Ubisoft is changing the structure of its Pro League for Rainbow Six: Siege from its tournament style to a more tradition Pro League format.
The changes were announced in Atlantic City at the Pro League Season Seven Finals. Instead of each season running for three months, Siege will now have seasons running for twice as long. Each region (North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific) will have eight teams in their respective leagues. Each team will play once a week until they’ve faced every other team twice, resulting in a 14-week regular season. Once all the matches have been played, the top two teams from each region will enter the Pro League finals, playing for a $250 000 prize pool.
The Pro League team ranking seventh will face off against the Challenger League team ranking second. The winner of that match gets to participate in the next Pro League season. The Pro League team ranking eighth will automatically be demoted to Challenger League, while the winner of Challenger League moves up to Pro for the following season.
These changes will also apply to the Major tournaments that Siege will be holding, the first being in Paris on August 2018. All eight finalists from the Pro League season are automatically entered in into the Majors, as well as the winners of the previous Invitational and DreamHack Open. The host country automatically gets a team entered, which leave five slots for open qualifiers, resulting in sixteen competitive teams. The same conditions for participation apply to the Invitational, which will take place in February 2019.
The newly adopted format also brings in some tweaks to how the matches are played. Taking queues from MOBA-style competitions, Siege will allow a pick-and-ban phase before the match begins. This will lead to four operators total being removed from play: two attackers and two defenders. The format also removes the standard back-and-forth most have come to know with Siege matches. Instead, teams will play five rounds as attackers, and then five rounds as defenders. The first team to six victories wins the match.
While the changes seem quite drastic in nature, they definitely make sense for a game that is trying to be seen as a more serious esport. When Siege came out originally, it was marketed as a game meant to be played online and even competitively, but not to the extent of how an esport like DOTA 2 is played. Since realizing that esports is a very lucrative field, Ubisoft’s shift to be more in line with existing esports is a smart move for Siege. The switch to longer seasons and well-spaced games means that teams can be sure to keep their skills sharp, while viewers will have multiple matches to watch every week. In the end, it’s a solid change that should help solidify Siege as an entertaining and competitive esport to watch for many years.
The changes officially take effect when the new season starts in June.