In the wake of the Rainbow Six Siege community’s response to the announcement of a Six Major held in Abu Dhabi within the United Arab Emirates, the R6 esports team revealed today that it will move the August event to another region.
In the official announcement, the team acknowledged that it heard “loud and clear” that the international community had serious concerns with the initial choice of location. The UAE has had longstanding issues with LGBT+ rights, with little protections offered to members of these groups in a country where homosexuality and transgenderism are both outlawed.
Siege has long been celebrated for its diversity and inclusivity, which has been publicly represented by LGBT+ members in the official esports broadcast talent pool. Many members of the community, including other casters, content creators, and even Ubisoft employees, were not pleased about sending prominent members of a welcoming community to a place where they would not feel welcome. A petition on Change.org reached over 13,000 signatures before the location change announcement was made.
The R6 esports team elaborated on its original decision in the announcement, saying it had spoken with local teams, members of the UAE government, and its “local esports partner” to ensure that a Six Major in Abu Dhabi would be welcoming and inclusive to anyone. It also relayed its dedication to continue supporting and growing the R6 Siege scene in the Middle East/Northern Africa region, in addition to other emerging regions.
The exact location of the Six Major in August has yet to be determined. The first Six Major of 2022 is planned for May at a location in the U.S.