Nicolas Estrup of BLAST: "We feel strongly that we can bring something fresh to R6 while understanding its legacy and past"

Rafael Ferreira
category_image Rainbow 6
Reading time  ~7  mins

At the beginning of the last month, Ubisoft and BLAST announced their partnership to run the competitive scene of Rainbow Six Siege. Since then, many questions came from the community as things go by and several changes were announced.

BLIX.GG got the opportunity to deliver some questions to BLAST about getting the chance to run R6 Esports and what the fans can expect.

BLIX.GG, Rafael Ferreira: How were the talks with Ubisoft to run the competitive scene of Rainbow Six?

BLAST, Nicolas Estrup, Chief Innovation Officer: The bidding process was a very competitive and complex one, which was to be expected with Rainbow Six Siege being such a hugely desirable project and ecosystem to work with. After a good amount of rounds of in-depth talks, we were delighted that Ubisoft decided to trust us (BLAST) to work with them to help elevate Rainbow Six Siege esports in the next few years. We hope to repay that trust by putting our heart and soul into continuously innovating and growing this scene in the future.

Read more: R6 Esports 2023: Who’s leaving and why?

BLIX.GG: What are the plans for 2023 for both Ubisoft and BLAST? What are both of your goals for competitive Rainbow Six for 2023 and beyond?

BLAST: The ultimate aim with R6 for both Ubisoft and BLAST, is to help develop, grow and elevate its competitive scene and strong community. We have made our name on delivering next-level entertainment while working with some of the world’s biggest and best game publishers and esports titles. We believe our focus on player-led storylines, fan-first productions and extensive expertise in delivering thriving esport ecosystems, will help to further grow and strengthen R6 in the future while working closely with Ubisoft to maintain what makes the scene so special and unique. This can be boiled down to helping grow the active player base, event viewership and overall helping the scene to prosper across all areas.

BLIX.GG: Why did BLAST join Ubisoft and what did you see in the game to partner with Ubisoft to run the competitive scene?

BLAST: Rainbow Six is one of the most popular and loved games and esports titles in the world. It is easy to understand, pick up and play, but hard to master. This makes it incredibly exciting to work with on a narrative level in shows and broadcasts and makes for really entertaining gameplay with calm and tactical moments as well as deeply intense periods of action. Coupled with a developer, in Ubisoft, that cares so deeply about a strong ecosystem and a well-balanced hybrid approach, we see BLAST R6 as one of the most exciting esports ecosystems going into 2023 and jumped at the chance to work with the game as soon as it arrived.

Above all, working with the Siege community was also an attractive reason for entering this space. It’s no secret that R6 has one of the most tight-knit, loyal and passionate fan bases in all of esports - we see limitless opportunities to engage and heighten this strong following in the future and we can’t wait to get started.

BLIX.GG: Looking at the R6 competitive scene in the past years, what does BLAST want to do differently from now on? Can the fans expect a big change in anything?

BLAST: For us, it’s not about entering Rainbow Six only to rip up the script and start all over again, we know there is so much in the scene that is already in place that makes the community so unique and special. Our approach is to ensure we uphold this while looking to elevate and grow the wider ecosystem. We also look forward to bringing to the table our approach to player-led storytelling and bringing fans closer to their heroes. This, combined with BLAST’s industry-leading production while working closely with talent, players and teams, means we are confident of delivering an ecosystem with Ubisoft that the Rainbow Six Siege community can be excited and proud of - from fans, players, talent and teams, all the way through to those working in the scene and of course, those tuning in from home or joining us in arenas.

R6 Esports, image credit - Ubisoft

BLIX.GG: Have BLAST and Ubisoft found a defined way to work? A decision for the esports circuit is discussed by both parties or is BLAST just organizing the events?

BLAST: BLAST R6 will very much be a joint initiative and involve a partnership approach to delivering an esports ecosystem over the coming years - meaning decisions will be discussed and agreed upon by both parties across all areas of the circuit. This will also see us look to leverage BLAST’s various strengths, which consist of industry-leading technology, high-end ‘fan-first’ production values, global broadcast reach, extensive tournament organizer experience and wider esports expertise, all while maintaining Ubisoft’s rich knowledge and in-depth understanding of the game and its esports scene. We really feel that the combined logo establishes how much this is a shared and collaborative ecosystem with Ubisoft and BLAST.

BLIX.GG: What can we expect from BLAST in the events? Can we also expect the quality and greatness of the CS:GO events in R6 Majors and SI?

BLAST: The variety in the game and passionate community gives us tons of opportunities in how we approach events in R6. BLAST really prides itself on creating and hosting highly engaging esports events and experiences, we are excited to replicate this in Rainbow Six Siege this year and beyond. Most importantly, however, is that there’s never a one-size-fits-all when it comes to esports ecosystems and their live experiences. We are very mindful of that when entering new games and R6 is no different. We feel strongly that we can bring something fresh to R6 while understanding its legacy and past.

Read more: The story of risze: the Belgian legend

BLIX.GG: What are the plans for the locations of the Major events? Is the plan to bet on new countries to get these events or to keep the same countries as before?

BLAST: Both BLAST and Ubisoft share an ambition to take esports to all corners of the world and closer to those who love it most. In February we announced three incredible locations: Denmark for the first Major in May, the United States for the second Major in November and Brazil for the Six Invitational in early 2024, which means big Rainbow Six Esports events will be hosted in three different continents for the 2023 Season.

All roads will lead to these events with the new season inaugurated this week, so, right now, our teams and partners are hard at work ramping up toward the first playdays in each region. In parallel, we are also getting ready for our first Major of the season in May, and we are super excited to welcome the Siege community to BLAST’s hometown in Copenhagen! It was definitely a big desire from both sides to make sure that we took R6 global again to make sure that as many as possible across the globe have the opportunity to experience the game and spectacle live and in person.

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Copyright © 2023 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.
CS Virtual Trade Ltd, reg. no. HE 389299 Registered address and the principal place of business: 705, Spyrou Araouzou & Koumantarias, Fayza House, 3036, Limassol, Cyprus
Copyright © 2023 BLIX.GG. All rights reserved.