What a week it has been for mobile esports! We have lots to cover on this special (belated) edition of This Week in Mobile Esports, so let’s just right into it:
Fortnite soft launches on iOS
Fortnite has already been dominating the headlines in PC and console gaming, and it looks like mobile is next. It was shocking enough when Epic Games announced that Fortnite was coming to mobile with cross-platform compatibility last week, but no one would have thought that the game would already be available to a limited number of early registrants on iOS today!
Unfortunately I have yet to play the game ourselves as the game is constantly crashing on my iPad Mini 4, but first impressions from the community thus far has been relatively positive. Many has pointed out that the game looks great on mobile and plays relatively smoothly, but the controls are anything but ideal (Kotatu writer Patricia Hernandez has a good breakdown of her first impressions here). Trying to replicate the PC/Console experience on a mobile device is no easy task, and while there’s still lots of room for improvement, Fortnite on iOS has at least proved itself worthy of its name.
PUBG mobile available on Android in Canada
The Fortnite v.s. PUBG war has now officially moved to mobile! While Fortnite’s surprise launch stole the thunder today, PUBG’s preparing for the long battle with its relatively quiet release on Android in Canada today. Already extremely popular in China, PUBG mobile is arguably more suited for mobile (if Battle Royale games can even be considered suitable for mobile!) simply due to the fact that the gameplay is more straightforward and requires less control buttons. As reviews have been looking good thus far (4.9 star average from 3500+ reviews) and competition from Fortnite looming, we can probably expected Tencent to roll out a global launch very soon.
Clash Royale League Officially Announced; Clash Royale League Challenge now Live
The Clash Royale 2018 competitive season official began this week with the Clash Royale League Challenge. Running through to March 19, top players will once again try to get to 20 wins before being knocked out by three losses. Players who complete the challenge advance to the next round of the competition and gain eligibility to be drafted by a Clash Royale League pro team.
While yet to be officially announced in the West, much information has already been leaked regarding the new Clash Royale competitive format in 2018. According to a post from Clash Royale China’s official website, the new competition format will be team-based, with 8 pre-selected esports teams competing across 5 regions: Asia (excl. China), Latin America, North America, Europe, and China. The competition will also expand from the traditional 1v1 format, and include 2v2 as well. Looking to legitimize their position in esports, the Clash Royale League will be including numerous top tier esports organizations into the Arena, including Team Liquid, Team WE, and many many more yet to be officially announced. We anticipate there will be a big official announcement with the full participant list next week.
Super Evil Megacorp Announces Esports Partnership with Alisports
In even more international mobile esports news, Vainglory developer Super Evil Megacorp has announced a new partnership with Alisports, the sports branch of Alibaba Group and host of the World Electronic Sports Games (WESG). As part of the partnership, Vainglory will now expand its esports ecosystem by becoming part of the WESG 2018 lineup. Interesting to note is that Alibaba recently secured the Olympics sponsorship deal until 2028, and is in a good position to be the organization to officially bring esports into the Olympics in the future. The WESG 2017 Grand Final will take place this week, March 13-18 in Hainan, China where Vainglory will be revealed during a live showcase as the new title to be integrated into the WESG 2018 roster. This will be the first-ever Vainglory 5V5 cross-region esports event, with teams representing China, Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore.
“We’re extremely excited to partner with Alisports, a brand that is playing a pivotal role in developing thesports and esports industries,” said Kristian Segerstrale, CEO of Super Evil Megacorp. “The partnership signifies an important step for Vainglory esports and comes at a perfect time with the recent launch of 5V5. We’re excited to offer our teams a global platform on which to compete and we hope the community
will join in to support their local teams competing in WESG.”
SuiJeneris becomes Head of Mobile for Immortals; MasteryMatt joins Complexity as Director of Mobile Gaming
With all the momentum with mobile esports, it’s not a surprise that big name esports teams are starting to up their investment in the scene. Longtime Vainglory/mobile esports veteran SuiJeneris today announced his return to Immortals after a brief stint with Team Liquid, and will now be heading up their mobile division. Meanwhile MasteryMatt, best known for his involvement in the Clash Royale community and Mastery.gg has announced that he will be joining Complexity as Director of Mobile Gaming. Congrats to two outstanding ambassadors for mobile esports, and we can’t wait to see what they have planned in the future!