Ubisoft’s ambitious plan to return to live esports tournaments during a global pandemic will not go ahead as planned. The publisher has announced that the Six Invitational 2021 event planned for February in France has been postponed due in part to the French Prime Minister’s recent announcement that French borders would be closed to non-EU travelers.
Ubisoft and its partner Live Nation were “working tirelessly” to find a way to hold the event even with the restrictions in place, but it was determined that “LAN esports events are no longer possible in today’s context.”
“While we are obviously disappointed that the Six Invitational will no longer go ahead this month as planned, our focus is now on re-evaluating the situation and looking for alternative options; we know fans are looking forward to both the reveal by the developers of the upcoming changes in Rainbow Six Siege, as well as the competition itself,” Ubisoft said.
A solution is being worked on at the moment, and Ubisoft will share more details “soon.”
Other major gaming tournaments, such as the Call of Duty League, are taking place virtually to accomodate the pandemic. But Ubisoft won’t do this.
“Due to server locations, and to ensure the utmost competitive integrity, such a competition can only happen if we gather all participating teams in the same physical location,” Ubisoft said.
The Six Invitational was scheduled to begin on February 9, and Ubisoft announced a series of “strict sanitary measures” for the event and no fans. Ubisoft was requiring every competitor to return a negative PCR test to fly into France, while players would have received rapid tests throughout the event. Players were also blocked from mingling, according to the proposed rules, while players who broke the rules would be sanctioned with strict penalties.
France has had more than 3.35 million COVID-19 cases and around 80,000 deaths.
The Evo fighting game tournament remains on the schedule to take place as an in-person event in Las Vegas in August. But whether or not the gaming industry overall returns to in-person events in 2021 remains to be seen. One of the year’s biggest gaming shows, E3 2021, is going to be “transformed” this year with a virtual-only show, according to a report.
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