Supercell, the Helsinki-based mobile game developer, announced Tuesday eight North American teams for the Clash Royale League, including Cloud9, Team SoloMid, Tribe Gaming, Immortals, NRG, Complexity, 100 Thieves, and Counter Logic Gaming. Europe will have familiar organisations like Fnatic, G2 Esports, SK Gaming and more.
The teams will be competing for a share of $1 million dollars when the CRL gets started in China March 23, with Asia beginning on April 27, and other regions debuting in August.
Through the Clash Royale League Challenge, a tournament open to any player around the world, teams will be able to bid for the best players. In the qualifying stage of the event, 25 million players competed for a change to advance to the second round, with 7,000 players moving forward from 113 different countries.
"It's tremendous how quickly Clash Royale revealed itself to be the next big esport and we are impressed with Supercell's thoughtful steps to build an exciting global league," Jack Etienne, owner of Cloud9, said in a press release. "It's also incredible that the Clash Royale League gives every single player the opportunity to go pro, giving us the opportunity to draft new and upcoming talent. We'll be watching to see who rises to the top over the next few months of competitive play and can't wait to put our team together and compete for a spot at the World Finals."
Our audience is very broad and global, and we see an opportunity to introduce our players, some of which are new to esports, to an all new way to engage with the game," Tim Ebner, who oversees esports at Supercell, said. "At our inaugural Clash Royale World Finals in London last December, we had players and fans travel from all over attend the event live, with millions more viewing from home. We see that as a great first step but are working to do even more this year."
While Clash Royale has a massive player base, a mobile game will have a different viewing experience than that of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Tekken 7. But Supercell is addressing this too by creating new ways to watch and enjoy Clash.
"We've already seen that new game content, like Touchdown Mode, partnering with Clash Royale influencers, and developing new team formats, like we did with the King's Cup late last year, have all contributed to major excitement from the community," Ebner said. "That's one of the main reasons we've moved to a team format for esports this year, and we're so happy to have two of our long-time fans and key influencers be a part of the CRL."
Through Clash Royale, Supercell has been able to welcome two endemic mobile esports teams, YouTuber Chief Pat's Tribe Gaming, and Alvaro845's Team Queso.
"Mobile esports give players and fans the opportunity to play and watch from anywhere, and they speak to the generation of gamers who have phones with them at all times--so the distinction is an advantage in my eyes, at least in these early days," Ebner said.
The current list of teams and regions is as follows:
Counter Logic Gaming
AHQ Esports Club
Latin American teams will be announced at a later date.