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.
“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.”
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.
“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 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.
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.