Readers of MoEsport are accustomed to seeing our recap of Clash Royale Legendary Arena seasons after every second Sunday. While we have dedicated much time and effort to provide coverage of the best players and clans in the game (including having a dedicated Rankings page for top clans), we have decided to temporarily suspend this coverage.
It is no secret that there is a lot of win trading between maxed player accounts in China and Hong Kong. This season, 3 new accounts – TMD Edward, TMD Aaron, and TMD YaoYao – especially caught the attention of players due to the fact that all three accounts start with TMD (which is likely the abbreviation for the Chinese swearword meaning “your mom”). These 3 players/accounts, ending the season with HKEsports, secured the #1/#4/#6 player spot respectively, pushing trophy numbers to astronomical highs. With Top 200 player replays absent from TV Royale replays for well over a week now, there is now very little transparency with what’s happening up top, and casual players are losing interest in following the leaderboards. While trophy counts are still a good benchmark for a player’s skill level in lower ranks (ie. a tower level 8 player making it to Legendary Arena is an impressive feat), the Top 200 leaderboard has become a showcase of who can best manipulate the trophy algorithm. So what are some of the things that the Clash Royale team can do to fix its current system, so that it can better reflect who the top players in the game are? Below are a few suggestions from the MoEsport team:
1) Blind ranked play for players above 4000 Trophies
Trophy trading works because there are fewer players with very high trophy counts, so two high ranked players within 100 trophies of each other who start a game at the same time will very likely be matched up against each other. One way to deter this behaviour is to simply cap Trophies at 4000, and have end-of-season ranks determined by each player’s win-loss record after reaching this point. With all 4000+ trophy players in the same match pool, it will be much harder for 2 top players to purposely match up against one another. With resets every 2 weeks, it’s somewhat meaningless to have a running trophy leaderboard anyway… Clash Royale should take a page out of Hearthstone with this one.
2) Re-work Clan Rankings formula
We have spent a lot of effort trying to accumulate the Clan trophy count after each season, but at the end of the day this is still a reflection of the trophies that are being traded, as players can jump in and out of clans with no deterrence. As starters, the Clash Royale team should rework the Clan Rankings algorithm so that trophies from players who just joined/re-joined a clan will not be added to the Clan trophy count until that player has spent 24 hours in the clan. The weigh of trophies from the Top 10 players (currently counting for 50% of trophies) should also be decreased, as a top player with an astronomical amount of trophies carries too much weight into the current calculation. One major problem with clan rankings is the fact that many players jump in and out of clans to compete in tournaments. Until players can play friendlies/tournament matches without leaving their clan, there is probably no good way to resolve the problems with the current clan rankings (and a big reason why we are pausing our MoEsport Clan Rankings).
3) Replace Global Rankings with Regional Rankings
Let’s face it, trophy trading is mainly a problem that’s happening in China, and it’s ruining our experience to follow the leaderboards. So instead of forcing Western players to look at player names that they can’t even read on the Global Leaderboard, why not just remove it altogether and replace it with Regional Leaderboards such as the Americas, Europe/Africa, Asia-Pacific and China/HK? The players in China can continue to push their trophies to record highs, but it won’t discourage other top players to try to push for the #1 spot in their respective regions. And when we need to settle the score on who’s the top player in the world, we can do that via a live invitational tournament with the top players from their respective regions participating! All major eSports games operate regional championships, and this would be a good first step to better establish who the top players in each region are – well, top players with maxed accounts anyway.
There is no easy fix for the current trophy rankings system, and free-to-play players will be quick to point out that the rankings only serve those who have spent a lot of money in the game. Still, I believe the rankings should at least reflect the top players who have invested in the game; that, combined with a standardized official tournament format supported by the Clash Royale team (which I trust is in the works!) will be the best way to encourage players to keep climbing and competing in the game moving forward.
Thoughts/comments on the above suggestions? Leave us a comment below!