Mobile esports

The analysis of the first Clash Royale esports season

Posted Dec 07, 2018

Mobile esports is no longer a joke. The Arena of Valor World Championship is taking place right now, gathering a huge audience of viewers. This game dominates in Southeast Asia and China, while in other regions its position is relatively weak. In the same time, mobile strategy Clash Royale by Supercell is the biggest mobile game in Europe and the Americas, it gathers an impressive number of fans and spectators.

We made the assumption in February that Clash Royale has a good future in esports. We were right in some way as the main tournament of the year gathered a huge audience. In the same time, the development of the discipline turned out to be uneven. Supercell focused on Asia in the first half of the year and their policy appeared to be quite successful in the Middle Kingdom — Clash Royale League 2018 in China gathered an impressive audience. However, success in China has nothing common with the worldwide success.

The organizers started to hold really serious leagues in other countries quite lately. Clash Royale League 2018 opened at the end of August 2018 in five regions at once: The Americas, Europe, China, and Asia. They all lasted about two months. The winners of the leagues received a ticket to the main world championship — Clash Royale League World Finals 2018. In total there were six teams — one team from each region, and two from Asia, as the tournament was held in Japan.

If we compare the spring and autumn leagues in China, we can observe a serious drop in the number of viewers. It is difficult to say why did this happen. Most likely, the most serious reason was the decrease in the number of platforms on which the tournament was streamed — from five to two. Another reason could be bad timing — the tournament was held at the same time as League of Legends Worlds 2018.

Europe is the second after China in terms of popularity. Many large organizations signed professional teams for this discipline, including Team Liquid, SK, Dignitas, G2, and others. Approximately the same can be said about North and Latin America.

Clash Royale League World Finals 2018 in all senses was the main tournament of the year, as it was watched by viewers from all regions. Their concentration helped to hit the jackpot — 708.625 viewers at the peak, 354.724 of them are not from China. It is an absolute record for the discipline and excellent stats in general, even if we compare them with other popular games like Dota 2 or League of Legends.

From the very first tournament, it was clear that the Spanish-speaking audience is one of the biggest compared to all others. However, Clash Royale League World Finals 2018 was held in a very inconvenient time zone for Latin Americans, which is why so many viewers watched the start of the game day, after which their number inexorably fell. In general, the Spanish and Portuguese viewers totaled together at the peak more people than English-speaking broadcasts, which says a lot — 177 thousand versus 148 thousand. The situation could be quite different if the tournament was hosted in Europe or America.

On the other hand, the time zone was ideal for Chinese viewers. They were also motivated by the fact that the team from China reached the final, and then eventually became the world champion. 447 thousand viewers at the peak are still less than it was in the Clash Royale League 2018 in the spring. The main reason is again in a small number of streaming platforms on which the tournament was broadcasted. Supercell needs to sign a partnership with Chinese platforms to repeat the success of the spring league.

Clash Royale is far behind in terms of organization compared to Arena of Valor. The world championship took only one day, which is too little and does not give space for a wide marketing company and further development of the discipline. Supercell has huge growth prospects, and besides, it has its own loyal audience. It will be interesting to see what the developers will do in 2019.

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