Chat by the Arena: Thoughts on Clash Royale’s Tournament feature and ways to succeed from top tournament players

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With plenty of tournaments being broadcasted during Clash Royale’s Tournament week (be sure to read Rastreus’ recap of the week if you haven’t already!), we began seeing a number of familiar names popping up on leaderboards on a number of tournaments.  Two such players are Trainer Chris and Raintown, both of whom in after just one week have joined the 10k cards club – winning well over 10,000 cards from competing in tournaments.  For our second instalment of Chat by the Arena, we invited both players to chat with us about their experience with Tournament mode thus far.


MoEsport: Before we talk about the competition, I think it’s amazing enough that you guys are able to get into so many tournaments! Can you share with our readers some tips on how to discover and get into the big tournaments?

Trainer Chris: Before the tournament feature was added, the only way to get into tournaments was through Twitch and social media; more-so twitch since a lot of big names have streams like Hyphonix, SuperMagicalCup, etc. There was always a week’s notice or sign ups released before a big tournaments comes up. Ways to get better informed would be joining chats like Discord, Line, etc. Funny part of about trying to get into these tournaments is that I would constantly check Twitch on an hourly basis to see if anything was going down, and I followed a lot of people on there.

MoEsport: Speaking of tournaments before the new feature, both of you guys were already quite active in the Clash Royale tournament scene prior to the release of the Tournament mode. Has the tournament mode been similar to what you expected? Is there much difference in the way you approach a tournament when it is a time limit King of the Hill rather than single bracket eliminations?

Raintown: Tournaments have not really been what I expected, because I was looking forward to a mode that had the King of the Hill format as a qualifier for an in-game bracket (similar to the Helsinki tournament format). The in-game tournaments that are strictly King of the Hill are very time consuming and stressful, which is why I usually aim just for Top 10.  I am happy though to see some organizations using the in game tournaments as a qualifier for bracketed finals, such as the Reddit Mega Tournament and SuperMagicalCup’s 2nd season.

When I saw that you could fit 800 members into a clan, I had a gist that it was going to be something like a ladder format. 1000 people in a tournament is just crazy, imagine a bracket for that many people – it’d take 2 weeks to finish!

Trainer Chris: The new tournament mode makes it fair for everyone to qualify for a tournament.  Previously it was first come first serve for say 32 people; now hundreds can actually join. On the downside, it is nice to rather win money than a chest since there are tournaments going on constantly, and these chests are expensive.  $50 in cash prize is more appealing than perhaps a 1100 card chest, or whatever it may cost to open that. With the new tournaments, now you have to sit down and actually grind for a few hours and making sure you don’t make a mistake, since that can easily cost you 1st place or 600+ cards.  Just an advice I’d throw out there: if you lose a few games (since it will happen,) don’t give up and just keep playing!

MoEsport: That’s an interesting point you make about the prizes. from what I can see both you and Raintown have won literally tens of thousands of cards – that’s probably worth at least a few thousand dollars of in app purchases (IAP)! But I guess you will also need some cash to unlock those chests and upgrade your cards! So as a competitive player, you would still prefer good ol’ cash prizes rather than in-game goods, even if those goods are worth much more?

Trainer Chris: I suppose it can go both ways, they kind of balance each other. Card tournaments are nice but you have to play near perfectly, maybe taking one or two losses.  For the big tournaments, you know that other big dogs (top player) will be participating, so it’s a bit of a challenge.  I do need the funds to gem these chests that I win, so ideally when one (in-game tournament) is down the other one (cash prize tournament) is up and running.  Up to now, I have won two 15,000 card tournaments, and a possible invite to the tournament in Shanghai, so I’d have to say that the new feature has so far been in my favor!

MoEsport: The fact that thousands of people can be competing against each other at the same time does finally allow the best players of the game to stand out – and the 2 of you have done exceptionally well since the tournament mode started! While you guys are consistently landing in the Top 10, many players struggle to even win cards. If there is one tip you can share for succeeding in tournaments, what would that be?

