Fnatic will be shutting down its operations in India, according to a report by Talk Esport.
Fnatic’s operations in India have been stagnant since PUBG Mobile was banned in the country on Sept. 2, 2020. The game was banned by India’s ministry of electronics and IT for allegedly “transmitting” users’ data in an “unauthorized manner” to servers outside India.
The European organization entered India by acquiring a PUBG Mobile roster in October 2019. It signed a star-studded roster featuring Mohammed “Owais” Lakhani, Tanmay “Sc0utOP” Singh, Harpreet “Ronak” Singh, Paritosh Sharma, and Ujwal “Inyodream” Chaudhari.
The team went on to win the PUBG Mobile All-Stars (PMAS) in December of the same year but struggled to find its footing in other tournaments with frequent low-placed finishes. The team failed to qualify for any global PUBG Mobile event during the entire time it was active, even after a few roster changes.
The org initially had big plans for the country, which included setting up a gaming facility. In June 2020, Fnatic also introduced its Rising Program in India to scout for PUBG Mobile talent. The program was planned to last for about eight months, with one player getting offered a Fnatic contract for 2021.
Following the game’s ban, Krafton announced that it would no longer authorize the PUBG Mobile franchise to Tencent Games in the country. The company unveiled plans to bring a separate version called PUBG Mobile India for the country. The game has yet to return, though.
Earlier this month, Krafton’s head of corporate development Sean Sohn said that they were still “working hard” to bring the game back.
With no foreseeable release date yet, it seems Fnatic is withdrawing from the country. The report by Talk Esports says that “a source close to Fnatic India” has revealed that the org will leave the country “very soon.”
Update March 19 8:30am CT: Fnatic’s PUBG Mobile coach Pratik “Aurum” Mehta posted a message on his Instagram story: “These stories/posts are not accurate and Fnatic will update everyone on their PUBG Mobile operations in India next week.”