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Ubisoft’s Six Invitational is to Rainbow Six Siege as the Super Bowl is to the NFL or The International to Dota 2. To put it plainly, there’s nothing that trumps the event in importance for the first-person shooting game’s esports scene.
However, last week, the Six Major Raleigh proved that other R6 events have the potential to generate the same level of viewer interest, with 2.8M hours watched on the tournament’s main Twitch channel.
Rainbow Six’s professional circuit includes just one “Major” event a year outside of the Six Invitational and has two Pro League season finales a year for a total of four premier tournaments.
Last year, Rainbow Six saw its viewership on Twitch more than double year-over-year, with esports being the primary driving factor, but the Six Invitational provided viewership for the game that other premier events couldn’t compete with.
Viewership for The Raleigh Major this past week is significant in that it marks a noticeable year-over-year growth for R6’s “Major” event. The Six Major Paris in 2018 produced just 2.1M hours watched on the game’s main Twitch channel in August. This year’s Raleigh Major also had a significantly stronger average viewership of 37K CCV, up from 26K CCV last year.
While the viewership statistics that the main R6 channel generated weren’t quite as impressive as the 3M hours watched that the Six Invitational mustered in February, the year-over-year growth it had compared to last year was stronger.
On the whole, R6 viewership, including alternate-language coverage, saw a slight year-over-year increase to just more than 6M hours watched during the Six Invitational, up 7% from 5.65M hours watched in 2018.
The Raleigh Major, however, helped the title produce much more impressive year-over-year growth. The tournament helped R6 produce 6M hours watched, up 22% from 4.9M during last year’s Major.
Earlier this year, R6 was on pace for much more modest year-over-year viewership growth on Twitch compared to 2018 following the R6 Pro League Season 9 finals in Milan, and the game still is unlikely to match the growth it managed to create last year, when viewership more than doubled.
However, the strong growth that this year’s Major garnered on Twitch compared to the Six Invitational shows that there’s a market for high-profile R6 events outside of just the Six Invitational.
As R6 continues to exhibit the traits of an esports-reliant title on Twitch, the expansion of its audience for high-level professional tournaments presents potential for the game’s ability to flourish as an esport, which would, in turn, give the title more value to brands, teams, and tournament organizers involved.
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