The second Rainbow Six Major to take place in Atlanta

Image credit: Ubisoft / BLAST

Esports production company and tournament organiser BLAST and game developer Ubisoft have announced that the second Rainbow Six: Siege Major will take place in Atlanta, Georgia this November.

The $750,000 (~£594,000) prize pool tournament features a three-phase format and will field 24 teams from nine regions.

ESI London 2023

This is the second time BLAST has produced a Rainbow Six Major, following its multi-year deal with the tournament organiser in 2022. The first event of 2023 was the BLAST Copenhagen Major. Interestingly, this will also be the first major Rainbow Six esports event to take place in the state of Georgia.

The Rainbow Six Majors are events that commemorate the end of a segment of the Rainbow Six competitive season. There are usually two Majors in a year, and one Six Invitational, the largest Rainbow Six tournament of the year.

The upcoming Atlanta Major, taking place at the Gas South Arena, will see high-tier Rainbow Six competition return to USA, after the last Major was held there in May 2022.

BLAST has been increasing its presence in Rainbow Six by producing not only the Copenhagen Major, but also a number of smaller tournaments called BLAST Community Cups. According to esports data website Esports Charts, the first BLAST Major saw around 118,000 viewers at peak, making it the seventh most-watched Major in the game’s history.

Tickets for the Major are already on sale, and viewers will be able to select from a number of different packages. BLAST will announce further details about the event as it draws closer.

Ivan Šimić

Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.

NICKMERCS and Scump to co-host $100,000 MFAM Gauntlet

NICKMERCS Scump MFAM Gauntlet UFC X
Image credit: MFAM Gauntlet

Streamer and professional gamer Nick ‘NICKMERCS’ Kolcheff will host the ‘MFAM Gauntlet’, which has a $100,000 (~78,000) prize pool, at UFC X in Las Vegas — alongside Call of Duty esports legend Seth ‘Scump’ Abner.

Kolcheff and Abner will create teams that will battle alongside ‘one lucky fan for $100,000 in cash’, according to a release.

ESI London 2023

The MFAM Gauntlet will be a two-day event (July 7th-8th) between Team NICKMERCS and Team Scump. Day one will be an open tournament series, where fans compete alongside Kolcheff and Abner for a spot on Abner’s team on day two, as well as VIP tickets to UFC 290 that night.

Team NICKMERCS and Team Scump will then face off for the $100,000 prize pool. The competition format, game titles and team assignments will be announced at start time. The game titles will supposedly be kept confidential until the event, which will be streamed on the UFC’s official Twitch channel.

Other popular creators and players that will be at the event include JoeWo, DiazBiffle, Repullze, Faze ZooMaa and Alexia Rey.

Notably, most of the creators in attendance — including NICKMERCS himself — have largely streamed Call of Duty in recent years. However, after a recent controversy surrounding one of Kolcheff’s tweets about an LGBTQ+ topic, Activision Blizzard, the publisher of Call of Duty, removed Kolcheff’s exclusive skin from the game.

If Call of Duty is played at the MFAM Gauntlet, it will certainly be interesting as Kolcheff has not streamed the game since its release.

UFC X, which will take place during International Fight Week on July 7th-8th, is a ticketed event where fans gain access to mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighters that compete in the UFC. There are interactive exhibits, photo opportunities and other attractions.

Kolcheff has taken part in events with the UFC before; last year he defeated Tim ‘TimtheTatman’ Betar for the UFC Gaming Belt — an event that comically mimicked a traditional MMA bout, complete with a ‘fighter’ weigh-in and face-off.

“I wish I had opportunities like this when I was coming up,” commented Nicholas ‘NICKMERCS’ Kolcheff. “We’re bringing nothing but positivity, healthy competition, and a big bag to Vegas for The MFAM Gauntlet. I can’t wait to get back in front of the crowd, play, and give one skilled fan a shot at $100,000. The Gauntlet at UFC X is going to be crazy!”

Billy Studholme

Billy is Esports Insider’s freelance Assistant Editor. He mostly reports on the business and economic landscape of esports. He has written for the Washington Post, Digiday, Dexerto, Esports.net and other outlets both endemic and non-endemic to the esports industry.

Pittsburgh Knights launch women leadership programme with PNC Bank

Pittsburgh Knights
Image credit: Pittsburgh Knights

North American esports organisation Pittsburgh Knights and PNC Bank have announced a new esports internship programme to provide women with opportunities in the industry.

The Women In Esports Internship programme will give chosen participants a chance to work with the esports team. The programme will consist of two initial interns: Jing Hua Toh and Kelly Liu.

ESI London 2023

The Pittsburgh Knights is an esports organisation perhaps most known for their ties to the NFL franchise Pittsburgh Steelers and rapper Wiz Khalifa. The organisation has teams in Rainbow Six, iRacing, Mortal Kombat, and Madden and competes both locally and internationally.

PNC Bank has been a partner of the Pittsburgh Knights since 2020, and the two companies emphasised the importance of mentorship and support towards women in esports as the main goals of the internship.

The new mentorship programme will see the two participants join the organisation over the summer months, and work with the Pittsburgh Knights in its technology and esports departments. According to the company, Jing Hua Toh will work on AI-focused features for the Knights and Kelly Liu will work on content creation.

The organisation did not mention whether the two participants will get the opportunity to stay with the Knights after the internship period is over. Moreover, it was not revealed if the internship will continue after the summer.

James O’Connor, the CEO of the Pittsburgh Knights, commented on the programme: “This project, in collaboration with PNC Bank, demonstrates our dedication to creating a diverse and inclusive environment in the esports industry. PNC’s long-standing support of the communities it  serves and its ongoing efforts to empower women has been an inspiration for the Knights.”

Ivan Šimić

Ivan comes from Croatia, loves weird simulator games, and is terrible at playing anything else. Spent 5 years writing about tech and esports in Croatia, and is now doing it here.