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Rainbow Six Siege gamers compete for record US$3M in Montreal eSports tournament

Laval hosts esports championship
WATCH: Thousands of fans descended on Place Bell in Laval on Saturday to watch their favorite electronic gamers compete for millions of dollars in prizes. Global's Brittany Henriques has the story.

Crowds roared with excitement at Laval’s Place Bell as they watched their favourite professional gamers compete at the world championship of Rainbow Six Siege — a video game created and developed in Montreal.

The winning teams of the tournament receive a grand prize of US$3 million — a record sum in the history of eSports Quebec.

Montreal tournament attracts thousands of people at Place bell on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020.
Montreal tournament attracts thousands of people at Place bell on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. Brittany Henriques / Global News

“It’s more than just eSports and the competition,” said Wei Yue, Rainbow Six Siege director for the East Coast. “It’s also where the community gathers and really celebrates our anniversary — our birthday — because Rainbow Six Siege came out four years ago.”

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The fourth annual Six Invitational gathered more than 4,500 people from around the world. Rainbow Six fans travelled from Vancouver to Ohio, France to Brazil to watch their favourite competitors battle it out in a high-intensity interactive environment.

READ MORE: Six Invitational eSports tournament expected to entertain millions

“It’s addictive,” said spectator Conor McIlwrath, who came from Vancouver to attend the tournament. “The competitive aspect and being able to play with friends. It’s a higher skill level shooter compared to most.”

Fans like McIlwrath insist eSports are just like any other regular sport. Professional gaming has it all — the game, the competitors, the fans and the atmosphere.

“It’s pure adrenaline,” he said. “It’s like going to a hockey game except this time I’m interested.”

Ohio cosplayer and videogame enthusiast Devin Ricketson drove more than nine hours to attend the world-renowned tournament.

“The stage, all the lighting and everything [is amazing],” said Ricketson. “They really know how to hype you up when someone gets a kill or something.”
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READ MORE: Edmonton’s NAIT hosts first official eSports tournament

The tournament features 16 of the world’s best teams ready to battle it out.

“The pace of the game is so fast here, so it’s just really interesting,” said Ricketson.

In only four years the game grew exponentially, creating hype around the world.

Two pro gaming teams go head-to-head at the fourth annual Six Invitational on Saturday in Laval.
Two pro gaming teams go head-to-head at the fourth annual Six Invitational on Saturday in Laval. Brittany Henriques / Global News
“It’s a very hard game to learn — it takes a lot of practice. That’s why the pro players [are so impressive],” said Yue. “It’s a team tactical strategic shooter game and I think the tactical and strategy aspect of the game is what really differentiates us from all the other games out there.”
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Attendees got the chance to meet their favourite players, dress up in cosplay and get a sneak peek at the newest version of the game set to come out in a few weeks.