Rainbow Six Siege community members are not happy with the announcement of a 2022 Siege Major being held in an LGBTQ+ unsafe country.
Today, Ubisoft revealed the Rainbow Six Siege Year 7 Roadmap, which identifies the league’s direction moving forward, and the regional kick-offs and international events for the 2022 season.
Within the piece, Ubisoft noted that the Stage 2 Major, expected to happen in August, will occur in the United Arab Emirates.
This blog post has caused some backlash from the community, including Ubisoft employees, content creators, and casters of Rainbow Six Siege.
UPDATE: Ubisoft's official blogpost has confirmed that the May Major will be held in the US, and the August Major will be held in the UAE!
— SiegeGG (@Siege_GG) February 20, 2022
This is because the United Arab Emirates offers no protection for LGBTQ+ people. Homosexuality and transgenderism are both considered a crime in the region.
Emi Donaldson, aka “Captain Fluke“, is a Rainbow Six Siege caster who, upon hearing the news, tweeted the following Simpsons meme stating that they’re in danger.
— Emi | Fluke (@CaptainFluke) February 20, 2022
Allies within the R6 community, such as caster Geo Collins, have also taken to Twitter asking for clarification from Ubisoft on what they expect LGBTQ+ members to do during such international events.
So what happens to all of our LGBT talent (and players)? Do we leave them at home? Take the risk? Ask Fluke to present as male and Jess to delete photos of she and her girlfriend?
I'd love to hear an elaboration about this because currently this seems extremely concerning. https://t.co/KorDrL1q4a
— Geo (@geometric) February 20, 2022
Narrative Writer of R6, Simon Ducharme, has tweeted saying they’re “completely dismayed by the announcement.” and describe it as “A slap in the face.“.
This hits even harder as Ducharme, back in August 2021, shared their immense pride of being able to introduce the first transgender operative into R6 in a statement to GameSpot.
In an attempt to combat the decision and hopefully get the location changed, a Change.org petition has been created with the following statements.
“With the inclusion of LGBTQ+ members of R6:S talent, we believe as a collective that this decision is short-sighted, dangerous and backwards to the developing ideology of esports, Rainbow Six: Siege and its community.”
The statement continues with, “We firmly conclude that there should be a different location for the 2022 UAE Major, one that is welcoming to all talent, community and characters within Rainbow Six: Siege.”
This is not the first time that Ubisoft has been accused of discrimination. Back in July of last year, the publisher was accused of diminishing and erasing the roles of multiple female leads throughout the Assassin’s Creed series.
The petition currently has over 1,700 signatures, and you can be damn sure that I’ll be signing it too!
Update (February 25, 2022): Ubisoft has called off its plans to hold the major Rainbow Six Siege tournament in the United Arab Emirates, following the backlash from fans.
Ubisoft originally defended its decision to host the event in the UAE following “extensive discussions” with local organisers and the UAE government to ensure player safety, the publisher said.