Last month during the Operation Wind Bastion reveal in Rio, Rainbow Six Siege developers announced that they will be moving Lion into a ‘competitive quarantine’. Basically, this means that the operator cannot be played in competitive matches. Consequently, the developers have learned from their mistakes, and are introducing an “evaluation period” for all the upcoming new operators.
For a minimum of 3 months after their addition, new operators will be unavailable to pick in all Rainbow Six esport programs like Pro League, Challenger League, Go4 cups, and other Ubisoft competitions. Ubisoft’s purpose behind this change is twofold:
“The additional visibility and preparation time will enable Pros to refine their strategies and skills to best incorporate the unique abilities of the new Operators into their play styles,” reads the announcement. “The extra time to test & learn meta changes before it hits the top level will serve as a safety net.”
While Ubisoft already had a similar grace period in place for new maps, the introduction of an evaluation period for new operators will result in “better competitive play and viewing experience.” The default evaluation period is 3 months, but that number might change based on feedback from the pro community.
Although this change doesn’t affect the average player, it has a very significant impact on the Rainbow Six professional esports scene. The implementation of this system prevents unbalanced operators like Lion, who is currently being reworked, from making it into the highest levels of competitive play. Ubisoft says:
“This quarantine is an exceptional measure to address an exceptional operator, and it is our goal to avoid having to use these measures again.”
“Ultimately our design team will take all feedback gathered at the pro workshop playtests into consideration as Lion’s rework progresses and lift the quarantine when we feel he has returned to a state where he contributes to an engaging and entertaining competitive meta, rather than one where he detracts from it,” states Ubisoft.
It should be noted that new operators and maps will be available to play in casual and ranked matches without any restrictions. Kaid and Nomad, the Wind Bastion operators, can be played normally after the season launches.