The Clash Royale Crown Duel Tournament has definitely lived up to the game’s slogan of “A Most Ridiculous Duel”: The quarterfinalists qualified for the live event by playing the game while getting tossed around by a mechanical bull or rolled around upside-down in a steel ball. Meanwhile, the live event in Los Angeles felt more like a Nickelodeon game show than an eSports event with comedians Rob Corddry and Al Madrigal dishing out cringeworthy improv jokes in front of a live audience of Clash Royale fans sectioned off by “Teams”. However, in the midst of all the silliness was an intense gaming competition where 8 of the game’s top players competed for a top prize of $15,000. And in the end, the tournament was won by a player who takes the game seriously through dedicating many hours of practice to become one of the game’s best players. We had an opportunity to chat with tournament winner Backstabx to get his thoughts on the tournaments and the state of the game’s competitive scene:
MoEsport: Aside being a very good Clash Royale player, can you tell us a little more about yourself? What do you do when you’re not spending countless hours earning Crowns and Chests in Clash Royale?
Backstabx: Before I won coronation number 2 I had two jobs while taking a cooking class, so I only really clashed while on the job or on the days I had a chance to stream. On a off day I would usually just sleep, clash, and repeat which explains the few pounds I gained recently haha
MoEsport: Heading into the tournament, what are some things you did to prepare?
Backstabx: pretty much just play grand challenges and go 2-wins-3-losses on them live on stream (lol). I had disciplined practice for the past week. I practice with Surgical Goblin and Naruto Uzumaki, some of the best in the Hammers eSports team. I used their mechanical skill and my strategic play to devise two decks that I felt I could steam roll my competition with.
MoEsport: Seems like your fellow clanmates/teammates did a great job preparing you for the tournament, but I don’t think that included practicing for the mechanical bull battle prior to the live battles right? Tell us about your experience with that: how did you pull off that win? Do you personally like these kind of “gimmick” battles?
Backstabx: Ohh man what an experience that was! I’m happy to have won and it was a lot of fun, but surely it’s not something I would recommend or would do again! There’s not much you can do to prepare for a mechanical bull spinning, trampling, and throwing you everywhere… the best thing is to give it all you got and pray that you don’t mis-click a card that can cost you the match. Personally I think it’s a great way to entertain the community, but it shouldn’t be a deciding factor on the contest itself.
MoEsport: Another small criticism about the fairness of the tournament is the fact that there was a major balance change just days before the big event. Almost every player tried to adopt by playing the newly buffed Elite Barbarians, which instantly went from being a little used card to arguably one of the strongest in tournament format. How did you/your team decide to adapt to the new meta? And as a professional player, how would you suggest Supercell to tackle balance changes/new card introductions in the future prior to a big event?
Backstabx: With every patch the meta changes in some what shape or form. I had to adapt quickly and I feel my strategic value came as an advantage, as I was able to prepare two decks that were well rounded. My team decided to test Elite Barbarbians hours within the buff coming out. Looking back at their replays, we noticed they were game breaking and that we needed to adapt to it asap. Supercell has been doing well with balancing the game as of late; as you know the meta is widely diverse. There will always be a meta, and currently that’s Elite Barbarians and Graveyard… but soon that will change with new cards that are put out, and their will be more changes. As far as the introduction to balance changes, other games tend stay on the current patch if there is a big event coming up, but since Clash Royale isn’t really an official esport yet I don’t see them postponing an update for competitive play.
MoEsport: While the event wasn’t billed as an “eSports” event, there was intense competition and of course a big cash prize on the line! Competing for Hammers Esports, you had the opportunity to interact with your teammates competing in other games such as Vainglory and Overwatch. Was there anything you learned from being a part of a greater eSports organization that may have helped you with this tournament?
Backstabx: Yes huge shout out to my clan Hammer Esports. it makes a big difference having a group of mature individuals who work together to improve one another. The environment that Hammers provides is drama free, and always showing respect to your opponents. This drives my confidence as I often chant “Hammer Time, Hammer Time” in my head. Being close to my teammates definitely improves morale (I love them!). Also all the support Hammers shows to all their players – from Clash Royale to Vainglory – is extraordinary! It’s truly a pleasure to be part of such an amazing organization.
MoEsport: Lots of love to the clan and org, and in a sense your competitive career in Clash Royale all started with the Hammers tournament in Las Vegas! You’ve now competed in a number of live tournaments, and even served as an ambassador at our Northern Arena tournament in Montreal! What else is on your bucket list of things to do in competitive Clash Royale?
Backstabx: Yes, all amazing events I have been apart of because of Hammers. I want there to be a Clash Royale World Championship where they take the best players from each region and have them represent their region in a competition. After seeing TMDYaoYao getting crowned the king at King’s Cup, it has sparked a flame in me that wants to bring the trophy back to North America!
MoEsport: Likewise I’m sure many challengers from EU and Asia would love to compete against you as well! Any last words/thank you’s you want to share?
Backstabx: Thank you to all my friend and family that cheered for me at the live event. The support was uncalled for, and deeply appreciated. To all those cheering me from home, much love and I hope to meet you in person soon!