Rainbow Six Siege is increasingly considered to be one of the ‘flagship titles’ driving the esports industry forward. While it doesn’t rank quite as high as the likes of CSGO and League of Legends, it boasts a thriving and dynamic competitive community. Every year, countless Six Siege competitions are held, from the most minor leagues to multi-million dollar events. Today, we’re here to take a look at the best Rainbow Six tournaments in the world, identifying the most popular and most valuable competitions the scene has to offer.
Let’s dive into the history of Rainbow Six Siege and learn about the very origins of the R6S esports ecosystem. In the last few years, we’ve witnessed a veritable feast of Rainbow Six tournaments, some of which have worked hard to shape the game and its community.
The History of Rainbow Six Tournaments
For several years, the best Rainbow Six Siege teams in the world have been competing for millions of dollars on the grandest stages of them all. Once upon a time, however, the Rainbow Six Siege esports space was a staging ground – a test environment for the viability of R6S esports. While the platform had been built to accommodate esports, it wasn’t immediately known how successful these tournaments would ultimately become.
As an example, let’s look at the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League, which was first held at the start of 2016, mere months after R6S launched. This global Pro League welcomed some of the best and brightest – and newest – Siege players into the fold, giving them a competitive platform upon which to flex their skills. This League formed the foundation and backbone of Rainbow Six Siege esports up until 2020 when events were cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 2017, we’ve seen other tournaments launch into the space, such as the Six Invitational and the Six Majors. These events make up some of the most ambitious esports tournaments the ecosystem has to offer, bringing together teams from all around the world to compete for millions of dollars. At the top of the table sits the Six Invitational, which was first held in 2017, boasting a $100,000 prize pool. In 2022, the Six Invitational carries with it a pool of around $3 million.
When it comes to the best Rainbow Six tournaments, the Six Invitational series is undoubtedly the best of the bunch. Since 2017, this international, LAN-based event has captured the crown of the Siege esports ecosystem, boasting the biggest prize pools and the highest viewership. If you’re at all interested in Rainbow Six betting, we’re willing to wager that you’ve played with the odds from a Six Invitational tournament at some point.
Every year, the Six Invitational has gotten bigger and bolder, with the prize pool and the quality of play rising exponentially. It’s the most widely-covered tournament in the space, and statistically, it’s the most popular Rainbow Six tournament, according to escharts.com. In 2018, there was a peak viewership of 316,000 users tuning into the Six Invitational, a staggering number for any esports event.
While viewership did drop slightly in the following years, it wasn’t by much, and the Six Invitational tournaments remain relatively popular almost seven years after Siege launched. Today, when these tournaments go live, countless punters rush to take part in high-stakes Six Invitational betting.
As we’re working down from the top, the next best Rainbow Six tournaments to discuss would be the Six Major events. It was in 2018 that the first Six Major was held in Paris, boasting a $350k prize pool and featuring sixteen of the best Siege teams in the world (at that point). It was a remarkable success, and today it boasts the second-highest viewership record for any Six Major tournament.
Today, the Six Major tournaments are slightly more valuable, boasting a $500k prize pool. They’re typically held in countries all around the world, with the top R6S teams travelling in to compete. There are multiple Six Majors throughout the year, which is in direct contrast to the Six Invitational, which is a single, yearly tournament. For viewers, these Majors are easily some of the best Rainbow Six tournaments on the schedule, proving that the Six Siege esports community is still going strong.
Looking ahead into 2022, there will be opportunities for bettors to win big with some Six August Major betting, or later in the year with Six November Major betting.
Every year, there are several regional leagues held within the Rainbow Six tournaments ecosystem. Typically, these will include the following:
- Copa Elite Six
- European League
- APAC South / APAC North
- Campeonato Mexicano
- Campeonato Sudamericano
- North American League
- Korean Open
Within these Rainbow Six tournaments, the format, structure, prize pools, and teams will all differ. They’re typically arranged and organised by Ubisoft directly, but they’re very much individual tournaments in their own right. At the highest level, such as with the Copa Elite Six, top-tier placement in these tournaments can mean qualification for a Six Major event. While the prize pools for these events are much lower than a Major or an Invitational, they’re essentially the proving grounds for teams trying to make it big in Rainbow Six esports.
Every year, at the Six Invitational, one team will qualify through a qualification system spread across each region. There will be one team brought up from the APAC, European, NA, and LATAM regions, so playing well in these lower leagues can mean global recognition, should you be a good enough R6S player.
Special Rainbow Six Tournaments
Of course, outside of the top-tier group of Rainbow Six tournaments, there is a collection of one-off or ‘special’ tournaments. For fans and competitors alike, these events often offer exciting environments to enjoy some Rainbow Six esports action, even if they might be relatively short-lived.
For instance, in August 2022, the Gamers Without Borders 2022 event will take place, boasting a $2 million prize pool. As this is a special, charity-focused event, a further prize pool worth $1.5 million will be awarded, with the total sum being donated to pre-determined charitable causes.
Over the years, we’ve seen many tournaments come and go in the Rainbow Six Siege scene. For some, it’s a case of them being a one-shot event, and for others, it’s simply a change in circumstances that brings about the end of a tournament. There’s no doubt that the Rainbow Six scene is a vibrant, dynamic one, and there’s plenty of life yet to be lived by those embarking on their R6S esports journey.