With the Six Invitational always comes historically game-changing information, and this year’s event was no different. Read on to find out the six most interesting and important parts of Ubisoft’s Year 4 plan that will shape the fourth year of this esport.
LAN Locations for Year 4
Announced at the panel were the locations of all the offline events that will be happening in Year 4 for Rainbow Six: Siege esports.
Starting with the Pro League, the current season -- Season 9 -- will see its Finals held in Milan, Italy. Season 10, though, is where there will be great excitement, for it will be the first time ever that there will be an international LAN event in Asia in the form of the Pro League Finals.
The Six Major will be held in a yet to be disclosed location in the USA and will be preceded by an iBuyPower event and DreamHack Valencia. It will be followed by DreamHack Montreal and, after the Season 10 Finals, the OGA Pit Series in December in Split, Croatia.
New Operators and CTUs
As is with every year of Rainbow Six: Siege, there will be eight new operators being released. The first two, as we already know will be Gridlock and Mozzie from the SASR in Australia. Following that, each season (in-game season, not to be confused with Pro League seasons) will see two new Counter-Terrorism Units introduced from six yet-to-be-featured countries in the game.
The second season will see an operator from the Secret Service in the USA paired with a female operator from Denmark, followed by a Peru and Mexico pairing, and ending off with a Kenya and India pairing. With Kenya and India being introduced -- and Morocco in this outgoing in-game season -- it may point to these countries getting inducted into the Pro League sooner than later.
Map Reworks Favoured Over New Releases
In the video, Brand Director Alexander Remy also said that Ubisoft will be dedicating a team that will be “all about the maps and balancing the maps”. The team will primarily be focusing on a map’s choke points, layout, and indestructible items.
In fact, such will be the focus on making old maps better is that Outback -- the upcoming Australian map with Operation Burnt Horizon -- will be the only new map in the entire year. Each of the other in-game seasons will feature one map rework each, starting with Kafe, followed by Kanal, and finishing with Theme Park.
Dedicated Development Cells
In what is sure to be an extremely relieving change to pros, esport fans, and casual players alike, Ubisoft will be switching to dedicated cells to target four pillars to push Rainbow Six: Siege even further forward.
Three of the four cells are not directly relevant to the esports scene -- namely the Mid-Season Event, Player Behaviour, and Playlist cells. However, the remaining one is going to be extremely important and be key to keeping the esports meta in a good place every season.
This is, of course, the Operators Balancing cell. As the name suggests, this team will have possibly the biggest influence on keeping the state of Siege as an esport balanced and prevent any further issues that were created with operators like Blackbeard, Lion, or Ela.
One key change announced is regarding the deployable shield. Instead of the current style, there will be small un-ejectable Mira-like slits in the shield to aid defenders to peek up from behind them after gathering information on what is going on in front of them. Furthermore, breach charges will deploy much more quickly, and deal lower damage to attackers and defenders alike.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the lean-spam (also known as QE-spam) has had a first draft of a fix ready. The head of a rapidly left-and-right leaning player will now move around much less than before. Crouch spam will also be fixed in the upcoming seasons.
Operator Reworks Planned
Lambasted by almost the entirety of the competitive community in unison, Lion is going to be the chief pick of operators whose rework will be welcomed with open arms. Featuring improvements alongside him will also be Glaz, Ying, Dokkaebi, Capitao, and other unannounced operators.
Reworks for Dokkaebi and Capitao have, in fact, already been announced for the Y4S1 Technical Test Server (TTS). Dokkaebi’s phone calls will end after eighteen seconds regardless if they are answered or not, defenders walking into Mute jammers will see the calls hang up, and she will not be able to make calls in proximity to Mute jammers. The jammers will now also display a blue icon on the heads-up display when in range of them. Capitao, meanwhile, gets an area-of-effect boost but sees his asphyxiation bolts drop in damage.
As for Lion, moving while the EE-ONE-D drone is active will no longer create an outline, and the drone will only be active for two seconds. Finally, for Glaz, the yellow highlights will only appear when moving slow or not at all, shifting his role to more of an angle-holding operator than a pseudo entry-fragger.
Ranked Exits Beta, Adds Pick & Ban
Finally, the Ranked game mode will finally be exiting beta by the end of the second in-game Year 4 season. Tying into the competitive aspect will the addition of Pick & Ban to Ranked in a mirror to the Pro League. However, nothing was said regarding reducing the maps to the ESL pool, or quaranting Lion or the two new operators -- though the latter is highly unlikely to happen.
That was your roundup for the esports panel at the Six Invitational 2019, stay tuned as we bring you more comprehensive news and stats coverage throughout the week, leading up to the Grand Final and beyond!