The world finals of the Clash Royale Crown Championship rocked the ex-Olympic Copper Box venue in East London today. And your favourite mobile gaming site was on hand to report the action direct from the frontline.
It was immediately clear that no expense had been spared in the arena. Game developers Supercell turned this into a thrilling spectacle, making room for the eye-popping stage show and 1,500 spectators. An incredible lighting show, massive screens and a lavish opening ceremony introduced the 16 international competitors from 9 countries, who spent the day duking it out for $400,000 worth of prize money.
Thanks to Twitch, you can watch the whole three hour extravaganza here. Get your recap on, then check out our detailed breakdown below:
The ultimate winner was 16-year-old SergioRamos:) whose winning move was a final Thief dash, as you can read about in detail below. But before we get to that point, here's our blow-by-blow account of how the players tackled each round. First Round Match 1: YauYau (Germany) vs MusicMaster (USA)
The action kicked off rapidly with previous champion YauYau and Musicmaster going head to head and it was quite a match-up with all three games going to added time. Musicmaster's use of Furnace and Spear Goblin tower fed into a general 'chip' attack strategy at odds with YauYau's big Pekka and Golem pushes, which may have been undercut by the banning of the Elixir collector as he lost the first battle.
YauYaus' big pushes managed to find their mark in the second match to bring things level but ultimately a combination of Miner attacks with some creative use of the rolling and flying canons ultimately saw Musicmaster through 2-1 to the semi-finals. Winner: MusicMaster (USA)
First Round Match 2: Geltube (Korea) vs Adrian Piedra (Mexico)
The second quarter final saw a banning of Hogrider and Tornado cards and the early exchanges were very tight with awesome defence from Adrian Piedra fending off relentless balloon and Megaknight attacks with his inferno tower and Megaminion. Meanwhile the combination of Nightwitch and Skeleton Graveyard chopped away at Geltube's defence to deliver a clean victory in the first round. The second match was all about the Princess who did all the early damage down the left flank and then a Goblin barrel finished the hob taking out the left tower and leaving Geltube flailing with rocket and log attacks but ultimately falling short as the Mexican eased through in normal time 2-0. Winner: Adrian Piedra (Mexico)
First Round Match 3: ColtonW83 (USA) vs Winds (China)
The banned units for this round are Elixir collector and Poison, which could count against Colton83 who's attacking tactics were evidenced early on by rockets and log attacks.
Ultimately Winds more cautious style won out chipping away with graveyard attacks and Pekka charges and in the end Coltonw83 just ran out of time to rocket cycle.
The second game was much tighter, but Winds came within a second of eliminating Coltonw83, before a Rocket cycle and Ice Wizard knocked down a tower to bring us to extra time and then seize the momentum with a push putting Winds right tower in rocket range and bringing us back to 1-1.
The final match started cagily, with some exchanges of big pushes but it was ultimately Wind's better use of the graveyard won the day comfortably to a 2-1 victory and into the next round.
Winner: Winds (China)First Round Match 4: Berin (Germany) vs Fuchi (Japan)
Canons and Ice Golem were banned for this East vs West match-up which saw Fuchi launching right in with an aerial barrage. Flying Cannon, Inferno Dragon, Lava Hound and Minions unleashed in quick succession but solid defence via inferno tower and goblin barrel counters saw Berin ease to a 1-0 victory in normal time.
The second match proved much tighter, until Berin accidentally triggered the king tower, but the match still went to extra time until Fuchi built an edge thanks to a Princess/Tesla Tower defence against the Megaknight, Goblin Gang and Balloon, and using Knight and Goblin Barrel to chip away on the counter before rocketing level to 1-1.
The final match-up saw a complete change of decks from the Japanese player, who launched in with the Giant, Thief and Nightwitch, but Berin's Executioner was the star of the show both on defence (clearing out Giants) and attack blazing a path through the way for the Hogrider to down the right hand tower, and see the German player through to the quarter-finals.
