Ubisoft Returns To In-Person Events With Rainbow Six Siege Tournament In France

Ubisoft kicks off 2021 with an in-person gaming tournament; there will be strict health and safety guidelines, and no fans.

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Ubisoft has become one of the first major gaming companies to return to in-person gaming events in 2021. The publisher has announced that the 2021 Rainbow Six Siege Invitational will be held in Paris, France in February, and players will compete in the same room. The Road to SI event is now live, letting you contribute to the prize pool.

Ubisoft stressed that it will be following "strict safety measures," and no fans will be allowed in to watch the event, which is scheduled for February 9-21 in Paris.

Teams will compete in a LAN environment, Ubisoft said, and there will be "strict sanitary measures, with no audience on site." Ubisoft said it's working with a number of key stakeholders--including the French government--to protect the health and safety of the participants and staff.

"With the well-being of pro players, staff and partners as the main priority, Ubisoft has been working with partner organizer Live Nation, health and safety agency ACEPS, medical agency ISMA, and the French Government to develop a controlled, safe, and competitive offline environment throughout the entire event, in line with the guidelines of the health organizations and local authorities."

Players must return a negative PCR test to fly into France, and once in the country, all players must self-isolate in their hotel rooms. Players from one team cannot mingle with others during the event, while there will be "regular" PCR tests and rapid provided to competitors throughout the series. And to keep numbers down, all eliminated teams must leave the venue in short order and then leave the country of France within 48 hours of losing their match. Players must also wear masks at all times, except while playing the game and during interviews.

In terms of sanitation, all equipment will be "rigorously sanitized" every day at the start and finish of the day. All high-touch surfaces will also be cleaned regularly, while there will be a COVID Manager on site to oversee everything. A doctor will also be on-site for the event, while there will be a "permanent presence" of first-aid workers.

Teams can receive sanctions and penalties--including expulsion from the event--for failing to comply with instructions. Should a player test positive but does not feel "impaired" by symptoms, they can compete remotely from their hotel room under the supervision of a doctor.

You can check out the full event guide to see all the measures Ubisoft is putting in place.

As for the tournament itself, the Six Invitational includes the best 20 teams in the world from four regions: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and North America. In addition to the tournament, the event will showcase what's coming to Rainbow Six Siege in 2021 for everyone to play. This includes "a few surprises," Ubisoft said.

France has had nearly 3 million COVID-19 cases and more than 70,000 deaths related to the virus.

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 scheduled to be held June 15-17, but the organizers have said the event will feature a "reimagined" format.

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