Several members of the Rainbow Six Siege community, including content creators, casters, and Ubisoft employees, have expressed their frustration over the decision to host a 2022 Siege Major in the United Arab Emirates.
The R6 Esports team revealed in their Year Seven roadmap, released prior to the SI 2022 grand finals between TSM and Team Empire, that the Stage Two Major for the 2022 season would be hosted in the UAE.
Many members of the community quickly pointed out several LGBT members of the R6 Siege casting talent pool would not be able to safely enter the country without risk of being arrested or discriminated against. LGBT+ people in UAE are offered no protection from discrimination and are subject to arrest, or worse. Both homosexuality and transgenderism are criminalized.
Caster Emi “CaptainFluke” Donaldson, who openly identifies as transgender and has been casting at SI 2022, tweeted out the “I’m in danger” meme from The Simpsons and re-tweeted the LGBT+ pride post she made in January after the Saudi-backed Savvy Gaming Group purchased ESL and FACEIT. ESL has been the main tournament organizer alongside Ubisoft for professional R6 Siege events.
Members of the community spoke up as well. Caster Geo Collins asked Ubisoft to elaborate on this “extremely concerning” decision and how it relates to Donaldson and openly gay R6 Siege analyst Jessica “Jess” Bolden. Well-known content creator Anne Munition tweeted at Ubisoft and ESL to “strongly reconsider” moving the event to another venue.
Ubisoft employees have expressed their outrage too. User experience designer Seb François and a transgender narrative writer named Simon called the decision a “slap in the face.” An R6 Extraction community manager told Ubisoft to stop “doing backwards things solely for money” and “stop pretending you care.”
A petition on Change.org to change the location of the 2022 Stage Two Major has already surpassed 1,500 members from the wider Rainbow Six Siege community.