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Today at the Six Invitational – Rainbow Six Siege’s annual championship event – developer Ubisoft announced plans to overhaul the game’s esports structure, moving it to a regional model.
The game’s four major regions (Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America) will each operate on a unique structure, each with its own organizing partners. While these regional systems will operate separately from one another, they will still feed into a global structure.
Each yearly season will be separated into four quarters, with the first three referred to as “Stages.” These Stages will each conclude with a Major in which the top four teams from each region will compete against one another in an international tournament. During the fourth quarter, each region will operate its regional finals and relegations for its divisions, qualifying top teams for the Six Invitational and promoting new teams into the pro structure.
Qualification for the Six Invitational will also involve a year-long points system designed to reward consistent performance throughout the season.
The new system will go into effect following the Rainbow Six Pro League finals in May.
The region will be divided into two divisions – North and South. The North Division will consist of a 12-team online league featuring teams from Japan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia. Oceania will operate in the South Division alongside newer regions such as South Asia. Details were limited regarding the South Division, but Ubisoft has contracted ESL to operate all Asia-Pacific programs and events.
Europe’s system will involve a 10-team league, an expanded version of the region’s current structure. Similar to League of Legends, Europe will feature national esports programs, creating a multi-tiered structure. Ubisoft will co-produce Europe’s competitions and events with FACEIT and LiveNation.
The Latin America system will prioritize offline competition and support three divisions – Brazil, Mexico, and South America. Mexico will move to an offline structure while Brazil’s top competition will expand from eight teams to 10. Latin America’s system will be owned and operated by Ubisoft itself along with its contracted regional vendors.
North America will also split off into distinct divisions for the U.S. and Canada. Details were limited regarding the specific structure of North America’s two divisions.
Finally, Ubisoft also confirmed the regional hosts for its Majors through 2021. While the Six Invitational will remain in Canada, the Majors will continue to rotate.
Following May’s Major in Brazil, the 2020 August Major will take place in North America, with the November Major occurring in Europe. In 2021, the May, August, and November Majors will be held in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, respectively.
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