Hunter C. February 22, 2019
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege has been surging in popularity among competitive gamers, and the latest indication of that trend came from Six Invitational 2019.
Over the week-long major event that culminated in a showdown between Team Empire and G2 Esports, viewers watched 6.02 million hours of content, up from 5.65 million hours during last year’s Six Invitational.
The game’s esports scene is credited with doubling the title’s total viewership from 2017 in 2018, and the Six Invitational represented the peak of that surge.
It definitely helps that the 2019 Invitational was one of the most exciting tournaments in the game yet. Spacestation Gaming gave perennial favorite G2 a run for itsr money before falling 2-1 in a quarterfinal set. Evil Geniuses, who took home second at the earlier Six Major Paris, fell to Reciprocity in the quarterfinals.
In addition to the tight competition and surprise upsets, Japanese team Nora-Rengo won the heart of the crowd with their aggressive run-and-gun style and seemingly limitless energy.
In the finals, G2 took on Team Empire and bested the young Russian squad in what would become a 3-0 sweep, but not before an epic opening game on Coastline. The map went well over regulation into 22 total rounds played, the longest professional Rainbow Six Siege map in the history of the game’s competitions. Empire ultimately couldn’t pull the game out, losing 12-10 in overtime.
With the biggest event of the year in Rainbow Six Siege already under its belt, there’s a chance that the game could improve on its record breaking year of 2018. It’s still not a massive scene, and some esports organizations are still unsure of its future, as evidenced by esports giant Cloud9 having dropped its Rainbow Six Siege team.
But it has a dedicated fanbase, a significant prize pool for major events, and a large streaming community. All things considered, it Rainbow Six Siege could be positioned for a strong 2019 and an even stronger future.