Winner: Berin (Germany).So at the halfway mark it was even in the battle of East vs West with victories for players from USA, Mexico, China and Japan. First Round Match 5: Sergioramos:) (Mexico) vs X-Bow Master (USA)
This proved the most closely matched challenge of the tournament with the first two games seeing initiative switch back and forth between Sergioramos:) and his 3 Musketeer/Hogrider combination against the X-bow and Tornado of X-Bow Master. Despite plenty of excitement, both games ended in stalemates thanks to some sterling defensive play. With the potential of tower points coming into play, we could’ve expected an even tighter final match, but if anything it was the most hectic yet, X-Bow Master lunging in with a rocket attack as he attempted to seize the upper hand, but being rapidly undone by some Giant pushes that he couldn’t fend off, leaving Sergioramos;) as the second Mexican representative in the quarter finals.
Winner: Sergioramos:) (Mexico)
First Round Match 6: CMcHugh (USA) vs ElecTrify (Israel)This match brought the first glimpse of the Elixir Pumps, with CMcHugh building up to three at one point, but it wasn’t enough to push through ElecTrify’s defence, whose miners picked off the pumps and a Giant push with poison and a log led to a comfortable 1-0 lead for the Israeli player. The second game could’ve gone either way, with CMcHugh abandoning his elixir collectors in favour of a Furnace and did a fair bit of damage, but ultimately it was ElecTrify’s miner, electro-wizard, poison and log attack that edged it and saw him through to the quarter finals.
Winner: ElecTrify (Israel)
First Round Match 7: Quiet (China) vs loupanji (France)
The banned units were Miner and Ice Golem. Loupanji’s reputation for creativity promised some eclectic decks and they didn’t disappoint. A Peka, Hogrider and Log combination offered different options in defence and attack, but Quiet lived up to his name with silent efficiency, using Teslas to protect his X-bows, which locked on to get the job done.
The second match-up saw a complete reshuffle in decks and the Cannon Cart came into play on both sides, but Quiet’s Hogrider delivered the most impact, repeatedly breaking through and some increasingly frantic play ended with a race against time between loupanju’s poison and Quiet’s Hogrider, with the latter ultimately securing victory by just 5 points and a place in the quarter finals.
Winner: Quiet (China)
First Round Match 8: Amaterasu (Japan) vs Tali (Vietnam)Ice Golem was again banned along with minion horde as we entered the final match of the first round in a clash of two players from Asia and in Tali one of the favourites for the trophy.
A disasterous start for Amaterasu saw a Hogrider counter smash his left hand tower down to just 500, before Tali’s Minion attack and Poison knocked it out completely. He rallied well with a succession of Lava Hound and Balloon/Skeleton attacks that took the right-hand lane tower with 10 seconds remaining. But Tali’s Hogrider again found a way through and a Megaknight finished things off. Fresh decks in the second game. But again it was Tali's Hogrider doing the damage, exacerbated by a misplaced Tornado from Amaterasu. A Golem, Knight and Baby Dragon push evened things up for Materasu (with both right-hand towers down to around 1100) but this time Tali found a way through with Goblins, and it was soon all-over for the Japanese player.
Winner: Tali (Vietnam)And that's the first round done! After a short lunch break, we shifted location to the Goblin Jungle level to kick off the first quarter final.
Quarter Final 1: Adrian Piedra (Mexico) vs MusicMaster (USA)
MusicMaster was the last man standing for the US and also the youngest player in the competition... apparently his parents weren't even aware he played till a month ago! Now he's fighting for national honour against the Latin American number one seed, Adrian Piedra.
The first game of the match was a cagey affair with small pushes exchanged and honours relatively even in normal time. With double elixir it was a battle of the Hogriders but MusicMaster managed to fend off the better and threw in a combination with an inferno dragon to claim the round.
In the second round MusicMaster effectively ground out the result using the Goblin House and Furnace to support his pushes and chip away steadily on the top left tower, before closing out a place in the semi finals in regulation time.
