Garena’s battle royale Free Fire had a tremendous year with major esports tournaments and a rising player base. The game has surpassed all competition to become the most downloaded mobile game of 2019 across iOS and Android, according to a report by App Annie.
The report puts the 50-player battle royale ahead of PUBG Mobile, which came in second place for the most downloads. Call of Duty: Mobile, which was released in October, managed to make it to 10th place. The game saw a huge release, picking up 146 million downloads in October alone.
Free Fire’s low system requirements make it extremely accessible. It’s playable in high graphics and a decent FPS even on low-end phones. The game is also fast-paced, with each match lasting just 10 minutes. A single game in PUBG Mobile, on the other hand, can take over 30 minutes on maps like Erangel and Miramar.
This was a big year for Free Fire. The game jumped into esports with its first international competition, the Free Fire World Cup, held in April. It shattered viewership records, peaking at over one million viewers, according to Esports Charts. The tournament was held at a packed BITEC Bangna Exhibition Center in Bangkok and the home team, Evos Esports, took first place to walk away with $50,000.
Garena followed the World Cup with the Free Fire World Series. The company held numerous regional leagues around the world to find the 12 teams who ended up making their way to the Barra Olympic Park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Nov. 16. They battled for the $400,000 prize pool, and once again, a home team—this time Corinthians—won the tournament.