While all of our American readers were celebrating their independence earlier this week -- ironically from the country that 148apps' parent company calls home -- Supercell got to work dropping a fresh new Clash Royale update on everyone.
In similar fashion to previous updates, this one included both new cards and balance changes made to various existing cards. There's even a brand new arena: Frozen Peak, which unlocks once you've reached 2300 trophies.
However the biggest news is a brand new way to play Clash Royale. Tournaments bring the action to a whole new level, and we're here to run down everything you need to know about this new game mode.
Not everyone can join
Tournaments only unlock once you've reached player level 8. That's a milestone that could take quite some time for a solo player or someone in a small clan, but not too long if you join an active clan with plenty of members.
Why the restriction? Supercell explained that it wanted to use the existing Tournament Rules for Tournaments (fitting, that), which place level caps on cards according to rarity. They also cap the level of towers at 9, so allowing players who are just starting out to enter Tournaments would leave them at a severe disadvantage while placing everyone else on a more or less even playing field.
They work based on location
The idea behind Tournaments was to pit players who are physically close together against each other. So unlike normal Clash Royale play, you won't be facing off against someone on the other side of the world.
They also don't use traditional brackets, but rather a matchmaking pool based on who's entered and who's currently online. One gets the sense that Supercell could tweak this in the future, but it works to suit the developers' purposes for now.
The prizes are fantastic
Prizes for tournaments are based on the size of the field that enters. They come in the form of Tournament Chests, and sort of like online poker (or so I've heard, wink, wink), about half the players who enter a sizable contest will come away with something for their time and effort.
Supercell claims the rewards for really huge Tournaments are appropriately massive -- as in 15,000 cards. That's a prize worth fighting for, surely.
One at a time
While you are free to drop out of a Tournament whenever you wish, Clash Royale will only track your progress in one Tournament at any given time. On top of that, you can't even start another Tournament while a Tournament Chest is being opened.
That promises to be the least popular aspect of this new mode, and while it's easy to take the cynical viewpoint and say that the devs want people to spend gems to speed up the Tournament Chest and get back into the fray, it's also equally understandable to expect some kind of limit on anything in a free-to-play game like this one. Tournaments promise to be very popular regardless, especially with Supercell supporting them with a whole week of special content, so be sure to check them out as soon as you are able.