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Ubisoft rings the changes for the Rainbow Six Pro League

The Rainbow Six Pro League will undergo a transition period very soon, with the new format expected to run until 2020.

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Rainbow Six Siege

The Rainbow Six Pro League will undergo a transition period very soon, with the new format expected to run until 2020.

When you’re pitching a game as an esport, you have to have a certain amount of longevity in mind. There’s a reason why an individual Call of Duty title never lasts more than a couple of seasons, thanks to Activision’s conveyor belt production schedule, whereas the just-like-it-was-on-the-day-it-came-out-in-2012 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been an esports stalwart.

That doesn’t mean you can’t make tweaks and changes, however. It just means you can’t out-and-out replace the game every year and expect any sort of competitive longevity. Unless, of course, it’s FIFA, when each game is basically the same and you barely notice it’s changed from one year to the next.

And Rainbow Six Siege, the class-based first-person shooter with a Tom Clancy license attached and a healthy attitude to tweaks and changes, looks like it’s here to stay. It seems to be going the distance and has formed quite the competitive scene, where other, outwardly similar shooters – Battlefield Hardline, anyone? – have faltered.

Today Ubisoft have announced major changes to the Rainbow Six Pro League, the esports framework that supports competitive Rainbow Six Siege play. They promise “a new structure designed to support the growth of the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six esports scene,” with a raft of changes from the top echelons right down to the game’s amateur grassroots.

The Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Pro League itself will be composed of two Seasons, six months each, from June to November and December to May. Each Season will be concluded by Season Finales, where the eight best teams of the Season – two per region: Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America – will compete for a prize pool of $275,000. This six month-basis format will start on June 2018, after a season of transition lasting from March to May 2018. This season of transition, our seventh Pro League season, will last 3 months, and a Season Finale will take place in the United States mid-May 2018.

The changes to the Rainbow Six Pro League will have an impact on the schedule, including a transition period, which means the upcoming schedule will be as follows:

Schedule Summary for Year 2018-2019:

  • Pro League Season 7 (transition season): March – May 2018
  • Pro League Season 8: June – November 2018
  • Pro League Season 9: December 2018 – May 2019

There will also be a Challenger League, with two three-month seasons, starting in September and March, and will commence following the conclusion of the current Season 7 format as part of the transition between the two structures.

There will also be two majors, outlined as follows:

Another fundamental change is that each year will now feature two Majors, events where the most intense Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege action unfolds. In addition to the Six Invitational each February, a “Six Major” tournament will take place in Paris in August. The Six Paris Major and the Six Invitational will grant $350,000 and $500,000 respective prize pools. Both events will feature 16 teams from all over the world.

And there will be weekly online events and semi-regular local tournaments for amateurs to test their mettle, if you’re not quite playing in the big leagues of the Rainbow Six Pro League just yet. We’ll share the details of these when they’re made available.


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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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This week’s Nintendo Switch releases (August 10-15, 2020)

Here’s the full rundown on this week’s lineup of new Nintendo Switch eshop releases.

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New Nintendo Switch eShop releases
Nintendo / Thumbsticks

Here’s the full rundown on this week’s crop of new Nintendo Switch eShop releases.

The Alto Collection is our pick from this week’s lineup of new Nintendo eShop games. The collection brings together two snow (and sand) boarding games – Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey – that were greeted with wide acclaim on mobile. Don’t let the smartphone roots put you off, these are magical, blissful games that shouldn’t be missed.

Faeria, the turn-based digital card game from Abrakam, also lands on Switch this week. The game has a well designed hex-based battle system, over 100 hours of single-player content, and a generous amount of co-op missions.

Other new Nintendo Switch releases include the romantic visual novel Big Dipper, top-down shooter Zero Strain, and the time-bending twin-stick shooter, The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines.

We’ll update this page with any changes throughout the week. In the meantime, here is the current lineup of new Nintendo eShop releases.

New Nintendo Switch releases: August 10-15, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • Twist & Bounce

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Infinite Combate (NA)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Banner of the Maid
  • Metamorphosis
  • Volta-X
  • Escape From Tethys

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • Collar X Malice -Unlimited-
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Bite The Bullet
  • Faeria
  • The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
  • Double Kick Heroes
  • Darkestville Castle
  • Big Dipper
  • Pro Pool Gold
  • Devious Dungeon Collection
  • We Are Doomed
  • Zero Strain

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Deliver Us The Moon
  • Shaolin vs Wutang
  • Linn: Path of Orchards
  • Prehistoric Dude

Saturday, August 15, 2020

  • Regina & Mac

You can also catch up with the week’s new PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releases.


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Xbox Series X confirmed to launch this November

Xbox Series X will launch in November, Microsoft says, despite Halo Infinite delay.

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Xbox Series X release date November 2020
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Xbox Series X will launch in November, Microsoft says, despite Halo Infinite delay.

Halo Infinite is no longer coming this holiday season. But, Microsoft insists, the Xbox Series X still is.

In a post on Xbox Wire, editor-in-chief Will Tuttle announced that the console will arrive this November. That’s as specific as Microsoft has been willing to get so far (while still being pretty vague).

“We have plenty to keep you busy until Chief arrives: There will be thousands of games to play, spanning four generations, when Xbox Series X launches globally this November and over 100 optimized for Xbox Series X titles, built to take full advantage of our most powerful console, are planned for this year,” writes Tuttle.

“And with brand new console features like hardware-accelerated Direct X raytracing, framerates up to 120 frames per second, faster loading times, and Quick Resume for multiple games, playing will look and feel better, no matter which games you choose to play on day one.”

