The 2018 Six Invitational felt like a big budget remake of last year’s event: there was a $500,000 prize pool, twice as many seats in the new arena, and twice as many teams competing over the event’s six days.
There’s a sense that Rainbow Six Siege has matured in the last year. You can see that in the game, but it’s never been more obvious. Last year’s world champions, Continuum, were wearing Evil Genius jerseys this year, and the competition was more recognisable too, with teams like Liquid, FaZe Clan and Rogue fighting it out to be crowned as winners. he production values were significantly improved, and Ubisoft’s plans for Rainbow Six Siege are only just getting started.
Ubisoft’s two year Siege esports roadmap brings five levels of competition, from local grassroots events all the way up to twice-yearly majors produced in partnership with ESL that will bring the cream of worldwide Siege talent together.
This jump to a longer esports cycle is designed to give players and organisations greater stability, which creates a more reliable platform for investing into the esport. Ubisoft has a strong idea of what’s going on with the game until 2020, which means organisations can nd out the plan and make informed financial decisions.
Feeding into the top-tier majors is the Rainbow Six Pro League, which will be moving from a three month rotation to a six month rotation, meaning
a longer season with a chance for everyone involved to play each other.
Below this is a series of tournaments taking place at Dreamhack events, an extension of the partnership between Ubisoft and ESL's owners MTG, who owns Dreamhack. LAN events are a huge part of Siege’s esports strategy moving forwards.
Both as a game and an esport Siege is still growing, with over 27m uniques and a hope that the free weekend accompanying the Six Invitational will have pushed that number over 30m. At this stage, the game’s esports popularity and its success with players appear to be closely connected, with the dripfeed of new content and the constant changing meta winning the game fans and making it highly watchable.
If you’re looking to invest in esports, Rainbow Six Siege seems to be the place to do it. If you’re looking for a successful model for launching an esports game, it might seem a little slow, but there’s no denying that, at the 2018 Six Invitational at least, the hard work paid off and created enviable success for the publisher