Free Fire developer Garena has revealed some significant ecosystem changes to the game’s largest tournament series, the Free Fire World Series (FFWS).
Entering 2024, Garena will introduce the FFWS Southeast Asia (SEA) League and unite all local Free Fire leagues under the FFWS branding.
Previously, Free Fire’s various local leagues, such as the Brazilian Free Fire League and the Free Fire Master League Indonesia, operated under their own branding. However, Garena is aiming to unify the game’s esports landscape under a standardised, comprehensible identity to grow the esport.
The newly established FFWS SEA League is divided into two tournaments – FFWS SEA Spring and Fall. The Spring edition will run from March 22nd until May 26th, featuring a $300,000 (~£240,000) prize pool. The tournament will start with six weeks of online competition, leading to a Grand Finals weekend from May 24th– 26th.
FFWS SEA will feature 18 teams, five top teams from Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as three from Malaysia. The teams will qualify for the regional tournaments via direct invitations or local qualifiers.
Similar to previous years, the new roadmap will culminate in the FFWS Global Finals in November. More information regarding the 2024 calendar and the Global Finals will be released in the upcoming weeks.
Free Fire is a mobile battle royale game developed and published by Garena. The company organises esports events and licenses titles for global partners in selected markets, such as Arena of Valor and Call of Duty: Mobile in Southeast Asia.
Despite being one of the most popular esports titles in its infancy, Free Fire has experienced a steady decline in esports viewership. Its esports ecosystem has suffered multiple setbacks, including layoffs at Garena’s parent company, Sea Ltd, and Free Fire’s ban in India.
Although Free Fire esports is still struggling, this year’s FFWS saw a slight viewership increase compared to its 2022 edition in Bangkok, according to esports data platform Esports Charts. Moreover, Garena has announced the return of the game in India as well as the new India Championship.