Game developer Ubisoft has announced that the August 2022 Rainbow Six Major, set to take place in the United Arab Emirates, will be relocated after community feedback.
According to Ubisoft, the tournament will now be moved to ‘another Rainbow Six Esports region’. Additional information regarding the new destination has not been disclosed.
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The news of the tournament was announced on February 20th and prompted criticism from the Rainbow Six community, citing human rights abuses and the nation’s laws against LGBTQ+ people. The community organised a petition to move the tournament from UAE, which saw more than 10 thousand signatures in just two days.
Ubisoft shared details of the move in a statement: “We have taken the decision to move the Six Major of August 2022 to another Rainbow Six Esports region, with the exact location yet to be determined. In the spirit of fostering all our local communities around the world, in all their diversity, dedication and passion for the game, we will keep on developing and structuring our competitive activities in MENA, through local and regional tournaments and activations.”
Despite relocating the event, the company has stated that it plans to work on the development of MENA’s esports ecosystem through local and regional tournaments, as well as activations.
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Ubisoft also noted that the company worked together with the UAE government, local partners, and local teams in the region to ensure that the Six Major in Abu Dhabi would be an event in which ‘anyone, of all gender identities, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds, or other individual traits would be included and welcomed’.
Esports Insider says: Even though Ubisoft and its UAE partners reassured the R6 community that the Major will be inclusive, the fact remains that laws that prohibit same-sex relationships do exist in the country. The Rainbow Six community was quick to note that even some of the fictional characters in the game would come under scrutiny in the UAE if they were real people.