Ubisoft axes R6 Pro League relegation in North America and Europe

Big changes are coming.

Image via Ubisoft

Relegation has always been a contentious topic for the Rainbow Six Pro League, but it appears some divisions will be safe after season 11.

Ubisoft announced today it would no longer be incorporating relegations and promotions into the structure of the North American and European divisions of the Pro League in season 11. This has many fans speculating that the developer and league organizers will effectively be gutting the Challenger Leagues from these divisions going forward. The change also comes with an expansion of both divisions for season 12 from eight teams to 10 total in each division.

The Challenger League has given fans some of the best Pro League teams to date. Most recently, Natus Vincere worked their way up through the hellish European Challenger League under MnM Gaming and went onto win the season 10 Tokoname, Japan Finals. With a near endless flow of talent, some fans are understandably upset by these changes.

The two teams that will be joining the European division of the Pro League will come from season 11 of the European division of the Challenger League. Conversely, Ubisoft did not disclose any information on where or how it would choose the two new teams for the North American division, but it did urge fans to keep an eye out for future announcements. 

A less divisive change to the Pro League coming in season 11 is the Latin American division’s matchdays moving to Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm CT. The North American division will match up at 7pm CT on Mondays and Wednesdays, while the European division will play Monday and Wednesday at 12pm CT. Asia-Pacific division dates will remain the same. 

Rounding out the changes Ubisoft outlines is Amaru and Goyo entering Pro League play. It’s standard practice for new operators to enter an approximate three-month grace period following their release, which means that both Operation Ember Rise operators will be available to use in the Pro League. If the pros can make use of Amaru, then season 11 could be one of the more interesting ones in terms of ninja plants. Amaru and Goyo entering the Pro League means that Operation Shifting Tides’ Wamai and Kali will enter their grace period.

The Rainbow Six Pro League returns Jan. 6, 2020 for season 11. Fans can catch the official first broadcast here.