There's No Beef With Boeufmac
November 28 2018
Mobile gaming has grown so much in the last few years. Back in the day, playing on your phone meant combos galore in Bejeweled on flip phones and Snake on the Nokia. Fast forward to today, and you’ve got Chicken Dinners in your pocket and Victory Royales in the palm of your hand. This is where healthy competition comes in. Games like Clash Royale already have a major league that pins together teams from huge esports companies together to battle it out and see who can land the best lightning or drive the best Sparky. Luckily, we’ve got just that: our own Team Liquid Clash Royale Pro Player roster.
Charlie “Boeufmac” McLaren, one of our players, plays it professionally, representing our team in America at just 16 years old. He’s a little bit on the quiet side as a person, but Boeufmac’s plays speak volumes with his quick playing decks and a touch of his favorite cards ready to go.
With Team Liquid’s season coming to a close, I decided to talk to Boeufmac himself about the game and how it so drastically changed his life.
When asked about what made him decide to go pro, he didn’t really think about doing so at first.
“I didn’t really practice hard since it’s a mobile game.” says Boeufmac. “I just played for fun and casually, and I slowly got into the competitive scene.” Getting himself into the competitive scene has allowed him to compile all of his favorite ways to play Clash. Favorite decks? “I play a lot of Lava Loon or Golem and switch between them and other types of quick playing decks, especially in competitive”. While many players normally stick with one or two decks in a meta, Boeufmac finds it beneficial to actually work against the grain of this common trend, saying that playing with different decks and switching them up “helps to keep it fun and not so repetitive”.
As for his favorite card, he goes for something with a bit more firepower at the cost of health: Magic Archer. “It’s pretty overpowered and if you use it well, you get so much value out of it”.
His investment into the It certainly paid off, as he’s now living a dream that very few can imagine doing, and he hasn’t even graduated high school yet!
Speaking of high school, he found that he needed to properly balance practicing and his schoolwork. Knowing that he would not have enough time during the regular season to do his schoolwork, he had to do a lot of schoolwork just to get ahead. “In the regular season, I probably practiced about 8 hours a day. In the off-season I could not play at all or play casually, for instance playing in the car.” he says. While the off-season sees Beoufmac playing an occasional match or two, he kicks it into high gear when the season comes to an end. “I could play about 10 to even 40 hours over the course of two days.” This is insane, because that’s an average of 5 to 20 hours per day!
Not many of his school subjects were really useful when it came to his plays, but one subject had its spotlight. “[I use] mostly just maths, specifically micro-interactions and calculations in the game. Everything has to be done so quickly, like the elixir counting”.
Boeufmac’s math skills are on point, so much so that if he wasn’t smashing down towers, he’d be smashing calculators and crunching numbers as a banker. “My parents are both bankers, so it runs in the family”. Does this mean his parents will also become professional esports pros? It’s possible, and would make for a great “Bring your kid to work” day. Given that Beoufmac’s father was very onboard the moment he decided to become a pro, this fantasy could easily become a reality, as the support from his loved ones are very important to him. “I can play better because I have the support. I’m able to practice when I need to and as a result I do well.”
But if his parents really want him to go the more traditional route, he’s definitely down for pursuing a college degree. “I’d probably want to go into business or economics, or possibly even geography.” If you think about it, all of these majors are easily applicable in Clash Royale: geography helps give you an idea of where to place cards, economics bring you the math, and business helps you decide what to purchase.
Choosing to become a competitive player instead of pursuing a degree is no easy task, but Team Liquid has helped out in so many ways. “The [Alienware Training Facilities (AWTF)] was really helpful as well as our chef.” says Boeufmac. “In addition, we have the podiums that we stand on and practice. The team house with everyone is super helpful as well because we have everyone there.”. “Standing at a castle podium” is the new “sitting in front of a laptop”; Clash Royale is definitely starting a trend. Also, going to the AWTF provides a sense of motivation, since pros are there to practice and scrim. “Everyone around there is there to support you as well, so it makes it easier for you to practice.”
While at the facilities, there is a lot of prep-work going on for tournaments, including CRL. “We’ll play against each other with certain matchups or random matchups with different bans” says Beoufmac. “If we’re doing 2v2, we’ll also practice, with DiegoB being my partner. For CRL, we’ll play against Azilys and Surgical. We help each other out by picking bans and suggest decks as well.” This takes an upwards of an astounding 10 hours just for specific matchups.
It’s definitely important that our team makes sure to play well on their end, but it also helps to see what their opponents are also doing. Boeufmac will look at plays from his opponents a few days before the actual tournament, figuring out their game plans and building a counter play for it. “We have an analyst who looks at their deck picks and bans, takes notes of it, and then sends it to us.”
Even though practicing and training is super important for a professional gamer, it’s also just as important to minimize stress and nerves when competing. Beoufmac likes to keep his nerves at bay by visualizing himself standing at the podium while practicing (when he’s not actually at the podium, of course). “It gets difficult to play if you’re nervous as well, so do your best to build confidence in your skills.”. You heard it here: he’s quiet yet confident.
Reflecting on CRL, the experience Beoufmac has had were rather pleasant, as he had no significant issues with adjusting to the work schedule. “After the first month, the only real issue was jetlag. For the most part, everything was good and I enjoyed it”. He learned throughout the league that he had accomplished so much, but there was still more he could improve on, one being stage presence. “I didn’t have a lot of stage expression, so that’s something I need to work on”.
Once settled in, he also likes to hang out with players from the other teams. Yes, they may be competitive with each other on stage, but off-stage, they’re all good friends who love to hang out while also incorporating the game that brings them together. “We would go to each other’s houses and scrim, which helps to relax and get to know each other. It’s really easy because Clash is a mobile game, so it’s easy to bring.” No need for LAN parties when your phone has all the power needed for games!
Boeufmac has served as a great addition to the Team Liquid Clash Royale team, and behind his quiet persona lies a great source of skill and quirkiness (Fun fact: He loves a good curry!). He’s accomplished his dream goal of becoming a professional player at the super young age of 16 and there’s no doubt that he will be able to accomplish so much more.