During last month’s Xbox Games Showcase, each trailer ended with the promise that the game would be available on Xbox Game Pass. Over the past few years, it has become increasingly clear that Xbox is invested in selling subscriptions to the streaming service, at least as much as the company is invested in continuing to sell consoles and its flagship games.

Now, with its biggest launch game delayed, Microsoft is relying even more on Game Pass’ impressive catalog. The Xbox Wire post emphasizes Xbox’s massive library, citing Game Pass and the wealth of Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox One games available through backwards compatibility.

Microsoft no longer has a system seller for this fall. We’ll see if that even matters anymore.

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Halo Infinite delayed into 2021

Halo Infinite, Microsoft’s flagship title for the launch of the Xbox Series X, has been delayed into next year.

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Halo Infinite Delayed
343 Industries

Halo Infinite, Microsoft’s flagship title for the launch of the Xbox Series X, has been delayed into next year.

Look, after the Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 delay, nothing can hurt me. But, that doesn’t mean Halo fans the world over aren’t bummed that they won’t have a new crop of Covenant to shoot their way through this holiday season.

Microsoft made the announcement on Twitter, via the official Halo account.

Halo Infinite Delayed to 2021

“We have made the difficult decision to shift our release to 2021 to ensure that the team has adequate time to deliver a Halo experience that meets our vision,” wrote 343 Industries studio head, Chris Lee.

“The decision to shift our release is the result of multiple factors that have contributed to development challenges, including the ongoing COVID-related impacts affecting us all this year. I want to acknowledge the hard work from our team at 343 Industries who have remained committed to making a great game and finding solutions to development challenges. However, it is not sustainable for the well-being of our team or the overall success of the game to ship it this holiday… The extra time will let us finish the critical work necessary to deliver the most ambitious Halo game ever at the quality we know our fans expect.”

343’s Halo History

Halo Infinite is the third original Halo game from 343. Halo 4 and Halo 5 disappointed many longtime series fans. As a result, there’s a lot riding on the success of Halo Infinite.

But, when Microsoft showed off extensive gameplay for the first time last month, the game’s graphics were mocked and memed on the Internet. Halo Infinite just didn’t look like what fans expected from a next-generation Halo game.

In part, that’s because Halo Infinite isn’t a next-generation Halo game. Microsoft has committed to launching first-party titles on the upcoming Series X and the aging Xbox One. Halo Infinite has the unenviable task of running on this-gen hardware while looking like a next-gen game.

Hopefully, with the extra time, 343 can deliver a game that feels like an evolutionary leap. And hopefully they can also maintain their mental and physical health in the process.

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Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has been delayed

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the cult RPG, has been pushed back to 2021.

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2
Hardsuit Labs

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2, the long-awaited sequel to the cult RPG, has been pushed back to 2021.

There’s nothing like the original Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, even 16 years after its release. As a younger Millennial who grew up in the early ‘00s, the game hits an extremely specific nostalgia pressure point. The industrial metal. The moody Los Angeles setting. The ill-advised fashion. The game is so of its time – problematic depictions of women, people of color and mentally ill folks, unfortunately, included – that there really has never been another game with the same vibe.

So, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 has been one of my most anticipated games since it was unveiled in 2019. Unfortunately, developer Hardsuit Labs announced today that the decade-plus wait will last a little longer.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Delayed

“We are moving the launch of Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 to 2021,” reads a statement on the game’s Twitter profile. “Our goal has always been to deliver the best game possible, to immerse you into a Seattle re-imagined in the World of Darkness, and deliver a worthy successor to the original Bloodlines game. Due to the quality bar and ambitions we have set for ourselves, we have made the difficult decision that we need more time. This means that our goal to release in 2020 is no longer possible. Moving launch is one of the changes we are making to ensure the best player experience possible.”

The statement is attributed to Andy Kipling, of Hardsuit Labs, and Jakob Munthe, of publisher Paradox Interactive.

If the game arrived in 2020, it would have been competing with this fall’s behemoth RPG Cyberpunk 2077. Both are the kinds of choice-based games that RPG fans will want to sink dozens of hours into, across multiple playthroughs. And, that’s not even mentioning the other massive games hitting this fall. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Halo Infinite and a new Call of Duty to name a few. So, the delay is probably a good move.

Hopefully, the game arrives early in 2021, though. I remain eager for another adventure in that iconic world. Once bitten, right?


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This week’s PlayStation 4 releases (August 10-14, 2020)

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

Hyper Scape is this week’s big new PS4 release. Ubisoft’s free-to-play FPS battle royale is certainly ambitious, and you can expect it to be well supported by Ubisoft. Nonetheless, it has a ways to go to convince us that it will be as successful as other F2P shooters like Apex Legends or Valorant. Lovely art direction, though.

Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey made their names on mobile, but we can’t wait to play Team Alto’s dreamy snowboarding games on the big screen. Both titles come to PS4 – as well as Xbox One and Switch – in The Alto Collection on Thursday.

Other new PS4 releases that catch the eye include Zero Strain, which is a vibrant top-down shoot ’em up with MOBA elements, and Dying Light: Hellraid, a new, hellish, expansion for Techland’s Dying Light. EA Sports UFC 4 also makes an entrance on Friday.

We’ll update this page throughout the week as we get more PS4 release dates confirmed.

The Drop: New PS4 releases for August 10-14, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • No releases.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Brunch Club
  • Hyper Scape
  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Infinite Combate
  • Prehistoric Dude
  • Tyd wag vir Niemand

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Banner of the Maid
  • Escape From Tethys – TBC
  • Metamorphosis
  • Zero Strain

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • Bite the Bullet
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Darkestville Castle

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Dying Light: Hellraid
  • EA Sports UFC 4

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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