Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege (R6S) Esports scene received a much-needed boost in 2018. The most important change that happened was the shift from having a bracket style season to a proper league format, this was following the conclusion of the Pro League Season Seven finals back in May of last year.
There was a trend that seemed to appear in 2018 with league formats being introduced, we witnessed this in Overwatch League and NBA 2K League. Much like this, R6S aimed to build on the strong viewership numbers that they received during its second official Six Invitational.
It’s been made public since launch in 2015, the aspirations that Ubisoft has for R6S to become a staple Esports, but it wasn’t until the introduction of the annual Six Invitational event that started 2017 that they started seeing a surge in the Esports player pool and viewership.
Despite not being classed as one of the major Esports titles just yet, R6S experienced incredibly strong growth in 2018 thanks to finding a system that allowed it to thrive. This made R6S one of Twitch’s most improved categories in terms of hours watched year over year.
In the year over year review, R6S more than doubled its hour watched total to 87.56 million in 2018, a massive surge compared to the 40.79 million it had back in 2017. As expected the title did witness spikes with viewership throughout the year but this was positive and down to the game’s biggest Esports events which gained significant traction across the community.
Rainbow Six Siege is a wonderful example of how Esports can provide games with a second chance, in this case a couple of years after its initial release. It’s clear that the title’s viewership is now heavily reliant on Esports events and competitive players that are amongst the title’s top views on Twitch.
With this formula working so well for Ubisoft, will we see other game developers taking this approach in the future?