Even as COVID-19 locks down any and all competitive sports gatherings the world of esports spins madly on. The likes of the Overwatch League, League of Legends, and even NASCAR and iRacing are showing up in big ways and bringing all things esports to the world when it is most needed. That trend continues today as publisher Ubisoft announced a new venture into the world of competitive gaming with their North American Rainbow Six Esports League, featuring 28 teams across the United States and Canada. Set to debut in late June of this year, features two regional divisions and “a revamped path-to-pro tier designed to foster the best up-and-coming teams in both territories. The US Division will feature eight pro team organizations competing in an offline league based in Las Vegas, Nevada.”
If you’re thinking that this all sounds quite similar to Overwatch League and its tiered, Path To Pro system then you’re right. Except, you know, this might actually work and not leave a bunch of minor league teams struggling to simply exist while Blizzard ignores their pleas for help. While not directly named in the title, this league for Rainbow Six Siege comes at a time when the Tom Clancy-branded game is going through a surge of popularity and it appears that Ubisoft might be striking at the best possible time to get a radical, new esports league off the ground.
Ubisoft detailed the teams announced so far for the 2020 US Division, including:
- Spacestation Gaming
- DarkZero Esports
- Tempo Storm
- Oxygen Esports
- Disrupt Gaming
- Susquehanna Soniqs
Still better named than the Minnesota Rokkr.
Sponsors for the league include Corsair and Acer Predator, meaning that esports branded merch for the league is surely on the way. Now, if you’re sitting at home while social distancing and wondering why Ubisoft would announce a new esports league based on regions during all that is going on it at least helps that the publisher provided an answer. “Given current health and safety concerns for our players and employees as well as following guidelines from the state of Nevada, and given the timeframe for the US Division launch date, competition for Stage 1 of the 2020 Season will take place online. As soon as the situation permits, we will assess any available opportunity to continue our offline Las Vegas program,” it said in a release.
It’s great to see a publisher supporting its esport in ways that hopefully provide for the future, especially by attempting to provide a robust tier-2 option that will be the backbone of this league. Keep an eye out for the NA Rainbow Six Esports League this coming June when Stage 1 begins happening in online matches.