How Ubisoft Is Finding Their Place In Esports
Last weekend, Ubisoft Canada held the finals for the Rainbow Six Siege Canadian Nationals. The conclusion of the second season saw Team Canada go against Grizzlys.
As luck would have it, Ubisoft Canada and Northern Arena held the finals in downtown Toronto. Having the chance to attend, it was an incredible moment to see the lineup of fans pour through the doors to support the players and show their passion for the game.
In addition, the finals event finally brought the demo of The Division 2 to Canada. All attendees were able to jump into four-person squads and play through the demo which debuted during the E3 2018 Ubisoft conference.
As the title event began, most saw Team Canada come in with the upper edge. The team comprised of P3NG, The Evil Waffle, Euphoria, Whiskerzz and Jarvis had a bit more rapport and experience playing together. Though Grizzlys were a formidable team, Team Canada ultimately took the finals, ending with a 3-0 sweep. Both teams put on a great performance for the fans and showed a breadth of experience.
During the event, I had a chance to speak with Adam Climan, the Esports Communications Manager at Ubisoft Canada. We talked about how Ubisoft is tackling esports in Canada and the lessons the company has learned along the way.
Steve: How excited are you that we are sitting here, celebrating the conclusion of the second season of the Canadian Nationals?
Adam: I’m extremely excited! It’s our first year in esports. We had our first season’s finals in Montreal as you know. Now we have our second season in Toronto and to do this event –– learn and grow as we go along is phenomenal.
Steve: So you went from Montreal to Toronto. Are you going to keep going west, or keeping it centralized?
Adam: We’ll see what next season brings. I can certainly say we are going to continue on this train. We are very excited to grow our esports presence with Rainbow Six Siege. Whether we go west, we’ll certainly see. We are certainly open to the opportunities and will go to where we can give our players the best experience. All the cards are on the table, we shall see.
Steve: What lessons did you and your team learn from Season 1 that you were able to apply to the production and execution of Season 2?
Adam: I think the key lessons right now are making sure that we have really exciting tournaments for the viewers. We definitely want viewers to be excited about what they are watching.
We are also making sure we have great players. Making sure we have great relationships with our players is a big deal. We are making sure we constantly elevate the experience. Whether you are a viewer or a player, we want to make sure you are getting a top-notch experience 100 percent of the time. I think each and every time we run an event or a stream, we’re always learning.
Steve: How important is it for you to have a working platform to cultivate Canadian players?
Adam: It is very important. We as Ubisoft Canada are very proud of what we do in Canada. I like to think we are the leaders in a lot of ways in terms of marketing what we do overall. To be able to offer this platform and make it accessible to Canadians as a means of showcasing their skills is something unique to us. It is something we are very proud of.
Knowing that our hometown of Montreal is a hub for games, it only makes sense that Rainbow Six can grow and expand.
Steve: Now that there has been proven success in the esports scene via Rainbow Six Siege, have there been conversations about how Ubisoft can expand their footprint or is Siege the sole focus?
Adam: Rainbow Six is definitely a key focus for our games overall. We do have other games that are experimenting with esports as you may know. We have Just Dance World Cup. We have Brawlhalla, which has been involved in certain tournaments.
We are always looking for new ways to expand. But it is not always up to us to decide what is accepted as an esports game, it’s the community.
We are always working with the community, learning what they want to see and adapting games like Rainbow Six. It is a lot of back and forth. We’ll continue to expand that footprint, but we’ll do it very closely in hand with our fans and players.
If you were unable to catch the livestream, I encourage you to check out the VOD on YouTube.
Thank you to Ubisoft Canada for inviting me to the event. Congratulations to Team Canada for their big win. Now, bring on Season 3.