Clash Royale League (CRL) World Finals 2023, RoyaleAPI

by See-ming Lee
I will be in Helsinki for a week in November. Here’s why.
Clash Royale League (CRL) World Finals 2023, RoyaleAPI
Clash Royale League (CRL) World Finals 2023, RoyaleAPI

I will be in Helsinki for a week — from November 21 to November 27 — to attend the Clash Royale League (CRL) World Finals 2023. Most of you don’t know what I’ve been doing recently, and that’s because what I’ve been doing has a backstory that’s complicated, and it happened rather unexpectedly.

In 2016, while on vacation in Scotland, I got really bored looking at the lake, and I went to the App Store to look for a strategy game — my favorite genre. I must’ve downloaded at least 20 strategy games, and within it is a game called Clash Royale.

In order to play the game better, I decided to figure out how I could find the best strategy for it using data analytics. With no official API available at the time, I initiated a partnership with a contact I made on Discord, and we rolled out a public API. That was the genesis of RoyaleAPI.

We opted to make the API accessible for public use, to allow more developers who don’t have the know-how to reverse-engineer the game to also be able to create apps and tools for the game.

Supercell — the game developer of Clash Royale — released an official API in 2018, and eventually we concluded the API element of our business was no longer sustainable. We discontinued that aspect of our site but retained the name due to its existing brand equity.

Our user-facing website was originally just a proof-of-concept, mainly developed to show what developers can do with the API that we published. But its deep data analytics capabilities have attracted the advanced users — particularly the professional players and their analysts who are involved in esports — where winning/losing each game could be a difference of $50k prize fund — all within 5 minutes.

RoyaleAPI started out as a personal project that’s only used by myself and a few small circle of friends. Little did I know, it would evolve into my full-time commitment with millions of monthly active users. And because of this, we’re now a top-tier content partner with Supercell, and it’s the main reason why we’re invited to participate in the CRL World Finals — the most important esports event for the game.

Because of this project, I have come full circle back to what I have always loved — combining design and technology at the same time. This way of working is unique to me, and as I advanced my career, I have always been faced with the tough choice of choosing one over the other.

I will provide more details about what we do at RoyaleAPI later, but for now, I must go pack and get ready for my flight tomorrow!