Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Season IX Finals to grace Milan, Italy this year
Ubisoft has finally revealed the event schedule for the ninth season of Rainbow Six Siege’s Pro League. It details every major stop along the way, with the finals taking place in Milan, Italy this year!
May 18-19 will see talented players from all over Europe competing in a big show-off. This is the first European premier in a while – the last one was the Finals of Season 5 that were held in Germany. This time, the Finals will take place at the historic Palazzo del Ghiaccio sports arena, and will make double the history – it will be the arena’s first ever esports event!
The Major and the Minors
Ubisoft is also going to be hosting a Major in the US in August of this year – the four Minor ones before then are going to be hosted by third-party organisers. This isn’t unusual at all, and in this case, some familiar names are helping with the events – iBUYPOWER is going to host one in the US in June, DreamHack is going to be hosting one in Valencia, Spain, in July, and another in Montreal, Canada in September, and finally One Game Agency is going to be hosting one in Croatia in December.
One Game Agency is the company behind Dota PIT – all in all some pretty well-known names, so we expect great things from these events. The big end of the season, like this year’s Invitational 2019 will be held in Montreal next year – the Invitational 2020 is the de facto World Championship for the popular esports game.
All about that cash
The prize pool for this year’s Invitational is pretty staggering – it exceeds $2.5 million. This is in no small part due to in-game item sales and promotions. The actual amount awarded was capped at $2 million though – still by far the biggest ever in one of these Invitationals. The remaining 500k are going to be spread out as prize pools for other tournaments and even a few (as of yet) unnamed esports initiatives this year.
On Twitch, Rainbow Six Siege certainly had a good week – over 5.8 million hours were watched in just one week, putting the game squarely into the top ten most popular esports this week – in spot 9 to be precise. Naturally, top of the list were games like League of Legends and Fortnite, but even so, Rainbow Six is currently doing great!
Esports in Italy
Although popular with fans and viewers, Italy’s esports presence has so far been a little on the smaller side. Although the market itself is one of the top ten in the world, players and teams from Italy rarely make big waves in tournaments. Teams and players have a relatively strong presence in Overwatch, Hearthstone and StarCraft 2 for example, but other games like CS:GO and Dota 2 aren’t quite as well-represented. Needless to say, Rainbow Six Siege’s Final being held in the country is sure to breathe more life into the esports industry there, while also drawing the eyes of investors and international influencers.
All that isn’t to say that esports aren’t popular in the Mediterranean country – with over 50% of the population playing mobile games and nearly as many playing console and PC games, esports and gaming have certainly found their place in the general populace. No doubt more and more skilled players and teams will eventually emerge, especially with a stronger focus on the country, courtesy of events like the Rainbow Six Finals!