Free Fire SEA Invitational to take place from 12 to 28 May, US$300,000 prize pool
A total of 18 teams will fight it out for 1 of 12 Grand Finals spot.
The first-ever Free Fire SEA Invitational (FFSI) will see 90 players from countries and regions such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Middle-East, and the EU battle it out for a share of the US$300,000 prize pool.
FFSI appears to have replaced one of the bi-annual Free Fire World Series (FFWS) tournaments, which also had a bigger US$1.8 million pool.
Last year's Free Fire World Series 2022 Sentosa took place in the same time period in May.
That tournament was won by Thai squad Attack All Around, who took home the top prize of US$500,000.
Unfortunately, they will not be participating at FFSI, having failed to qualify. Runner-ups Evos Phoenix, also from Thailand, took home US$250,000 and will be at FFSI, having come in second at the Free Fire Thailand Championship 2023.
Garena, the publisher of Free Fire, told Yahoo Esports SEA that the FFSI is their new tournament format, and that the upcoming November FFWS will feature teams from LATAM and Brazil, who are not participating at FFSI.
The publisher also did not answer queries on the lower prize pool.
According to reports, Garena's 32.9 per cent revenue decline despite its parent company, SEA, turning profitable in Q4 2022.
Viewership for the game was also down — FFWS Bangkok only had 354,836 viewers, which is a massive drop from FFWS Sentosa's 1.47 million.
Regardless, the tournament's group stage will take place from 12 to 21 May, before the Grand Finals on 26 to 28 May. The Group Stage will see teams being divided into three groups of six, with each team playing 24 matches.
To ensure a competitive tournament, top seeds from each qualifying region will not be in the same group, and each group will also not have more than two teams from the same region.
FFSI will be broadcasted on YouTube, and there will be no live studio audience.
Garena is planning to make the teams play from studios in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Here are the list of teams and the regions they are from:
Team Flash (Vietnam)
SBTC Esports (Vietnam)
P Esports (Vietnam)
Eagle Esport (Vietnam)
Magic Esport (Thailand)
FW Esports (Thailand)
Genesis Dogma SF (Indonesia)
First Raiders Eclipse (Indonesia)
Morph Team (Indonesia)
G Arsy Aphrodite (Indonesia)
Expand (Malaysia/Cambodia/Philippines/Sri Lanka
Farang Esports (Malaysia/Cambodia/Philippines/Sri Lanka
ALPHA (Middle East and Africa)
RZX x Legacy (Pakistan)
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com
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