Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, one of the most watched games on Twitch, has a new tournament, US Nationals, open to all players in the United States – no professional affiliation necessary.
The US Nationals event runs from July until December 2018. For the tournament, the United States will be divided into two divisions: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Both conferences host open, online qualifiers in which any American team is eligible to compete. The top teams from the open qualifiers advance to a knockout stage. There are three stages with qualifiers, so three teams from the Western Conference and three from the Eastern Conference will advance. Also, in October, there is a Last Chance Qualifier stage where the teams that didn’t advance get one more shot. Two teams will advance from this wildcard stage.
Photo Credit: Ubisoft
The remaining eight teams, six conference champions and the two wildcard teams, advance to the US Nationals finale held in December to compete for a $50,000 grand prize pool. This live event will crown the winning team, who will earn the title of Team USA.
“The phenomenon that is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege esports has been truly amazing to witness firsthand. With the US Nationals, we have entered into a new and exciting time for our community’s growth,” Robb Chiarini, Esports Associate Director at Ubisoft, said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide a comprehensive esports ecosystem that offers our players and ever-growing community opportunities to participate, watch and aspire to. The US Nationals expands this initiative by offering another layer of activity for all players across the United States.”
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is a tactical first-person shooter, where players control a member of the Rainbow team. There are a variety of different “operators” to choose from. Operators are either attackers or defenders with their own gadgets, specialties, and weapons that dramatically impact the strategies employed in every match. In match play, attackers are trying to achieve an objective (such as diffusing a bomb or rescuing a hostage) while defenders do everything they can to keep that from happening. Team play relies on coordination and communication as well as ensuring that each player has selected an in-game personality suited to their play style.
Photo Credit: Future Game Releases
Released December 2015, Rainbow Six Siege has developed a massive following, but it’s popularity was not always certain. In fact, it wasn’t even intended to exist. There is a seven-year gap between the previous Rainbow Six game (Rainbow Six: Vegas 2) and Siege, because there was another title planned in its place. Originally, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6: Patriots was scheduled to be the next release. This title has a heavy emphasis on narrative, but was cancelled due to technical shortcomings, and Ubisoft (Rainbow Six’s developer and publisher) took the franchise in a new direction.Rainbow Six Siege has no single-player campaign (there are a series of short solo missions that, while having a narrative, are mainly training scenarios). To create authentic-feeling siege encounters, the design team analyzed real-world examples and worked with actual counter-terrorism units. The game was designed to be a multiplayer experience. It was a risk to break from the series’ tried-and-true formula, and the launch was initially met with a lackluster response.
However, Ubisoft supported the title and, even though it did not have a lot of content at launch, continued to release new campaigns and game-play tweaks. This is similar to other successful esports titles, like League of Legends, that still update the gameplay and options for a single title instead of releasing a series of sequels. The community took notice and Rainbow Six Siege’s numbers continued to rise – to extremely impressive numbers.
At Ubisoft’s E3 2018 press conference in June, Community Manager Justin Kruger took the stage to announce that Rainbow Six Siege now has 35 million players. What makes this number even more impressive is that the last time Ubisoft released player numbers was on April 12, and that number stood at 30 million. The game added five million players during that time frame, which is a remarkable amount of growth and a sign of a steadily increasing player base.
Photo Credit: Variety
In addition, the game is a Twitch favorite, with a global ranking of 14th according to Twitchstats.net. This puts it in the same company as Overwatch (9th), World of Warcraft (11th), and Grand Theft Auto V (12th).
To celebrate its fan base, Ubisoft also announced the release of a new documentary about the game. Titled “Another Mindset,” the film will explore the lives and stories of some of the community’s best-known and most dedicated fans. Fans at E3 were treated to a sneak peak, but the doc will premiere in full at the first annual Six Major esports competition in Paris on August 17, 2018.
Ubisoft has been very successful promoting and supporting Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege as an esports title. With the kick off of the new US Nationals tournament, as well as other fan efforts, like “Another Mindset,” the likelihood that the title will continue to grow for the near future seems to be practically a guarantee. To explore US Nationals sponsorship opportunities or any other esports related issues, give eGency Global a call at 972-323-6354.