The eSports Observer has examined Supercell’s approach to Clash Royale and eSports. This report is well worth a read, it looks at how tournaments are funded and the sustainability of the Supercell model.
The eSports Observer concludes that Supercell isn’t interested in eSports, they are simply marketing Clash Royale as an eSport due to the additional marketing opportunities of being associated as an eSport.
A perfect marketing tool
…All that said, a small community investment in the tournament feature wouldn’t necessarily mean that it was a complete failure. The tournament tool will be used as a promotion tool anyway. And indeed, Supercell did just that during its first week—including an official Tourney Week event, where Supercell had some of its most famous streamers and Youtubers play tournaments on sponsored streams in sponsored tournaments.
This is a perfect tool to build promotional events, with seemingly huge prizes, without having to invest real dollars.
Those promotional tournaments were massive. For example, Clash Royale China has organized an event to be held in Shanghai in July 23rd. The qualifiers took place last weekend, spread out over 100 tournaments, each grouping 1000 players using the new tournament feature. The total cost to create these tournaments runs to almost $20,000—an astronomical number to somebody not working with Supercell to throw it.
A recommended read, the full article can be found HERE.
In fairness to Supercell, they have said all along that Clash Royale’s tournament feature will evolve. The jury is still out to see if it will evolve sufficiently to become a true eSport or if this is just a marketing ploy.