Laughter and excitement filled the room as teams arrived at the tournament. Gamers huddled around computers, planning out their strategies to defeat their enemies.
This was the start of the Rainbow Six Siege Open held at the Gaming Stadium in Richmond, British Columbia.
This tournament was enabled by a boom in popularity in the game Rainbow Six Siege. Previously, in June of 2019, as the Raleigh Pro League tournament was streamed on Twitch, the game saw 18,000 new players sign up. Around the same time, the Richmond tournament was announced.
The event was well organized and neatly arranged with cords cleanly zip-tied to table legs. The environment was tidy and the planners were ready to help out the gamers.
University of British Columbia’s Gold Team won the tournament, allowing them to join Team BC who will play in the Triad Finals against teams from Ontario and Quebec. They will fight for a prize pool of $6,000.
This is a far cry from the record for the biggest prize pool for a Rainbow Six Siege tournament, which is $200,000 awarded in August of 2019 to the winners of Raleigh Major tournament.
One participant of the Richmond tournament said that he had fun and that he would love if the stadium would throw another Rainbow Six Siege event together. He explained what the game means to him, saying, “Rainbow Six Siege has helped me relieve stress at times and I have had fun with it since it has come out.”
Rainbow Six Siege teams are attracting sponsors like Redbull, Logitech, Monster Energy and many more.
While Rainbow Six Siege is not yet approaching League of Legends when it comes to the size of the events, some players, like Jason “Bealo” Doty, have already been able to turn competitions into a full time career.
One high school gamer I spoke to, however, wasn’t so sure it is a lucrative path. “It depends how good you are he said.” But there are barriers. “My parents want me to focus on university.”