely on the spectator mode to host tournaments. Still, the problem remains that players still must be in the same “clan” to compete in friendly matches, whereas in Hearthstone you are able to add friends and compete in friendly matches directly. I would suspect that a feature that will allow for direct friendly matches is not far down the pipeline for Clash Royale.
Also worth noting from the Clash Royale team update is the emphasis that “Tournament Rules” will continue to be important in the future of competitive play. While it is great that the capped levels for tournament play is reasonably achievable by most free-to-play players, the fact that it is currently applicable only in friendly matches will make it difficult for competitive players to get used to. For example, some top players who are used to pouncing opponents with level 4 Princesses and level 8 P.E.K.K.A.s will find that the same deck will be significantly weaker under capped rules. Again using Hearthstone as a comparison, a player’s ladder climb serves as practice for decks that will eventually be used in competitive play, and the top players on the top of the ladders play with a certain style that is different than those at the bottom. Having such a separation between ladder climbing and tournament play will make it difficult for players to transition from one to another, and I can imagine that “Top Clash Royale players” can easily be defeated by any ordinary player under the current tournament format. I think the “Tournament Rules” is something that the Clash Royale team will need to continue figuring out if the game is ever to be taken seriously as an eSports product.