Trainer Chris: For me, it would have to be patience, and not letting your ego get in the way. There has been many times where I was overconfident and made poor plays that led my downfall. If you play at your own pace, then wait until your opponent makes little mistakes – such as spending too much elixir or finding out what they do on each push – that’s when you can exploit them. Don’t get nervous, and play it slow like you do in poker. As well, don’t be afraid to be aggressive since it actually tends to work!

Raintown: I dont think its about your ego; for me it’s about playing a deck you are comfortable with, and having a set plan.  If you know yourself as a player then you will be able to succeed: for example, I run a Giant Poison deck because it speaks to me more, and causes me to tilt way less than the Miner deck that I used to run.

IMG_4200MoEsport:  Running the deck that you are comfortable with is great, but there are clearly decks that are performing better under the current tournament cap meta. What would you say is the most consistent deck/combo(s) in tournament play thus far?

Raintown: I know you don’t want to hear this but the answer is Miner.  I see Miner in about 85% of tournament decks that I play, which is absolutely ridiculous.  Slow push tanks and any other popular decks in the currently meta are still seen and used by talented players, but the most common decks I’ve seen revolves around the Miner.

Trainer Chris: The Giant seems pretty powerful right now from

IMG_4201

The decks currently being used by Trainer Chris (above) and Raintown (below)

my own experiences. Put a Bowler behind him and he can be nasty.  The Inferno Tower is a good way to stop the Giant, but the card got really hurt by the latest nerf.  I have seen Guards and Furnaces decks perform well too. But yeah, the Giant is just so strong right now, and tanks so well with troops behind him, especially with a Poison.

MoEsport: It’s definitely refreshing to see cards like Furnace and Guards that are not played very much on ladder make consistent appearances in the tournaments. Given that both of you have spent much time playing under tournament caps, how do you feel about the current balance? Do you think there needs to be further adjustments with balancing or the tournament caps itself?

Trainer Chris: The most annoying deck that I come upon is the Trifecta deck (Hog Rider/Musketeer/Valkyrie); even after the Hog Rider nerf it is still really strong.  They could also consider giving a nerf to the Poison. The Tournament caps are fine right now, but I see people just using Poison on each other the whole game, and usually a game is decided simply by who casts the most Poisons.  I can also see the Miner gets a nerf in the future, while new cards like the Bowler and Furnace will become more used.

Raintown: I feel like the balance is at a really great place right now.  At first I was very worried about the Cannon nerf, but while it was huge and changed the meta, it didn’t ruin it. All of the other buffs and nerfs in the last patch didn’t really make a huge difference to my playing style personally.

MoEsport: Final question: there’s a lot of talk about Clash Royale being a mobile eSport (and MoEsport is a big advocate for this!), and with the new tournament mode we are finally starting to see some some talented players stand out amongst the rest (with the two of you being examples!). What would you like to personally see happen next with Clash Royale to allow you to grow as a competitive player, and perhaps be able to be an eSports player along the same lines as those in Hearthstone/Vainglory/Overwatch/etc.?

Raintown: I would like to see more live events.  The online tournaments are getting extremely stale; it’s just me sitting by myself in my room playing for many hours.  With Pokemon Go getting everyone out and about, I feel like Clash Royale events could do the same!  Events can really bring the community together

Trainer Chris:  Pokemon go is pretty cool. I’m level 15.

Raintown:  Just hit level 20 last night.

MoEsport: I’m only lvl 8 *sad face*

Trainer Chris:  What would be nice is if they had major tournaments in countries like here the U.S., rather than just in Finland. Not everyone can fly out to these big meet ups in different countries. If not, they (Supercell) should just add more online tournaments and keep cranking those out; the SHT tournaments were pretty interesting, now they need to do make the Shanghai finals online so I can compete from my bed!

Raintown: Yeah I’m not flying anywhere *laughs*

Be sure catch Trainer Chris and Raintown on their respective Twitch channels!

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