The Rainbow Six Pro League is on this weekend in Japan! Have you seen the games? While the players serve the audience the heart-pounding action, we take some time out with EMEA Esports Director, Francois-Xavier Daniele, to ask him a few questions.
Regarding Brawlhalla esports, there’s the world championship and previous regional tournaments as well. They’re currently thinking about how to further develop the game’s esports, and one that Francois thinks is interesting in its new approach to esports. They don’t have plans for mobile esports in Ubisoft for the moment, something for the Ubisoft Mobile team to work on. He does note that mobile is getting increasingly important especially in Asia, so now they’re seeing if they want to replicate such an environment. Nothing is solid right now, but it’ll definitely be important for the future.
Now, a Rainbow Six Pro League in Japan seems unusual, and it’s the first time they’ve come to the Asia region since they’ve begun the esports tournament. It seems it’s now the “right time” as the game is performing well in Japan with a community behind it since the beginning. They’re not quite in Tokyo yet – the venue is in Nagoya – but it’s the start of developing the Rainbow Six – also referred to as R6 within this article – scene in Asia, that the region is important to R6.
There’s potential seen in SEA to host a similar scale of tournament as well. It’s a market that they just need to start tapping in, and starting off with some base tournament levels, as in, grassroots level, before moving on to bigger events. Francois believes it’s a great way to link everyone in the world.
It might be interesting to have an all-in-one esports event, but Francois warns care is needed as melding communities together can be quite difficult. Rainbow Six has a huge community, so it’s a question of balancing the games and their audiences. People are now in Japan specifically for Rainbow Six, and it’s definitely on a country by country basis in this case.
It ties into how he believes R6 and esports in general is an engagement tool. The tournament shows that they’re investing in both the esports scene and the game. Francois believes R6 is a good esports title as the game continually evolves, with updates coming out regularly, shifting the meta and ensuring being the best player in the game requires dedication. New teams are coming in and they want to send a message to the community that they will be here for the long haul, showing how much they’re investing into the game.
Now, it’ll be R6’s Year 5 next year but Francois is unable to specify anything in the upcoming updates. He promises there’ll be plenty coming up and especially much room to grow in the Asia/SEA region. It’ll take time, and it has to be done step by step. There’s also the entry into China; Francois says that to be big, it’s important to be involved in these Asian regions. They’re currently working with Tencent to begin growing the R6 scene in China.
Asia is definitely something they’re looking to return to, to host the R6 Pro League. Balance again is brought up – needing the “right moment” to go to a country, due to various factors like venue, frequency of events – and it’s currently in the works. Francois stresses the importance of Asia as a region they’re keen to develop in.
For those interested to start up and become a professional player in R6, they run the Rainbow Six Siege Pilot Program. It’s a revenue sharing initiative between the team and Ubisoft. In-game items are created to be sold, with part of the revenue shared to the teams to help them grow. Francois talks about wanting more teams in as it’s important for them to grow, to ensure the ecosystem remains healthy.
They’ll be working with local branches and offices, to have close ties and partnerships to host events and such. SEA is currently being looked at as a “laboratory” to test out new partnerships and models. Support will be given to local partners should they wish to produce a R6 tournament, granted it will be on a case by case basis due to how different things can be around the Asia region. Investing more is a definite thing.
Well, going by this, even if not Rainbow Six, we could look forward to more regional esports tournaments and have local teams compete on a more global stage! Be sure to catch the Rainbow Six Pro League on Twitch for all the action this weekend. Who do you think will be champion?