Clash Royale latest update brings the game closer to a great eSport, with per-Arena replays, live spectator mode, new clans options, meta balance… Wait a second, are we talking about Clash Royale, the funny, colorful Supercell mobile game as core, competitive game? Definitely.
While the doubters had their fair share of arguments to put the game in the “coffee pause” category, Clash Royale has gained more momentum and more credibility than any other games as the days go by. Millions of players, thousands of “best of” videos, filled tournaments… Are we witnessing the birth of the first and massive mobile eSport? We insist on both “first and massive”, as others have tried before…
The PC eSport on mobile fantasy
Let’s talk about Vainglory. Hyped as the mobile eSport champion since its announcement two years ago, the Super Evil Megacorp MOBA aims to bring a pure PC genre to mobiles. The game has been a success so far, with an engaged community and emerging pro scene, but remains minor compared to the major PC and consoles eSports out there.
Most people playing Vainglory praise its top notch execution and the way it deals with the trade-offs from a mouse/keyboard input to a tactile screen. But they also point out that Vainglory remains a chopped-down experience compared to a traditional MOBA. If it’s an excellent mobile game, it still suffers from the comparison with its older brothers.
Chopped-down PC, or Buffed-up Mobile?
On the other hand, Clash Royale is based on a pure mobile experience, with less mechanical skills and more decision making, shorter games and no teams. And it then proceeded to build upon these foundations, with advanced strategies, placement skills and competitive features. And it works.
The game has been a massive hit and #1 grossing app worldwide pretty much since its launch. One could say that it rides on the Clash Of Clans wave, but other Supercell (CoC and Clash Royale publisher) games haven’t met such a success.
The community also answered with an impressive activity on traditional eSport venues like Reddit, Youtube or Kamcord (a mobile-focused Twitch).
By aiming for competitive gaming while retaining all the mobile game design DNA, Clash Royale may have nailed it: an massive mobile eSport that doesn’t necessarly have to replicate the existing ones on PC.
In the end, it’s a great win for mobile eSports, as we’re now enjoying two great games. So, which one do you prefer: Vainglory or Clash Royale?