Supercell has done it again: just as most people were starting to write off Clash of Clans as a relic in mobile gaming, a major “Builder Base” update was dropped last week, bringing the game back to #1 of the Top Grossing charts in over 20 countries. The Builder Base update is so significant that some has coined it as Clash of Clans 2, and brings to the classic game a feature most familiar to players of its sibling game Clash Royale: real-time 1-on-1 battles.
And while Clash Royale is currently making waves in mobile esports with the Crown Royale Championship, Clash of Clans gave us a first tease of its potential as an esports title with a Builders Base Tournament that took place live in Helsinki yesterday. Similar to the Youtuber tournament that kicked off Clash Royale’s soft launch, the Builders Base Tournament brought together 8 popular Youtubers from around the world (including the likes of Chief Pat and Alvaro) to compete for 100,000 in-game Gems for distribution to their followers.
The Tournament did an excellent job of showcasing Clash of Clan’s potential as (dare we say it) a mobile esport. While CoC has in the past been perceived mainly as a Pay-to-Win game, the Builder Base Tournament puts both players on a level playing ground. The Youtubers were able to not only display their familiarity with the game’s basic mechanics (defense layouts, troops deployment, etc.), but also their ability to adapt based on their opponent’s strategy. Chief Pat, who made it all the way into the finals, was especially notorious with his strategy of copying the defense set-ups of his opponents! Clash of Clans veterans Powerbang and Galadon did an excellent job shoutcasting the live action, making the viewing experience enjoyable for even those who are not familiar with the game. Despite a lack of promotion for the event (it was announced only the day before!), the Tournament had a consistent audience of 100k+ viewers, and has racked up over 4 million views in just a little over a day.
While lacking the intense back-and-forth action from most esports titles, the build-and-deploy mechanics utilized in the Builder Base battles have some comparing the viewing experience to Real Time Strategy games such as Starcraft. It’s still too early to say whether the Builder Base game mode will lead to a full-on competitive scene for Clash of Clans, but with the encouraging numbers from the event and the still-very-large player base that follows the game, we expect this is just the beginning of things to come. Be sure to catch the recap of of the Tournament in the embedded video above, or enjoy the full VOD from the video below!