Winner: MusicMaster (USA)Quarter Final 2: Winds (China) vs Berin (Germany)
Both players opted to ban the Elixir Pump which suggests a lack of big push units and again the Hogrider proved the main impact card early on, with Berin firing the piggies out to take down the left-hand tower. But Winds counters with a tower-smashing Golem and Megaminion push, before repeating the trick on the left tower to take the first game in overtime.
The second match was more of the same with the Hogs and Goblins along with the odd Megaknight flying down from Berin, but being appropriately countered with Tornadoes from Winds, drawing the attacks onto his central king tower to bring him into play. Ultimately counters with Goblin Barrels, Princess Archer proved enough to pull one of Berin's towers into rocket range. Winds duly closed things out for an efficient 2-0 pass to the semi finals.
Winner: Winds (China)Quarter Final 3: Sergioramos:) (Mexico) vs ElecTrify (Israel)
With both players banning Hogrider, a unit that has proved decisive elsewhere, we were always set for a different type of game this time around and sure enough a number of fresh units got a run out early on, with ElecTrify focusing on the Knight , bats and Princess as opposed to the Thief, Electro Wizard and MegaKnight from Sergioramos:).
Sure enough it was a combination of Electro Wizard, Bats and Megaknight pushes that did the damage from Sergioramos:) not once but twice as he surged to the first two tower win in normal time, putting the pressure on ElecTrify to stay in the tournament.
Unsurprisingly the Israeli player shifted up his deck and played a much tighter defence in the second match, with liberal use of Poison, Canon Carts and Tornado. In response, Sergioramos:) rolled out the Bowler for his first appearance of the day.
With a tense match looking to go to a deadlock, the Mexican player dug up the Skeleton Graveyard three times in succession to keep hacking away at the top left tower and even ElecTrify's poison and Ice Wizard defence couldn't ultimately keep him from slipping out of the championships.
Winner: SergioRamos:) (Mexico)Quarter Final 4: Quiet (China) vs Tali (Vietnam)
The last quarter final brings two of the strongest players from the first round head-to-head as Vietnam's Tali takes on the Quiet man of the competition.
Megaknight vs Pekka was the big head-to-head with the two units clashing repeatedly in the middle of the pitch, but even when Quiet silently slipped in Three Musketeers to a mid-way push, Tali kept calm, unleashed his Inferno Dragon and kept chipping away to a 1-0 lead.
The second match was a spawn-off with both players planting Goblin Spear Huts and Quiet adding Fire Spirits to the mix too (reminiscent of MusicMaster's tactics earlier). Yet again it was Quiet's Pekka vs Tali's Megaknight in the battle of the '7' elixir tanks. Quiet managed to eke out an elixir lead thanks to some good work from Megaminions and although Tali's relentless Poison attacks seemed set to win the day, a Megaminion and eWiz crept in to level the match 1-1. Ultimately, it proved to be only be a temporary reprieve as Tali patiently powered through the final round to claim the final semi-final space.
Winner: Tali (Vietnam)It's now effectively Team Nova vs Team Sandstorm and an even 2-2 East-meets-West in the semi-finals as we get closer to discovering who will don the Championship crown. Good luck Tali, Winds, Sergioramos:) and Musicmaster!
?? We've moved into the PEKKA Playhouse Arena for the Semi-Finals of the #ClashRoyaleWorldFinals ?? ??: https://t.co/THK6I2ftNI ?? pic.twitter.com/aE0VKxfeGF — Clash Royale (@ClashRoyale) December 3, 2017
Semi Final 1: MusicMaster (USA) vs Winds (China)The first semi-final will not feature Elixir pumps or and wasting no time, they hammer straight into the match and two quick X-Bow locks from MusicMaster pull Winds left hand tower down to 1026, even the Pekka can't do too much to battle that and a double X-Bow and Tesla combo do even further damage, before an Ice Golem counter brought the tower into Fireball range...1-0 to newcomer MusicMaster.
