On 29th May, Entity Gaming announced that they had released their entire Free Fire roster. The decision to do so came two weeks after the organization had severed all ties with one of their players, Ashwatma, who was flagged by Garena’s in-game anti-hack system and consequently banned for a period of one year. Following the announcement, AFK Gaming spoke to the team's management who offered a statement and additional insight into the situation.
The key highlights of the statement are as follows:
- Entity Gaming picked up the Nawabzade roster after conducting a due diligence exercise in collaboration with various authorities and third parties.
- Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the team was playing remotely and not from the bootcamp in Mumbai.
- Following Ashwatma’s ban, Entity Gaming reached out to Garena to conduct an independent investigation on the remaining players since they could not physically keep tabs on them. Simultaneously, the organization began their own internal investigation.
- The results of the investigations showed suspicious activity on all players’ accounts, following which Entity Gaming released the roster.
The full statement as given by Entity Gaming’s management to AFK Gaming is as below.
“At Entity Gaming we have a zero-tolerance policy towards cheaters and we understand the implications that another scandal could have on the state of the Indian esports industry.
On 16th March, we announced our entry into the Indian Free Fire space with the acquisition of the former Nawabzade roster. The team had previously won a premiere tournament in the country and had even represented India in the Free Fire World Series in Brazil. Despite their achievements at an official event, the roster was only acquired after we conducted a thorough due diligence exercise on the players in collaboration with various authorities and third parties in the scene.
Despite our extensive precautions, on 14th May, one of our Free Fire players, Ashwatma, had his account flagged by Garena’s anti-hack system consequent to which he was banned. Following this, he was banned by Garena and shortly after, we put out an official statement condemning his actions and cutting all ties with him.
Due to the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, our entire Free Fire roster has been playing remotely and not via the official Entity Gaming bootcamp in Mumbai. At Entity, we value integrity and fair play above all else. These same values drove us to reach out to Garena to conduct an independent investigation on the remaining players of our team while we began another round of internal investigations in parallel. To our dismay, we learned that all of the remaining players also had suspicious activity on their accounts. Due to this, we have taken the proactive decision to release the entire roster.Cheating and hacking has no place in our organization. This incident has shocked us but it won’t keep us down. Our commitment to Indian esports stands and we will continue to find and groom the best talent in the country."
- Management at Entity Gaming