From big tournaments to the PGL CSGO Major to smaller UK gatherings like Epic.LAN (34), live audiences are starting to trickle back into esports events.
But not all of them are switching to live audiences straight away, given the situation around Covid-19. The recent League of Legends World Championship (Worlds) 2021 did not have a live audience, neither did the 2021 Dota 2 International, and neither will the Rainbow Six Siege Invitational in Montreal, Canada in February 2022.
Ubisoft has today announced that the Invitational will be returning to Canada next year, but that it will not have an on-site audience.
The community has reacted strongly to the news, with many UK personalities against this decision. Invictus Gaming’s UK coach, GiG, is one of them:
G2 UK Siege player CTZN added: “Why host in a place with no audience, when there are other tournaments hosting huge events with it? Look how successful CSGO was with it, surely Siege should take some notes. The game is just going down and down.”
Another UK player, LeonGids, who plays for Rogue, commented: “Everywhere getting a crowd but us, pain. Forget Canada man, let’s go somewhere we can get people in. For me, the crowd changes me as a player and I just play at another level. Though I’m sure it’s the same for every other player.
“It’s disheartening to see all these tweets but I think they come with serious concern and should really be a wake up call.”
Other players and fans reacted generally negatively to Ubisoft’s decision on Twitter.
Inven Global writer Tim Masters made a counter point, saying: “It’s worth remembering TI and League of Legends both had bigger events with no crowd, and TI caused huge problems for fans with their late announcement. PGL managed five days of crowds, and is the exception to the rule right now.”
Teams that have qualified for the Invitational include Rogue, Navi, Liquid, BDS and more.
More info on the Six Invitational will be released on Tuesday November 16th 2021 from 5pm GMT.
Ubisoft made today’s announcement during the Six Major, where coach GiG has had to step in as a player.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.