Erryn Rhoden is an ordinary person who works for his family’s roofing company in Columbus, Ohio. She is also the highest ranked player in her semifinal group for the Candy Crush Saga All Stars Tournament, the biggest Candy Crush tournament in history, which he entered by accident. That makes her one of the most successful esports athletes in the entire country right now.
Candy Crush is the most popular match 3 game of all time. Players remove blocks by matching three or more candies by swapping their positions until they are next to each other. In general Candy Crush progress is measured by the number of levels you have completed. You complete levels by meeting their level objectives, such as breaking particularly tough blocks or accumulating a certain amount of special candy that you can create by matching regular candy tiles in a certain way. If you finish a level with time left on the timer or in fewer moves, you get bonus points at the end.
Candy Crush gross hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and the CEO of Xbox has said that the free game is the main reason why Microsoft wants to acquire Activision Blizzard. Whether you like mobile gaming or not, this match-3 game is one of the most lucrative and most popular gaming franchises in the world. It is also, apparently, very competitive.
The first qualifying round of the All Stars Tournament began on March 23 and was open to any player who was at least level 25 or higher. Players advanced to subsequent rounds by accumulating enough points to place in a certain rank on the leaderboard (which differed each round). Those who manage to avoid elimination until the final round will fly to London to compete in person.
On April 12, Rhoden’s son, Xane, posted a Candy Crush tweet about his gamer mom that went viral. The tweet said that she was the main competitor in her group and that she got into King’s (Candy Crushdeveloper of) $250,000 tournament prize entirely by accident.
I am certainly a lapsed Candy Crush gamer, but I still had a hard time believing that someone could enter an esports competition without realizing it. So I contacted Xane to set up a call with her mother, who is currently qualified for the semifinals of the tournament after playing just two rounds. She is ranked so high that she managed to skip extra rounds that other players probably had to play. Now that she is an elite player.
The rise of a Candy Crush champion
“I have three children, [and] I am 48 now. I used to play a lot of video games,” Rhoden told me on a Zoom call with his son Xane. “When I quit, I started playing Candy Crush. Because I have ADD, I need to have ten things going at once. It’s just something to fill my mind and keep me focused. I started playing it like 10 years ago.” Rhoden runs a roofing company with her husband, so she usually works out of her home office. There, she would play the game late into the night, but she still refers to herself in our conversation as a player in the past tense.
Rhoden played PvP games when he was younger, where he enjoyed “demolishing” his opponents for the adrenaline rush. However, he didn’t like the person he became while playing such competitive games. Candy Crush “satisfied his urge to win without feeling like it [she was] do anything to someone else and cause anger.” In a single player puzzle game, the only opponent was herself.
But she is not only innately skilled at Candy Crush. The game requires a lot of practice and real strategy, so he would watch videos that conveyed the core strategy of each level to improve his game.
Not all supported his dedication to the Sweet craft. “[My husband] they made fun of me for playing Candy Crush my whole life.” She suggests that her taunting stemmed, in part, from her regularly playing the game until the wee hours of the morning for the past decade. Despite pushback from loved ones, Candy Crush she embedded herself in Rhoden’s usual routine, which ultimately led to her entering the All Star tournament by mistake.
He star tournament is an in-game event in which players compete against each other by racking up the highest points during normal gameplay. Unlike regular esports tournaments, players are not directly pitted against each other. In fact, Rhoden feels that King was “cryptic” about how the event was carried out.
“They don’t let you know where you’re ranked or what region you’re playing in until the very end,” he told me. “They are not telling me these things. It just says I’m number one in my group. But it doesn’t tell me where that pool is, or how many people are in the pool or anything.” He official page of the tournament details when each round takes place. In order to reach her current rank, Rhoden had to make it through the qualifier and the quarterfinals. The runners-up would also have to play in the wild card rounds, but Rhoden didn’t know they existed until after the fact. All of this obfuscation contributed to her accidentally entering the competition.
Rhoden knew that King hosted these types of contests every few years, but she was never interested in competing. As a purely free player, she ignored the various pop-up ads that tried to tempt her into spending money or participating in events. I’m clicking on the [exit buttons and] not paying attention. And then apparently I clicked yes instead of “no”. A week later, it was like, ‘You qualify. And I’m like, ‘Well, that’s good.’ She didn’t even know that she was playing”. Since progress was tied to game score rather than PvP results, Rhoden kept getting popups for milestones like getting past the quarterfinals and then entering the semifinals while casually participating in his usual gameplay. Candy Crush routine.
