This week should have been the finals of the Six Invitational 2021, but instead, Ubisoft revealed their plans of when it will happen and more. We have the full details of everything below, but the short version is that the SI2021 will be moved to May and replace the Six Major. What's more, all four regions of tournament competitions will have the rest of 2021 changed to accommodate the Six Invitational move and the shortened season. The Six Invitational will kind of move forward the way it was intended (without being in Paris, of course) but won't follow the traditional Six Invitational guidelines that it used to.
Recently postponed due to travel restrictions implemented by the French Government, the fans and pro teams' most-anticipated Rainbow Six Esports competition of the year is now scheduled for May 2021. The Six Invitational 2021 will replace the Season 2021 Six Major of May. The exact location and dates will be communicated at a later date. To leave room for the Six Invitational 2021, the calendar for Stage 1 has been adjusted in each region.
- Stage 1 of the European League will kick off on March 18 at 6PM CET.
- Stage 1 of the North American League will start on March 24 at 4PM ET/ 1PM PT.
- Stage 1 of the Latin American League will start with the Latin America South Division on March 19 at 5PM CST.
- Stage 1 of the Asia-Pacific League will start with the South Division on March 18 at 6PM AEDT.
Additionally, building upon the learnings from Season 2020 and community feedback, Ubisoft revealed the updates coming to the Rainbow Six Esports programs across all regions in Season 2021:
- Draws removal: instead of ending games with a tie, matches will be decided through Best-of-Three overtimes.
- Extended rosters: to facilitate the organizations' ability to compete at both Regional and National levels – by allowing them to have two distinct rosters – organizations will now be able to have up to a total of twelve players under their banner, with up to seven players registered for each specific roster. Any roster must count a minimum of five players and each roster can be supported by its own dedicated coach. Once a roster is registered, it is locked until the next Transfer Window. More details about the practical application will be communicated at a later date.
- Coaching timeout: coaches will be given the opportunity to pause the game and discuss the strategy with their players. More details on the practical application are coming soon.
- Standardized points system at the regional level: a regular win is rewarded with three points while a loss gives zero points. When the two teams fight up to the overtime, the winner gets two points while the loser gets one point.
- Update of the tiebreakers.
In Europe, the format of the competition will remain the same: an online round robin with Best-of-One matches. The nine playdays will be spread over seven weeks, with only one match per week for each team, on Mondays, starting at 6PM CET. The last two playdays will be played on a special weekend on the seventh week.
Ubisoft is also revamping the online qualifiers for the European Challenger League, with three open tournaments spread until the end of the summer, granting points and prize money to the participating teams. The top five teams across all three tournaments will join in the Group Stage the nine National League winners, and the two season 2020 relegated teams, making the European Challenger League a 16-team competition in 2021. The Playoffs will gather eight teams, competing in a double elimination bracket played in Best-of-Three.
NORTH AMERICAN LEAGUE
With the merger of the US and Canada Divisions, ten teams will be joining the 2021 Season of the North American League. The 2021 Season will be broken down into three Stages and will be played offline at The Esports Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The health and wellbeing of our pro players, partners and staff is our main priority, which is why, throughout the season, we will be working diligently to ensure the set up and respect of strict sanitary measures.
In order to maintain consistency between the regions, all North American League matches will be played in a Round Robin, Best–of-One format with overtime. The stages will consist of seven weeks of play each with one playday per week on Wednesdays at 4PM EDT / 1PM PDT. The seventh week of each stage will be a "Super Week" with three playdays back-to-back from Tuesdays to Thursdays beginning at 4PM EDT / 1PM PDT as well. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the schedule may be subject to change. With the merger of the US and Canada Challenger Leagues, the 2021 Challenger League will consist of 18 teams moving forward. There will be 14 playdays over the timespan of seven weeks. Teams will play in a Round Robin, Best–of-One format with overtime.
For the 2021 Season, the Latin-American League will maintain its three-division structure – Brazil Division, Mexico Division, Latin America South Division – but will change its competitive format to Best-of-One matches during the regular online stage in each division. The three divisions will be organized as follows:
- Brazil Division: will remain with ten teams;
- Mexico Division: Changing from the 2020 structure, it will now have one more team, reaching a total of eight participants;
- Latin America South Division: will remain with eight teams from Argentina, Peru and Chile.
Each division – Brazil, Mexico and Latin America South – will have two playdays per week over four weeks, with an additional fifth week for Brazil featuring three playdays, named "Super Week."
- Brazil Division playdays will happen on Saturdays and Sundays;
- Mexico Division playdays will happen on Saturdays and Sundays;
- Latin America South Division will happen on Thursdays and Fridays;
At the end of each stage, the best teams from each division advance to the LATAM League Stage Finals, a tournament that will give the top four teams the chance to qualify for one of the most prestigious Rainbow Six Siege tournaments in the world, the Six Major. Stage 1 of the Brazil Division will kick off on March 20, while Stage 1 of the Latin America South Division will start on March 19 and the Mexico Division on March 21.
For Season 2021, the Asia-Pacific League will remain divided into two divisions, with the North Division – composed of teams located the northernmost of the region, meaning mostly teams from Japan, South Korea and South East Asia – and the South Division – composed of teams located the southernmost of the region, meaning from South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Each division will now gather eight teams and follow the same competitive format: an online round robin with Best-of-One matches. In addition of these two divisions, Ubisoft will continue to organize the South Asia Nationals to offer up-and-coming teams the opportunity to hone their skills and reach the international competitions. During a stage, each division will have one playday per week over seven weeks.
- North Division playdays will happen on Wednesdays, starting at 6PM SGT
- South Division playdays will happen on Thursdays, starting at 6PM AEST / AEDT
At the end of a stage, the top-ranking team in each division will be automatically qualified for the Six Major, based on the regional league point system. The teams ranking second, third, and fourth in each division will be joined by the two best teams from the South Asia Nationals, to decide who will get the two remaining slots for the Six Major in a special weekend of Playoffs. Ubisoft is also adjusting the R6 SHARE program in the region, with all 16 teams, from both the North and South Divisions of the Asia-Pacific League, now included.