Ubisoft Reveals BLAST Rainbow Six Siege Global Circuit For 2023, Including Brazil Six Invitational
After a grand spectacle last Sunday which saw G2 Esports hoist the Six Invitational 2023 Hammer, Ubisoft is already set to go with their new season and a fresh competitive format leading the charge for Rainbow 6 esports this year.
In a blog post outlining the BLAST R6 structure in 2023, the team behind R6 Esports discussed the new competitive format and disclosed three destinations for the circuit, starting with the two Majors in Copenhagen, Denmark in May 2023, going over to the United States in November of this year, and finally concluding the action in Brazil next year with the Six Invitational 2024.
Both teams from the open and closed systems will have a chance to compete in the two Majors through various qualifying options aligned with the competitive environment of each of the nine participating regions. The prize pool for each Major has been set to $750,000 (~£623,000) and also rewards important points towards the qualification for the Six Invitational.
The nine participating regions are Europe, North America, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, LATAM, Asia (South and SEA), MENA, and Oceania. Each region will receive two slots for the first phase Major, except MENA and Oceania, which will only receive one. However, the distribution of these 16 slots for the BLAST R6 Majors is not set in stone and will be reevaluated according to the growth of each region.
Of those 16 teams in the first phase, half will qualify for the second phase where they will be joined by the top teams from the EU, NA, Brazil, Japan, and Korea League to once again put the overall count of teams for the second phase at 16.
For the open portion of the qualifier, a large number of amateur and professional teams outside the closed league system will get a chance to enter the fray. In Europe’s case, there is an unlimited amount of teams who can register to play in the open qualifier though only eleven of them will be able to join the 2022 European Challenge League winner Tenstar as well as the bottom four of the EU League to make it to the next stage.
An interesting system of hybrids
With these changes that have continuously rolled out over the last year, the R6 Esports circuit positions itself as an interesting hybrid between various systems currently floating in the esports space.
Not quite committing to a franchise model but rewarding esports organisations for loyalty and adequate investment into the esport, it stands in a middle position between scenes with open systems like CS:GO and franchised leagues like Riot’s LEC/LCK etc. or Blizzard’s Overwatch League. In theory, this allows both amateur teams to more seamlessly transition to the big leagues without having to go through the franchised gatekeepers while also giving enough incentive to stakeholders within the ecosystem without forcing them to commit to sizeable spending outside their operational costs.
Moreover, Ubisoft handed the reigns to a third-party organiser in BLAST though not completely, seemingly working more in tandem than delegating operational duties like Valve does for their Majors or taking them on completely like franchised leagues in the industry tend to.
While not quite localising, the regional model is a tried one that has served well in other esports but also refrains from overly region-locking its competitors, not least demonstrated by the international nature of this year’s Grand Finals winner in G2 who showed up with players from three different continents.
More information on the competitive system and the schedule going forward will be revealed on March 6th, according to the blog post.
For more on Rainbow Six Siege, check out our interview with the game's Creative Director about the next ten years of Siege.