Game developer and publisher Garena has revealed plans for the 2021 Free Fire World Series, a hybrid digital and in-person event with a $2m (£1.44m) prize pool.
The Free Fire World Series (FFWS 2021 SG) will be held on May 22nd-29th in Singapore and is being organised in cooperation with the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Cybersports, and Online Gaming Association.
FFWS 2021 SG Play-ins will be held on May 22nd and feature 12 teams that placed either first or second in the title’s regional-level tournaments. The Finals on May 29th will pit the top two Play-In teams against 10 seeds from each regional tournament. A specific venue for the Finals has not been announced.
Previously, these events were to take place on April 24th and May 1st, respectively but were moved to accommodate pandemic restrictions. All 2020 tournaments were held online.
Justin Lye, Garena Global Esports Manager, commented: “We know how highly-anticipated the World Series is to our players and fans, so we’ve been working together with the relevant authorities to ensure we give them the biggest Free Fire tournament we’ve ever hosted. Safety has been and will continue to be our biggest priority as we carry out the event. This will be a good opportunity to welcome the very best Free Fire players to Singapore, where Garena was founded.”
Garena’s Free Fire saw a substantial rise in popularity among users over the past year. According to the release, it was the most downloaded mobile game worldwide in 2020 across both the iOS App and Google Play stores for the second year in a row.
Jean Ng, Executive Director of Attractions, Entertainment, and Tourism Concept Development for Singapore Tourism Board added: “We are proud to support our homegrown gaming company Garena as they prepare for FFWS 2021 SG – one of the world’s leading esports tournaments. The return of such events testify to Singapore’s growing reputation as an esports destination as well as our ability to host such events safely.”
Esports Insider says: Free Fire is a strong example of several trends that have arisen over the past few years and accelerated during the pandemic. Battle Royale continues to be a popular genre among players both on mobile and traditional devices. Mobile esports, as a whole, is on an upward trajectory, backed by telecoms and countries like China that are investing directly into the industry.