A previous version of this article had the headline "Why the best R6 women’s team has been banned from the biggest women’s tournament". The article also incorrectly implied that the reason was due to a recently-introduced rule.
Neither the w7m female team nor its players have been banned. Additionally, the rule that will prevent them from playing together in the future has not been introduced recently and has always been a requirement of the Circuito Femenino.
SiegeGG apologizes for the grave error in reporting for this article.
The Circuito Femenino has always required its players to be residents in Brazil to compete there and in the Copa do Brasil. In compliance with that rule, w7m esports has had its three Argentine players in Brazil "since March", shortly before the organization publicly announced its signing.
However, moving forward from Stage 4 of the Circuito Femenino, or the Women's Circuit, the Argentine players will seemingly not be able to remain in Brazil in compliance with the league's rules. As a result, the w7m female roster will no longer be competing together.
The w7m female roster can still continue in the Circuito Femenino as it stands if its Argentine players can return to Brazil for Stage 5 and the Circuito Femenino Finals in Nov. 2022, should they opt to do so.
This news was first shared in an interview with w7m's Lucía "LuliArlequina" Campello on Jul. 13, but was misinterpreted by SiegeGG in our reporting. Once again, we apologize for the error and improper fact-checking on our end.
The Circuito Feminino in Latin America is the world’s biggest and most consistent women's tournament, with R$170,000 (~$31,500) available as a prize pool across five stages before a R$101,000 (~$18,500) Final in November.
So far, four of the five stages have been played. W7m esports female have won three of them and were runners-up in the fourth. This makes them the closest thing we have to the world’s best all-women’s team in Rainbow Six Siege.
Unfortunately, they will not compete in Stage 5, as Ubisoft has effectively banned them.
This is because the tournament is run by Ubisoft’s Brazilian office, which means that the victors win a spot in the Brazil Cup tournament. W7m esports female, meanwhile, is an Argentinian-majority roster.
This has only recently become an issue, after Ubisoft added a new rule that aims to ensure all Circuito Feminino participants currently reside in Brazil. But this rule only impacts a single team; w7m esports female.
From Ubisoft Brazil’s point of view, this is somewhat understandable. A tournament called the Brazil Cup having a roster from the Sudamericano subdivision seems a bit out of order, especially as it stops other Brazilian women’s teams (such as Black Dragons Female) from competing there instead.
Nevertheless, this is still a fairly baffling decision that flies in the face of the Circuito Feminino’s aims. There is no real reason why w7m can’t compete in this tournament, as there have been no ping issues and no part of it is a LAN tournament.
Furthermore, Ubisoft could have changed the rules to give the top-placed Brazilian roster the Brazil Cup spot, while still allowing w7m to compete in the women’s only portion of the event.
By making this change, Ubisoft has in effect targeted a specific roster, likely because they were just too good. If w7m hadn’t qualified for back-to-back Brazil Cup tournaments and somewhat shown up the local competition, it is possible that no rules would have been changed as there would be no reason to change anything.
Worse still, there is no local Argentinian alternative, as the only other notable women's tournament is the Girls On Six… which has recently become a qualifier event for the Circuito Feminino. This was the reason why the Circuito Feminino wasn’t nation locked to begin with, despite being Brazil-based, because there was simply no alternative.
This all means that a tournament explicitly run to promote women in esports has effectively ended the careers of the most successful women’s team in the esport.
W7m esports female now won’t be able to compete in the Stage 5 of the Women’s Circuit or the Women’s Circuit Finals, which could have netted them R$65,000 ($30,500) of winnings -- or the equivalent of over $6,000 per player. Instead, Ubisoft Brazil’s actions mean that the entirely-Brazilian Black Dragons Female roster will very likely win this money instead.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is wrong. This change will hurt the quality of the competition and the viewership levels, which does nothing but set back women’s tournaments.