Back into Pekka's Playhouse and Winds hurled a giant into the fray straight away, but the Graveyard got chewed up by defensive Poison. Another push from Winds with a Giant and Bowler made another breakthrough and he repeats the trick almost immediately along with a graveyard for good measure to tie the match at 1-1.
MusicMaster seized the initiative early in the final leg with Goblin Towers and Hogrider breaking through and although he held on valiantly with a Graveyard, Bowler and Inferno Dragon, Winds ultimately couldn't pull back the deficit, leaving MusicMaster to secure the first final slot for USA and eSports team Sandstorm.
Winner: MusicMaster (USA)
Semi Final 2: Tali (Vietnam) vs Sergioramos:) (Mexico)Canon Cart and Elixir collectors are banned for the second semi-final featuring the youngest player in the field plus the oldest, although both represent Team Nova. Tali dominated the early running with the X-Bow, defended by a Tesla and despite some valiant attempts to defend with a Pekka from Sergioramos:) the tactics proved hard to avoid and a Fireball concluded a one tower win for 'the scientist'
Playing his seventh different deck so far Tali launched in with a Hogrider but Sergioramos:) Tornado-ed the hog to his central tower and hit back with a Graveyard to keep things close early on. The same tactics continued into overtime, with Tali trying to mix things up with a Mini Pekka and Rocket attack, but ultimately the Mexican's defence held and a Graveyard counter broke through to take the tie to a deciding game.
Honours were even as the final game entered double elixir time, then an epic smash up of Inferno Dragons and MegaWizards in the centre of the pitch came out in favour of SergioRamos:) and we have two teenagers going head-to-head in the final! Winner: Sergioramos:) (Mexico)
It is finally time. @Sergioramos0139????, passionately representing Mexico and @MusicMaster_123????, defending his North American Fall Finals Champion crown. #clashroyaleworldfinals ??: https://t.co/THK6I2ftNI ?? pic.twitter.com/fDOKjhQvJ9 — Clash Royale (@ClashRoyale) December 3, 2017
Grand Final: MusicMaster (USA) vs Sergioramos:) (Mexico) In this best of five final, there was no Elixir Collector or Logs - what there will be is Spear Goblin Huts, Cannons and Megaknights, all of which have been unleashed by MusicMaster in the first minute to take a commanding lead. Whilst Sergioramos;) steadied the shop with a strong counter and both came within rocket range, its MusicMaster that takes the first game.
The second match started in familiar terms with two spawners laid down, but this time SergioRamos;) came back hard with a Miner attack on the Furnace and a Golem push backed by Minions that smashed the right tower to take the upper hand. Although MusicMaster valiantly tried to attack back with the MegaKnight, another series of Golem pushes secured the win to even the scores at 1-1.
The third game brought a change up of tactics from both players, although it was notably the Mexican player on the charge with the Thief, Goblins and Minions smashing to an early tower lead. As MusicMaster tried to regain a foothold, a disastrous mortar vs Pekka match-up lands another tower down for SergioRamos:) who then went on to smash the king tower too for the day’s first three crown victory! With team Nova up on Sandstorm 2-1 and just one game from victory, the pressure was always likely to tell and straight away Sergioramos:) raised the stakes by chipping away with a succession of small attacks using Miners, goblins and Minions to bring MusicMaster’s tower down to 1286. These swarm attacks, teamed with liberal defensive and offensive use of Zap and Poison proved irresistible in the end as both MusicMaster's towers dropped to c.200 'Fireball' levels, but in the end it was a final Thief dash that stole the championship, crowning SergioRamos:) as the first Clash Royale grand champion earning himself a cool $150,000 cheque in the process! Overall winner: Sergioramos:) (Mexico)
Speaking afterwards, the young player from Latin America was understandably emotional, offering thanks to his family, friends and the team who had helped him earn the biggest payday in mobile eSports to date. You can read more about him here. It was an amazing event to witness in person. Supercell proved they can host an amazing event in the heart of London for Clash Royale fans.