With the ringing in of 2019, Rainbow Six Siege is about to enter its fourth year of new operators, new maps, new cosmetics, and other stuff. Year 3 brought Siege some of its most interesting operators to date, so players are eager to see how Year 4 Season 1 will set the tone for what’s to come. Ubisoft has yet to say anything official, but an easter egg and some possible leaks do give us something to go on.
Speculation about Siege heading to the land down under started around the release of Wind Bastion in November. While perusing around the new Fortress map, redditor Manysuchcases (opens in new tab) noticed a projector setup in the briefing room that depicted a map of Australia. Ubisoft loves to inject new maps with references and easter eggs, so it’s unlikely that the map was included for no reason. Siege’s 44 operators have done a great job of representing many regions of the world, but the entire country/continent of Australia has been left out thus far, so in theory it makes a lot of sense.
Who are the operators?
Late in December, a series of supposed leaks began showing up on 4chan and gaming forum ResetEra. They all have one thing in common: Australia. ResetEra user Kormora (opens in new tab) posted a supposed description of the new Australian operators given to them by an “industry friend.” The post calls the operators Gridlock and Mozzie. Gridlock is an attacker that places “red web trackers” that damage defenders and make noise when triggered. Mozzie is a defender who places a device that can assume control of attacker drones when they drive into its range.
To give the leak more credibility, Kormora followed up the initial post with a supposed image (opens in new tab) of Gridlock’s web tracker, which you can find above. The image is a bit blurry and the geometry of the web theoretically wouldn't be too hard to produce in Photoshop, but the concept of the trap is believable. The strange part to me is how the web gadget seems to awkwardly hang over the edge of the stairs. You can chalk that up to it being fake or just an early build of the content.
Kormora’s friend also told them Kanal would be receiving a rework in Year 4 Season 2 and a theater mode is in the works. Ubi is continuing its commitment to reworking older maps, so the Kanal claim is as good as anyone’s guess. Players have been asking for proper replay tools for a long time, so hard to tell on that one too. Replay tools, likewise, are one of the necessary technical ingredients for a more robust anti-cheat system.
Just a few days after all of this business, a 4chan user dropped another supposed leak that depicts the two new operators assuming their idle positions on the main menu. The original post seems to be gone now, but you can see the image below reposted (opens in new tab) to the Siege subreddit.
This one looks pretty good. The most obvious connection here to Kormora’s forum posts is Australia, but there are a few other things that stay consistent. If Mozzie is supposed to be a female defender who anchors on objective controlling drones, the woman working on the motorcycle sure looks ripped enough to be a 3-armor. That would make the motocross helmet dude Gridlock, but there’s nothing to support this necessarily. In the corner we can also see a thumbnail of a new map. That doesn’t look much like a Kanal rework, which would assume it’s a complimentary Australian map. If we also assume Australia will be Year 4’s first season, this supports the claim that Kanal would be coming later on, like Season 2.
It’s fun to take all of this at face value, but ultimately your expectations should be tempered. All of the evidence seems to point in the same direction, but it’s not hard to imagine Photoshop wizards going wild after seeing the first easter egg a month prior that hinted at Australia. It’s an easy way to add credibility to something fake, after all.
When is Year 4 Season 1 releasing?
As usual, Ubisoft has yet to say anything concrete about a release date. But using the tried and true Pro League schedule formula (RD= Pro League + ~14 days), it’s not hard to figure out. The Rainbow Six Invitational is being held from February 11-17. Assuming Year 4 Season 1 is unveiled in full at the end of the Invitational on Feb. 17, we can also surmise that the Technical Test Server for the season will begin Tuesday Feb. 19. The test server typically runs for two weeks and is then fully released a few days later. This gives us a rough release date around the first week of March 2019. This is consistent with last year’s Operation Chimera, which also released around the same time.