It seems like in the world of video games, everyone looks at what Riot is doing with League of Legends eSports and says, “I want me a piece of that." To some extent, that effort has been marginally successful in the PC world. DOTA 2 has pretty huge events, as does Heathstone, Counter-Strike, and a few others… But it feels like the whole eSports nut has yet to be really cracked in the world of mobile. Vainglory has been doing small events, and Supercell has put on a few Clash Royale tournaments, but none really seem to have the draw of the “major" eSports just yet.
Supercell is currently the king of the App Store mountain, and so they undoubtedly have the resources to spray tons of time, money, and effort into making mobile eSports a thing. Per a recent job posting, that’s exactly what they’re trying to do:
We believe that Clash Royale has the opportunity take eSports to a place it hasn’t quite caught on… mobile platforms. Today’s eSports experience is built for console and PC games, but with the massive reach and ubiquity of mobile devices, we believe it can become much more accessible and mainstream than ever before. Mobile gaming can take eSports beyond the hardcore gaming niche and turn it into something that everyone does, everywhere.
The person who eventually fills this role will “define and shape the competitive vision for Supercell’s current and future mobile games" among other lofty things to cultivate this ecosystem. I’m super curious to see what comes of all this. I think a big reason why you really don’t see mobile eSports catching on in the way that the other games have is that mobile games often don’t really lend themselves to the depth and complexity that makes watching eSports interesting. Clash Royale is a great game, but it’s a bite sized experience. Everything that makes it an incredible mobile game makes it a bad game for eSports, at least in my opinion.
I’d love to see this change, as I really enjoy watching competitive League of Legends, and as someone who is as into mobile gaming as you can possibly be, it’s a little weird that none of the mobile eSports have really caught my attention in any meaningful way. But, as I mentioned, if there ever was a company with a dump truck full of cash they can spill to solve this particular problem… It’s Supercell. I can’t wait to see how this pans out.