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Rainbow Six Siege - 5 Years Later

Sieging the shooter scene

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With 16 seasons and just over four years of improvements under its hood, few games can match the staggering amount of dedication that’s gone into crafting one of the most popular shooters in gaming, Rainbow Six Siege. Originally released in December 2015, it recently hit a milestone, seeing its community soar to over 50 million players last fall.

Part of the reason it keeps such an engaged audience is that it’s a shooter unlike any other on the market. Like most tactical FPS games, there’s a very low TTK (time-to-kill), meaning that one wrong move can leave you out of the game and waiting for the next round. While it may seem intimidating, it allows for some extremely tense, yet rewarding on the fly decision making . Let’s say you spot an enemy crossing a far-off hallway: do you take your time and line up a headshot, hoping they return, or do you send out a drone to do some recon on their whereabouts? What if there’s only 30 seconds left in the round? Think you’ve got the objective locked down from the attackers? With destructible walls and windows, good luck holding down positions from every angle. You can punch through walls, blow holes in the ceiling, even throw grenades through narrow openings. With its elimination gameplay, where every kill changes the entire dynamic of a round, Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most popular esports thanks to the skilled competitors and the potential of a clutch 1v5 comeback in almost every match.

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But it’s not all reaction time and ambushes. Most of the time, it comes down to which team has the better strategy, and there’s no way to better exemplify strategy in Rainbow Six Siege than rounding out your team with operators that complement one another. Originally launching with 21 operators, Siege has grown a lot in the last four years, currently boasting with a whopping 53 characters to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the operator Sledge is good at creating new entryways in unreinforced walls, but he's countered by Pulse who can detect heartbeats through walls. And over the last four years, the tactical strategies have increased with each new character.

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It’s this kind of checks-and-balances gameplay design that has given Rainbow Six Siege a competitive edge amongst its contemporaries in the esports scene. The Pro League is the definitive source to find the best Rainbow Six Siege players in the world, and its tournaments frequently draw in millions of viewers who tune in, not just for the insane reaction speed on display, but their decision making under pressure and round-saving gadget usage at the perfect moments. With so many different variables to consider at any given time, it’s no wonder Rainbow Six Siege is considered to have one of the highest skill ceilings in esports.

With new maps, operators, weapons, and more being added every season, Rainbow Six Siege is showing no signs of slowing down.