The ESL UK Premiership for Rainbow Six: Siege has already proved that there's a market in the UK for Rainbow Six esports, as we saw when we attended the finals in Leicester back in March, and as of September 12 the Winter season has started, which hopes to keep building upon the success ESL UK and Ubisoft has had with the first season.
After all, Team Enyx proved that they have the talent when they defeated 1UP Esports back in March during the previous finals in Leicester, providing fans at the ESL One Studio with plenty of excitement to match the occasion. As we get into this new season and expect even more thrills, we've spoken to some of the top names involved with the competition to hear their thoughts.
"Siege is extremely important to us here at ESL UK," said ESL Premiership product manager Will Attwood. "We are proud to be supporting one of the most dedicated communities we've seen in the UK in a long time. The game and its community are going from strength to strength, as we've seen with Team Secret in the Pro League, also playing here in the Premiership. We believe there is top quality talent out there in the UK and Ireland and we are excited to see who will shine through next year after a very successful 2018."
With ESL UK's support, this gives players like Team Secret's Matthew 'Meepey' Sharples the chance to play in LAN tournaments for valuable experience, which in turn can lead to future opportunities down the line.
"Siege has a lot of online tournaments and some of them lead to offline events," he explained. My teammates are my friends and getting the opportunity to see them in person again is something that I won't pass up on. Also, LAN experience is something very valuable and our goal ultimately is to make it to LAN."
"We always want to help foster growth in local communities," Attwood added. "Rainbow Six Siege has been a perfect opportunity for both us and Ubisoft UK to work together to help continue the growth by putting on regular semi-professional competition and more for the title, which is growing year on year as the game evolves into one of the biggest worldwide esports titles."
If you've taken even a cursory glance at the UK's esports you'll have noticed that it's not nearly as developed as other areas like Korea, the Nordics, and even the US, which makes ESL UK one of the key players in developing the scene. It's not just about the playing either, as it also gives casters the chance to shine too, as Attwood explains:
"It's one of the main reasons we are here! The Premiership was created to help the UK and Irish esports scenes grow and also to give opportunities to the biggest talents in ways we didn't have 5 years ago. We've seen some great players come through but it's not just the playing talent that is shining, with Harry "Demo" Dempster casting at the Siege Major in Paris and our observer going to Dreamhack!
"We hope to be the focal point for Siege in the UK and Ireland. We want teams to want to compete in, and win, the Premiership and I think we see that desire already. Long term we are working on creating a sustainable ecosystem for Rainbow Six Siege where players can start their esports journey in our community cups (esl.im/R6SUK) and then hone their skills to take on the best regional players before making the step up to Pro League. Everything starts with the grassroots, and moving into 2019 we're looking at how we can get more people playing competitively."