We’re about halfway through Rainbow Six Siege Year 3’s first season, Operation Chimera, so now's a good time to sit down and lay out everything we know about the new operators coming in Season 2. Ubisoft historically doesn't reveal information about new characters before they’re good and ready, but they're also slightly notorious for leaks, and a combination of data mining and some detective work has already done a lot of the work for them. Let’s dive in.
Who are the new operators?
We know from Ubi's official Year 3 roadmap (opens in new tab) that the next two characters are Italian and members of the GIS, or the Gruppo di Intervento Speciale, which is now your favorite special forces organization to say. The GIS is unique to Italy in that they function as both peacekeeping officers in-country as well as airborne special forces operatives for activities in any theatre. The new operators will arrive alongside a new multiplayer map set in their home country.
What do we (probably) know about the Italian operators?
Last month some Reddit sleuths were able to uncover two introduction graphics for the Italian operators, the kind that are usually seen in their reveal trailer.
Based on this, their names are Alibi and Maestro, although it's possible Alibi is the name of the character's ability. Anyway, probably-Alibi’s graphic depicts her with two holographic soldiers posed behind her—perhaps the gadget has two uses per round? Maestro’s graphic is a little more cryptic, but he does sport some heavy-looking armor and a bandolier of shotgun shells, a piece of kit not seen on any other Siege character. This ability is called Barrage.
What will the Italian operators do?
Speculating about the new operator gadgets is usually tough to do based only off their name and character artwork. With Alabi and Maestro, though, there are some hints about their abilities backed up by leaks dug up by Artex3, who has supplied reliable info for past Siege seasons. Still, take this stuff with a grain of salt.
According to the leaks, Alibi’s ability refers to devices she places that will trigger a holographic decoy. There is language in the code of the game’s client that refers to the holograms having different states, such as visible, fading, hidden, and scanning, which might indicate that the holograms have visual distortion of some kind or can be damaged. There’s also a “DecoyDeviceStatus” identifier with Deploy, Idle, and Pickup tags that suggest the holograms might be triggered by motion or even remotely by Alibi. A defender who can spook attackers with ghosts of themselves? Sounds great.
Maestro’s Barrage ability and bandolier would typically suggest that he would wield a shotgun, but the leaks tell a different story. The code refers to a “Barrage_AutoTurret” string that has plenty of other commands, including those for deploying and moving the auto turret, a passive and active mode, and something that refers to a shield. With this information plus Maestro’s artwork, perhaps his auto turret is armed with a shotgun that shoots a special type of ammo. (Our thoughts and prayers go out to poor, irrelevant Tachanka.)
What weapons will the new operators use?
We also have information on four new weapons that might be coming in Season 2 based on Artex3’s finds. It’s worth noting that weapons are often found in the game code that don’t surface in the next update, so this remains merely our best guess. The first two refer a submachine gun called the StormMX4 and a light machine gun called the AMELIMG82, both of which refer to their real-life counterparts, the MX4 Storm and the CETME Ameli. The MX4 Storm is designed by the Italian weapons manufacturer Beretta, while the Ameli was designed for the Spanish Army. Check those out below.
If you’re following along, it would be strange for Ubisoft to give an LMG (a type of weapon usually reserved for attackers) to the Italian operators if we’re also to believe they’re both defenders. While it’s possible that the Ameli was simply added in preparation for a different batch of operators, it should be considered a real possibility that this is one of Maestro’s primary weapons on defense. Some players have theorized that Maestro will be able to use the Ameli himself or attach it to his auto turret base and leave it to act autonomously. Others think his bandolier refers to him wielding the AA-12 shotgun, another weapon that showed up in the game code around the time of Operation White Noise.
The other two new weapons seem to be revolvers. The first is the “Rhino_D40,” which fits best with the real Italian revolver Chiappa Rhino. The other, called the Baliff410 in the game, is a bit more interesting. One commenter thinks this name refers to the real Taurus Judge revolver, which fires .410 shotgun shells. This could explain Maestro’s collection of shells, but the same commenter pointed out that his shells are too large to fit in a revolver. Rainbow Six Siege isn’t known for getting every little detail right, so I say this is still totally plausible.
When will the new operators release?
It’s not an exact science, but history gives us a good idea about when we can expect Alibi and Maestro to see the light of day. Ubisoft recently announced that the finals for the current season of Rainbow Six Pro League will be happening in Atlantic City, New Jersey on May 19th and 20th. Ubisoft typically uses the finals as a platform to announce the next season of content, so it makes sense to expect the same here. After the finals, the new content is usually available to play on the Technical Test Server the following Tuesday. The testing period lasts two weeks and is followed by the official release, which gets us to an estimate of Tuesday June 5, 2018. This is also a week prior to E3, so it would give Ubisoft the opportunity to boast about player numbers one week in to Season 2.
Other stuff worth knowing
- Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced that Siege would be receiving a pick and ban system to make matches a bit more interesting. While the system won’t make it into the Casual and Ranked modes in Season 2, it will be available in Custom Matches and become the standard for the Pro League. Before the match begins, each team will take turns banning two operators each, one attacker and one defender, totaling to four.
- Since Ubisoft announced that they won’t be doing bigger Midseason Reinforcement patches moving forward, we can expect the major changes that would usually come around now to arrive in Season 2. This typically includes things like operator reworks and large bundles of bug fixes.
- Clubhouse will be the first map to get what the developers are calling a “map buff.” The overhaul includes a lot fundamental changes—the pool table in Bar will become its own separated room, the Cash Room and Master Bedroom will be joined and enclosed by what is currently the outside landing area, and the Armory will have a new set of stairs in the Blue Hallway that links back up to the Garage entrance.