Earlier this year, PayPal announced the results of its 2018 research program into the habits of paying gamers across 25 different gaming markets. This research, collected in collaboration with SuperData Research, makes for another example of just how interested PayPal has become in the skyrocketing esports industry.
That interest has been cemented still further this past week with the news that PayPal will become the “official payment platform partner” for Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Pro League and Major tournaments. The agreement will run now through November 2019.
The agreement covers events taking place in North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. The first event the agreement covers was last weekend at the Pro League Season 8 Finals in Rio.
PayPal joins a number of key partners for the expanding Rainbow Six esports scene. Those include the likes of hardware producers Lenovo Legion and HyperX.
A coup for Ubisoft and Rainbow Six Pro League
Attracting such a well-known and important sponsor is a great get for Ubisoft and its Rainbow Six Pro League program. While the game enjoys great support on consoles, it is still lagging behind the giants of esports gaming, such as League of Legends, Dota 2, and CS:GO.
However, over the last few years, the number of people playing in Rainbow Six esports tournaments, together with the number, quality and prize money on offer, has increased markedly.
By using a setup similar to other esports events, namely Pro League and Major events, it is clear Ubisoft is hoping to follow in the footsteps of top esports games. Of course, the prospect of people spending money online is of great interest to PayPal.
How did the first PayPal-backed event finish?
There is little doubt the departmental heads at PayPal are thrilled with the way last weekend’s initial tournament went.
Eight teams qualified for the Season 8 Finals, two each from Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific. The qualifiers from each continent were:
- Europe – G2 Esports, Mock It Esports
- North America – Evil Geniuses, Rogue
- Latin America – FaZe Clan, Immortals
- Asia Pacific – PET Nora Rengo, Fnatic
In the end, it was the European team G2 Esports that landed the top prize of $75,000 from a $167,000 prize pool in Rio. They defeated the Latin American finalist FaZe Clan in the final 2-0 (6-4, 6-2).
It was a dominant performance by G2 Esports throughout. They defeated their quarterfinals and semifinal opponents by the same 2-0 scoreline. First, they beat Immortals in an exciting clash by 7-5 and 6-4 scorelines. Then, they were utterly superior in the semifinal, overcoming Fnatic 6-0 and 6-0 again.
The teams don’t have to wait too long to enjoy the fruits of their success. The Pro League Season 9 qualifiers in Europe, North America, Latin America, and Asia Pacific are due to start next month with specific dates TBA.
Eight teams will compete in each of the four qualifying events. These will follow the same knockout format as the Finals, with the two finalists from each region qualifying for the finals later in 2019.
While the teams competing in the Asia Pacific qualifiers have not yet been confirmed, the eight teams in the other three qualifiers are listed below:
- Europe – Chaos Esports Club, G2 Esports, Millenium, Mock-It Esports, PENTA Esports, Team Empire Team Secret, ENCE eSports
- North America – Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, ex-mousesports, Rogue, SK Gaming, Spacestation Gaming, Noble esports, Excelerate Gaming
- Latin America – Bootkamp Gaming, FaZe Clan, Immortals, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team oNe eSports, paiN Gaming, ReD DevilS e-Sports
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