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Rainbow Six Siege organizers FACEIT and ESL to merge following $1.5B acquisition by Saudi investment group

The merger comes with a direct link to money gained from the government of Saudi Arabia.

Image via Ubisoft

FACEIT and ESL are merging but keeping their individual branding. 

According to an official press release, NAL and EUL will technically still be run by FACEIT but the merger means that the overarching company behind FACEIT will consist of the combined FACEIT and ESL teams, for example. It was not made clear which departments for Rainbow Six, exactly, will overlap.

"For years, both companies have been developing projects independently in esports. Today we are teaming up to create more integrated, accessible, and sustainable ecosystems for fans, players, and teams of multiple games," read the press release. 

This means, effectively, the Rainbow Six Siege Global Circuit has been consolidated under one tournament organizer for the first time since ESL ran Pro League. 

The merger is backed by funding from the Savvy Gaming Group, which has direct funding from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. Effectively, the Saudi Arabian government now has a stake in the organization — and funding — of Rainbow Six Siege esports.

This isn't the first time the country has attempted to gain a foothold in esports by throwing cash at tournament organizers: Saudi Arabia's PIF was linked to NEOM's attempt to partner with BLAST Pro Series. The purchase was walked back after intense community backlash concerning Saudi Arabia's human rights record. 

Savvy Gaming Group purchased the pair as a bundle for a reported $1.5 billion. The news was first shared by German news website Handelsblatt

So, what does this mean for the future Rainbow Six Siege esports, other than it is now funded directly by Saudi Arabia? It's unclear, other than the fact that the scene will be consolidated under one umbrella. 

Disclaimer: SiegeGG is owned by Gfinity, a tournament organizer that competes with ESL and FACEIT.