She was overwhelmed, so she texted the other esports athlete in the family: her son. Xane was the best meta knight player in the midwest during the heyday of his Super Smash Bros. career. She asked him what the $250,000 prize pool was. After explaining that first place got half of the total prize pool, she asked why. “I’m in the semifinals by accident,” she wrote.
He called her to find out more about the tournament and his mother’s placement. So he decided to tweet about it. “I was hoping my group of friends would ‘like’ it,” Xane said. At the time of writing, the tweet about his mother Candy Crush run has nearly 55,000 likes.
The popularity of Rhoden’s hit makes sense, as advancing directly to the semifinals is an impressive achievement. Candy Crush has 270 million playersand many others could have accidentally entered the tournament like Rhoden did, but not all of them would have accomplished such a feat.
Advancing in the All Stars Tournament
Last time I checked on Rhoden’s progress, he was in round one of three in the semifinal, racking up 520,528 points. He told me that she has completed about 11,000 levels, which means she has about 3,000 more to go. but unfinished Candy Crush it gives you an advantage over players who have completed more levels before the tournament starts. Experienced players are penalized because replaying previous levels awards reduced points compared to completing levels the first time and finishing new ones.
Xane did her mom’s chores this weekend so she would have more time to compete. Rhoden used to take him to another state Smash tournaments, so he feels the compensation was fair, and she’s the reason he became a player in the first place. “He grew up surrounded by video games and me yelling at people through headphones,” he said. “Now I can yell at more people. He yelled into my phone.”
Rhoden is honest about how she still gets mad at players during tough times. Candy Crush levels “It’s been a long time since I was stuck for a week. If I get stuck for more than 30 minutes, I get really mad.” Candy Crush It can be a chaotic game where candy gets stuck in isolated parts of the map. While color matching is important, advanced planning and strategy are also part of being a skilled player.
The Accidental Pro is happy to give advice to new players who want to be next. Candy Crush champion. “I think a lot of people use their boosters at the wrong time,” he said, referring to items that help players complete the level more easily (usually by destroying specific candy blocks). “So if I don’t get past the board the first time, I load up my reinforcements and use them.” When there is competition for more in-game premium currency, you will also use it to achieve certain milestones.
His biggest piece of advice, though, is don’t get frustrated. “I think the best thing to do [when frustrated at a level] It’s just stop and look at the [playthrough] videos, watch someone else win the game. So you know that [beating it is] possible. Sometimes you’re looking at the wrong thing. You only focus on removing one area when the whole game is focused on something else.” Instead of hyper-focusing on their own strategy, they should think about what the board is trying to teach them about the game. “So don’t spend two weeks in one game on one board. It’s just useless.
Despite the fact that free games have a reputation as money sinks, Rhoden has not spent any money on Candy Crush. He usually sees the game ads. But with a pool of $250,000 at stake, he’s thinking about opening his wallet. Paid boosts can significantly improve a player’s bottom line, which is how this free game makes millions of dollars a year. There are many players like Rhoden who pride themselves on being able to win these mobile games without spending any money, but this time the stakes are different. Although she talked to me about how difficult it would be to return to London a few months after going on vacation, she was clearly interested in attending the final.
I hope you don’t spend money as you are doing so well without even meaning to. “I really thought that Candy Crush tournament was like an online version of Candy Crush they had for a limited time and you play live against other people,” he said. While she knows no competition Candy Crush players at your level in real life, Twitter it is full of children destination about them parents’ ws in the posterior stages of the tournament Candy Crush it’s a game dominated by busy parents, and she’s a champion among them.
Rhoden doesn’t play many other games these days, though Xane suggested she was good at Scratch. Or maybe it was Word. “Word it was too easy,” he said, laughing softly. She played words with friendsa mobile game similar to Scratchbut gave up the game once she “got bored of it too”. Candy Crush persists, however.
“It’s just not fun when there’s no learning,” he said in the last push-up. “There is no competition.”