From downloading Clash of Clans “by chance” to being the owner of arguable the biggest mobile esports orgs, Chief Pat talks to Esports.gg on his journey in a candid interview.

Patrick “Chief Pat” Carney started his YouTube career way back in 2012 with Clash of Clans. Supercell released the mobile strategy game in the same year and it still is one of the top grossing games on the platform. 

Since then, Chief Pat has moved on to accumulate more than 2.56 million YouTube subscribers through his content on the game and other Supercell titles like Clash Royale and Brawl Stars. 

Currently, Chief Pat doesn’t post as frequently as he used to, though, as most of his time is invested into the esports org he founded, Tribe Gaming. One of the first-ever mobile-focused esports orgs, Tribe Gaming has grown to become a household name in the mobile esports industry. 

Esports.gg got the chance to catch up with Chief Pat about his career as a content creator, his thoughts on Clash of Clans’ growth and sustainability, decision to form Tribe Gaming, and the future of the organization. 

Chief Pat downloaded Clash of Clans “by chance” 

Can you tell me a bit about how you started content creation and choosing Clash of Clans as the game to take you forward in this space? 

Chief Pat: I downloaded Clash of Clans by chance in 2012 when I was procrastinating for an exam in school, and within five minutes of playing I knew it was different from any mobile I’d ever played before.

I downloaded Clash of Clans by chance in 2012 when I was procrastinating for an exam in school

The polish and depth was on a completely different level than what had been out at that time. I didn’t have experience creating content before downloading Clash of Clans, and the only thing I’d used YouTube for at that point was watching funny cat videos… but for some reason, I felt compelled to post guides on the game. Little did I know that hitting ‘download’ would change my life forever.

Rise and future of Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is now ten years old and gave birth to an entire IP, I don’t think any mobile game can claim of consistently being in the top charts of the applications store for so long. What do you think is different about it that it has been a huge success for so long?

Chief Pat: Even with the game itself being incredible, I didn’t really expect the lifespan of Clash of Clans (or my YouTube career, for that matter), to last much longer than a year or two initially. 

But Supercell ended up revolutionized what programmatic content updates looked like for a mobile game via Clash of Clans – consistent game updates with new content (even if every few months, back in the day!) kept the momentum rolling, and kept Clash at the top of the app stores for the entire decade. 

Clash of Clans also embarked into esports a few years back. Do you think esports was launched a bit late considering the game was around for quite some time then? 

Chief Pat: Yes. But, I don’t think you can fault Supercell for that with Clash of Clans – back in 2012, esports wasn’t even close to being a mainstream topic or action item to think about when developing a game as a developer. This was before the boon of League of Legends esports in the mid 2010s that in my opinion lit the candle for the entire industry (in the United States, at least). 

What do you think is the future for Clash of Clans Esports and the game as a whole?

Chief Pat: While I don’t play Clash of Clans actively anymore and can’t give in-depth micro insights, on a high level… what’s the best way to describe it, I think that Clash of Clans is going to ‘keep on keeping on’. 

Tribe Gaming's CoC roster in action.
Tribe Gaming’s Clash of Clans roster in action (Photo via ESL)

Is Clash of Clans going to have a 100x of its current DAU? No. But that’s not typical for a game that’s been out for a decade and still is a top-grossing and downloaded game globally. I think both the esports scene and the game itself is going to continue to grow and remain relevant for the next decade at minimum.

I think both the esports scene and the game itself is going to continue to grow and remain relevant for the next decade at minimum.

Chief Pat on the future of Clash of Clans

Chief Pat explains decision to start a mobile-focused esports organization

Tribe Gaming
Tribe Gaming was founded in 2017 as a mobile-focused esports org

You’ve stopped making as much content now. I am assuming you are more focused on Tribe Gaming. What led you to form Tribe Gaming? Did you think you were tying your hands by making it a more mobile centric esports org, especially in the West? 

Chief Pat: Things have been super busy with Tribe, you caught me, especially with content! 

Regarding your last question – before founding Tribe, I actually explored buying a League of Legends esports team in 2015, before having a revelation that my entire personal brand, passion, and skillset was completely different from the PC/console landscape, regardless of the ‘larger’ opportunity that existed in that space at the time. 

At the time of founding Tribe in 2017, mobile gaming was extremely fragmented and isolated (creators, fans, players, more), and being seen as a mobile gamer was the antithesis of being ‘cool’. 

Chief Pat posing with a Ford vehicle.
Chief Pat posing with a Ford vehicle. Ford are the automotive sponsors of Tribe Gaming. (Photo via Chief Pat)

I saw a unique opportunity to create the first of its kind mobile gaming-first organization to not only bring parts of the community together, but to also create an aspirational brand in the mobile gaming space that was on a similar level to peer organizations on non-mobile platforms. Regarding being mobile-exclusive potentially ‘tying our hands’ – I hear what you’re saying (and others have said), but here’s how I’ve always looked at it – would you rather be a little fish in a big pond (aka, your generic multi-platform esports organization), or a big tuna in a pond that does more revenue than PC/console combined?

Would you rather be a little fish in a big pond (aka, your generic multi-platform esports organization), or a big tuna in a pond that does more revenue than PC/console combined?

Chief Pat on the decision behind making Tribe Gaming a mobile-focused esports organization

The future of mobile esports

Mobile esports still hasn’t caught up in the West as much as it has in markets like India, Brazil, and SEA. Are you looking at these markets as potential expansion spots? 

Chief Pat: Definitely. This year is the first year that we’ve seriously started analyzing international opportunities as a company and discussing potential strategies. Nothing immediate on the horizon though.

This year is the first year that we’ve seriously started analyzing international opportunities as a company and discussing potential strategies.

Chief Pat talks about expanding NA-based Tribe Gaming to other regions

What do you think is the future for mobile esports in the West?

Chief Pat: I think we will get to see continued and sustained growth in mobile esports investments, viewership, and prize pools. 

Chief Pat in a Spurs jersey. Spurs Sports & Entertainment are a minority investor in Tribe Gaming (Photo via Chief Pat)

We will also witness an amplification of the trend where uniquely mobile versions of top gaming IP are released that result in vibrant esports and content ecosystems. An example would be Call of Duty: Mobile.

Lastly, there will definitely be more mobile-first organizations spawning, potentially as sub-brands of traditional PC/console organizations vs. being part of the parent esports organization’s brand.


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Wasif Ahmed -

Wasif Ahmed

| Twitter: @wasifahd_

Wasif is an esports journalist from India who covers mobile gaming news. From PUBG Mobile to Wild Rift, he has been covering mobile esports for over three years. You can reach out to him on Twitter to chat about games and esports anytime.