Tourneys have finally come to Clash Royale, and they are… interesting. Like a lot of stuff about CR, the core is good and they are fun, but the surrounding details are both frustrating and perhaps ultimately flawed. Lets dig in.
The first issue is the price of hosting a tourney. The cheapest option is 500 gems ($5), which creates a 50 man tourney, and a top prize that is worth significantly less than if you spend that 500 gems on a chest (and that is of course assuming you come in first, if you don’t the prize is basically the smallest reward chest in the game). They scale up to 1000 players, which costs 250,000 gems, which if my math is correct, costs $1,700+ to host. That’s… a little much.
Joining any tourney is free, which brings us to problem #2; joining a tourney right now is refresh murder. Tourneys of all sizes (most are the 50 man) fill up in less than a second, and this is in the current state of the game where a new achievement for hosting a tourney gives you 500 gems, so in essence the first 50 man is ‘free’ to host. Once that one-time achievement dries up, the number of people looking to play a tourney vs the number of open spots is going to be even more comically disproportionate than it is right now.
The most frustrating thing about the whole situation is tourneys are a lot of fun to play in. The tourney cap on cards shifts the meta, you get to see all of the arenas again (its random what field you fight on), and seeing yourself climb or drop on the leaderboard is pretty cool. It’s actually almost TOO much fun, because of how the structure works.
Rather than a knockout system, tourneys currently operate on trophies, and you can play as many games as you can for the duration of the tourney. Even the shortest, 1hr, means a lot of CR games in a row, and taking a break during that hour pretty much makes getting first or even top 5 extremely unlikely. CR is a lot of fun, but dedicating a full hour to chain-playing matches is like putting a kid in a candy store and letting him to wild. It sounds awesome until you realize stuffing your face with candy has drawbacks.
The lack of a free tourney option also means when we run out in-house tourneys, they will cost someone money (until we run out of the ‘free’ ones anyway). That’s a drag, even if paying $5 for a monthly tourney isn’t a huge expense. What is more of a problem is when we do an in-house tourney, people in different time zones likely won’t be able to play, or will have to really more schedules around to make it. If the setup was a knockout style tourney, that would be far more doable over a day or two.
All of that said, I fully expect SuperCell to tweak the system, because as it stands today its a bit too flawed to be a ‘main’ feature like clan wars are in CoC.