Header image credit: Adela Sznajder / Ubisoft

Between Thursday 16 and Sunday 26 May, Greater Manchester’s B.E.C Arena hosted the UK’s first-ever Rainbow Six Esports Major, marking a level up in the city’s esport credentials.

The BLAST R6 Major is one of the biggest international esports competitions, which attracts some of the world’s biggest players. It is focused around Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, an elite, realistic, tactical team-based shooter game.

Hosting the UK’s first ever Blast R6 Major marks a significant milestone in Greater Manchester’s tech and gaming credentials, bringing gamers and fans to the region.

2 e-sports competitors lit by spotlights in a crowd

In the Manchester event, twenty of the world’s best teams flocked to the city for a 3-phase competition, including teams from Brazil, North America, South Korea, Japan and Europe. The final round took place in front of a live audience in Trafford’s BEC Arena a 4,500 capacity venue.

The B.E.C arena is located on Trafford Park close to the M60 and The Trafford Centre, with good connections to the city centre. It’s extensive range of exhibition halls and suits, make it adaptable for a range of events form sporting events, markets and live music to corporate training events and product launches.

Having been used for many traditional sporting events in the past, the B.E.C arena was the perfect location to host the region’s first Esports event. With a flexible design that  allows for a pillar-free open floor area of 2,960m2, the event could welcome attendees ranging from 300 up to 4,500 as well as reach the virtual esports audience.

In total, the Manchester Rainbow Six Major competition was watched online by over 118,000 viewers for a total of 4m hours.

People sat in front of screens at e-sports event

Blast champions and elevates esports by creating world-class live and digital experiences, by working with some of the world’s best game publishers and brands, it creates unforgettable esports experiences for its fanbase of over 15 million people in 154 territories.

James Woollard, Director of Market Development for BLAST, said: "2024 is shaping up to be a record breaking year for the UK esports industry with more activity and arena events taking place here than anywhere else in the world - helping position the region as a global hub for esports and big-scale events. These events will not only create opportunities for fans to watch tier one esports, but will contribute to important economical investment in the United Kingdom. Ubisoft and BLAST choosing the Northwest and Manchester to host the Rainbow Six Major is testament to the event landscape the region has to offer along with its proud record of hosting world-leading events. The city will not only receive millions of pounds in economic investment, we are also confident the tournament will leave a lasting local legacy for esports and gaming growth in the future."

The UK has long been a core region for the Esports ecosystem and is home to several successful players and teams. Currently, the esports the industry is predicted to be worth $1.8 billion by 2025 with a global audience of around 532m people. In the UK, the esports sector currently supports over 1,200 jobs and is rapidly growing.

Hosting, the Blast Rainbow Six Major in Manchester not only gave British competitors a chance to shine on home soil but celebrated the city’s emerging status as an esports and tech hub.

Greater Manchester is establishing itself as a leading destination for gaming talent, businesses and innovation. The region has already welcomed the likes of Smashmouth Games, Cloud Imperium, Rezzil and Fabrik Games, however with academic institutions and business hubs helping to prepare the city for the next generation of gaming and tech talent, Manchester is only at the beginning of its esports story.

Learn more about the city’s esports credentials here.

If you’re looking to bring your Esports event to Manchester and would like to take advantage of Manchester’s brilliant facilities and wealth of expertise, contact the Manchester Convention Bureau Team.

If you’re looking to bring your Esports event to Manchester and would like to take advantage of the region’s brilliant facilities and wealth of expertise, contact Marketing Manchester’s Convention Bureau.

Marketing Manchester’s Conference and Events specialists can support from the bidding process through to finding the perfect venue and supporting with accommodation needs for events of all sizes. Learn more about how they can help.