Ubisoft Moves UAE Rainbow Six Tournament After Fans Protest
Until today, Ubisoft had planned to hold “Six Major—competitive event for Rainbow Six Siege players—in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. However, after massive fan protests on social media, the publisher decided to move the tournament to another “region.” Ubisoft’s stance was that “an enthusiastic Rainbow Six Siege competitive scene has sprung up across the Middle East and North Africa.” [Middle East and North Africa] a region, a community of local players and fans that we wanted to highlight and celebrate.” To address the elephant in the room, considering potential clashes between the esports community and the little government attention to basic human rights Ubisoft also believed that a “collective agreement” between the publisher, the local esports partner, and the UAE would result in an event “in which anyone would participate, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural background or other individual traits.” welcome.”
However, fans and players did not understand this. A number of the most prominent members of the community quickly supported the petition demanding to postpone the tournament, which has been signed by more than 13,000 people:
The UAE or the United Arab Emirates documented major LGBTQ+ rights issues last year by criminalizing homosexuality, leading to floggings, fines, deportation, chemical castration, forced conversion therapy, honor killings, vigilante executions, and more.
With the inclusion of LGBTQ+ members of the R6:S talent, we as a collective believe this decision is shortsighted, dangerous, and goes against the evolving ideology of esports, Rainbow Six: Siege, and its community.
Just 24 hours later, Ubisoft responded by announcing that the tournament would be rescheduled, “stating loud and clear that members of the international Siege community have doubts about this choice.” The publisher’s statement says:
Last Sunday, we announced our plans to host the Six Major in the United Arab Emirates. Over the past 6 years, we’ve seen an enthusiastic Rainbow Six Siege competitive scene in the MENA region, a community of local players and fans that we wanted to highlight and celebrate.
We want to emphasize that the safety and well-being of our event participants and staff have always been our primary concern, and we are proud that Rainbow Six Siege is a world built on diversity, inclusion, and acceptance. The choice of this location for the Six Major was the result of extensive discussions with our local teams in the region, the UAE government, and our local esports partner, and their collective commitment to making the Six Major in Abu Dhabi an event where everyone, of all gender identities, sexual orientation, cultural background, or other individual traits will be included and encouraged, as was the case with other humorous events previously held in the city.
With that in mind, we also hear loud and clear that members of the Siege international community are questioning this choice, and we have made the decision to move the Six Major in August 2022 to another Rainbow Six Esports region, the exact location of which is yet to be determined. Definite. In the spirit of supporting all our local communities around the world in all their diversity, dedication, and passion for the game, we will continue to develop and structure our competitive activities in the Middle East and North Africa through local and regional tournaments and events. The MENA region has quickly become a key video game hub in the world, and we are proud of the level of engagement, support, and dedication from both our local fans and the talented staff of our MENA teams and development studio in Abu Dhabi. Reflecting the determination and ambition of our teams in the region over the past 10 years, we are committed to investing in our new local esports scenes to help them reach their full potential and be accepted as part of the global Rainbow Six Siege community.
Although the tournament has been rescheduled, a replacement city has yet to be determined, the statement said.