The market for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege esports viewership saw sizeable growth in 2018 despite the title’s 2015 release. With help from a change in esports strategy by developer Ubisoft, the title more than double its hours watched on Twitch last year.
Rolling into 2019, Rainbow Six leveraged that success from last year, and the Six Invitational in February recorded year-over-year viewership growth. However, as the year has moved on the growth of R6 esports has subsided.
Last weekend the R6 Pro League Season 9 finals in Milan, Italy, saw a decline in viewership on the main R6 channel compared to the Season 7 finals that took place around the same time in 2018.
With 1.1M hours watched on May 18-19, the eight-team tournament averaged 38K concurrent viewers over the weekend, down from an average of 80K CCV in 2018 that racked up 1.6M hours watched.
While the event was also watchable on YouTube and Facebook, using Twitch as a vehicle for year-over-year comparisons is made possible because of the platform’s esports-endemic position. Additionally, the event’s coverage included all three platforms last year and this year, making the comparison consistent.
For R6 as a whole, the single-elimination tournament over the weekend provided a surge in viewership. Though the event’s viewership didn’t match that of the Six Invitational, it was responsible for a significant spike in hours watched for R6 and the third most-watched day of the year for it on Twitch.
Related Article: How Rainbow Six Siege Methodically Grew Into a Major Esport
This sort of slight increase in hours watched doesn’t compare to the sort of growth that the game experienced from 2017 to 2018, but it does show that the heightened interest in R6 esports wasn’t a short-term trend.
While R6 viewership isn’t strong enough to make it one of the top 10 most-watched titles on Twitch, its esports influence thus far in the year has put it in the same tier as other games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone.
The game may not ever be able to reach the same sort of status that top established esports like Counter-Strike:Global Offensive , League of Legends , and Dota 2 have attained, but compared to just a few years ago, R6 has shown itself to have a positive trajectory in the esports marketplace.