Team Vitality revealed its complete Free Fire roster for 2022 today. The roster consists of three Nepali players and two Indian players who were supposed to operate out of Mumbai, India.
While the roster was announced in the morning, just hours later, several Indian media outlets have reported that the country’s government has banned the battle royale title. The exact reason behind it has yet to be revealed, but reports say that the app posed a “threat to national security.”
This isn’t the first time the country has blocked applications in this manner. Since June 2020, more than 200 apps, including PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, have been blocked in the country for alleged data privacy concerns.
Team Vitality’s Free Fire roster consists of Idranil “Fabindro” Saha, Mehul Rawat, Dipu Subba, Sangam Kunwar, and Sanjog “A!Z3N” Thapa. Only Fabindro and Mehul are Indian players. In a release last month, Vitality had said that the roster would operate out of the organization’s training facility in Mumbai, India.
Garena has yet to respond to the news about the game’s ban.
India was one of the biggest regions for Free Fire. The game’s ban will come as a huge blow to Garena. In January this year, the developer had revealed the roadmap for Free Fire esports in India with four major tournaments every quarter and a combined prize pool of more than Rs. 2.7 crores (roughly $357,100).
Garena had also said that it would also launch other “smaller-scale community-focused” tournaments in 2022.
It remains to be seen what Vitality will do now. The Paris-based organization had also announced last month that it’s entering Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI), the Indian version of PUBG Mobile. So far, the organization has signed Pratik “Aurum” Mehra as the coach for the BGMI team. A complete roster is expected to be unveiled soon.