The audience of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) proved once again that mobile, though easily overlooked amid all the hype and rabble around consoles and PC gaming, really and truly is royalty — especially Clash Royale, which took their AMD Esports Audience Award for 2017.
Clash Royale was up against the industry’s heaviest hitters. The nominees included the following:
League of Legends (Riot Games)
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)
DOTA 2 (Valve)
Street Fighter V (Capcom)
Of course, audience votes are always a little sketchy — Overwatch took best multiplayer, which was a paneled vote. Rocket League took 2017’s Evolving Game award as well. And when was the last time you watched a Clash Royale tournament?
That is not to say that such a program doesn’t exist, of course. Chinese holdings company Tencent, which owns shares in everything from Riot Games to even Elon Musk’s Tesla car company, did buy Supercell for $8.6 billion last year, after all, and their gaming aegis tends to include pushes into the competitive scene. The recent 2v2 update for Clash Royale, as reported on last month, is intended for its competitive program too.
While it’s hard to imagine a future where Clash Royale tournaments fill stadiums like League of Legends or CS:GO does, its recent BAFTA victory at least serves as a reminder that the hype and glitz of “conventional” esports doesn’t yet mean their plans for world dominance have concluded. In fact, there are bigger sharks in those proverbial waters. And with copies of Clash Royale floating around on millions of smartphones and tablets across the world, some of those sharks are very large indeed.