The Clash Royale Top Players leaderboard has for the most part been dominated by players from China and Hong Kong, with one exception: Bright Light. As a core member of top clan InTheLight, Bright Light became the first player in the West to reach over 5000 trophies last season. Also known as Saunders (his previous in game name), this 19 year old gamer from Michigan is performing strong again this season, having held the #1 player spot for a duration of time and once again closing in 5000 trophies. MoEsport had a chance to chat with Bright Light to get his thoughts on the current state of the game.
MoEsport: You were pretty much playing Clash Royale since Day 1 right? What games were you playing before Clash Royale, and how did you discover the game?
Bright Light: I learned about the game from a video on YouTube. I was actually hesitant to play the game at first but thought I’d give it a try. Once I started playing Clash Royale, I instantly fell in love with the strategy and competitive edge of the game.
Before Clash Royale I was mostly playing League of Legends, and was very invested in that game. I also played Call of Duty but most just for fun with my friends.
MoEsport: We are definitely seeing a lot of League of Legends players in Clash Royale nowadays (even Faker!) What Rank were you at in League of Legends if you don’t mind me asking?
Bright Light: I made it to Diamond actually, pretty proud of that.
MoEsport: Kinda explains why you’re so good at Clash Royale then! The game has changed quite a bit since you started playing with many round of balance changes and the introduction of new cards, yet you’ve been able to stay on top of the leaderboards pretty consistently. How do you manage to adjust so well? What are some of the things you pay attention to when deciding what decks to play, or what new cards to experiment with?
Bright Light: What I first look for is to see if my deck is still viable under the current meta. If it isn’t I will usually look at the decks of other top players. If the deck fits my aggressive play style, I will play it until I believe that I have mastered the deck. My tip for players starting out would be to look at the decks played on TV Royale that are performing well. The most important thing is to understand that losing games with a deck at first doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad deck.
MoEsport: That’s great advice there, and I’m sure a lot of players have watched your games on TV Royale as well (tough loss yesterday by the way!) Are you starting to find yourself matched up against the same players on top of the ladder? Who do you think are some of the toughest opponents your have faced?
Bright Light: Haha yeah I was going for a tie in that TV Royale match. And I’ve definitely been matching up with many of the same players up top. I’d say some of the best players that I play against would be Chief Pat, and Gaibo and Gianluca from Italian Legends. Both guys are underleveled, but are still able to compete at a hight level.
MoEsport: Speaking of card levels, the max caps have now been recently adjusted to better reflect that of the tournament caps. How do you feel about the current balance of the game? Do you think further adjustments with some cards or level caps are needed for balanced play?
Bright Light: I think the Royal Giant needs another nerf. But other than that, most of the cards seem to be balanced or have a viable counter to deal with them.
MoEsport: As a player you are known to be very competitive (as seen during our Clan Wars Invitational Tournament!), and I’m sure you have your eye on that #1 spot come end of the season! You were number #5 last season and reached over 5000 trophies; about what percentage of matches did you have to win to reach that high?
Bright Light: I had to win just about all my games. If I had to put a number on it I’d probably say around 90% of my games. I felt very comfortable with my deck last season, and went into every game with the mindset that I would tie or win.
MoEsport: Winning 90% of games against other top players is definitely no easy feat! I think it’s no secret now that some of the players ranked above you were only able to get that high through win trading (as Chief Pat often points out) Do you have any ideas or suggestions for what the Clash Royale team can do to crack down or discourage win trading?
Bright Light: Honestly I don’t think there is much they (Clash Royale team) can do. If they want they could increase the number of games it takes until you play the same person. That would increase the queue time but it would aid in elimination the problem.
MoEsport: Well supposedly something like that has already been implemented but it doesn’t seem to be very effective at this point. Hopefully as the tournament scene picks up we will be able to better identify who the true best players in the game are. I know that you have consistently done well with friendlies against fellow InTheLight players and in small tournaments. Do you see yourself going to compete in tournaments overseas in the future, like the one in Helsinki, or even ones in China or Korea?
Bright Light: If the opportunity presents itself, I would be very interested in competing in tournaments overseas. I believe our team (InTheLight) has plans for the future that may include this, so I will be looking forward to it.
MoEsport: Sounds exciting! We will look forward to seeing you and the other top players from InTheLight in action!