Garena Free Fire is the world’s most popular mobile battle royale. With over 500 million downloads, the game continues to soar in popularity. India banning PUBG Mobile certainly helped it grow in numbers throughout. However, with so many players comes more incentive for hackers to find ways to bypass Garena’s anti-hacking system. While the company has been massively successful in getting numbers, their performance in the anti-hacking department has been lacklustre.
This is best evident in the numerous ban waves by Garena. On 14th August, Free Fire banned over 1.1 million accounts for hacking. 51% of these accounts were banned after being reported by other players. This move came after Garena continually reassured their commitment to reduce hacking and keep their sustained efforts. This was seen again around the end of September where Garena Free Fire banned over 3 million devices in 2 weeks for hacks such as antenna, wall-hacks, auto-aim, teleportation, and others.
Free Fire Bans Pros From The Indian Esports Scene
However, Garena Free Fire’s hacking problems continue even in their esports circuit. According to Free Fire India Esports’ Facebook post, the publisher has banned ROUTE CHANGER’s RC-AngryBird and Soar Silently’s SS-RAHUL18 until 28th September 2021. They have also disqualified both the teams from Free Fire India Championship 2020 Fall.
Route Changer were close to the top of the leaderboard during League Stage Day 9 with 143 points while Soar Silently sat at 6th place with 92 points. This isn’t the first instance of the Free Fire esports scene in India being plagued by hacking allegations and subsequent bans. Earlier on 17th May, Entity Gaming, a premier esports organisation in India, and TSG Army had a substitute and a player respectively banned for hacking. This proved to be a controversial moment in the history of Indian esports since Entity Gaming was widely regarded as the top Free Fire team in India and had been dominating in all local competitions for quite some time.
However, that proved to be just the tip of the iceberg. Soon, another ban wave saw 6 more Indian pro players banned for hacking, thus exposing one of the largest cases of hacking in Indian esports. Players from Team Insane, Team Nightmare, Western Tiger, WWW, and Dilwale faced the heat and were banned till 15th May 2021.
The hacking saga continued as Global Esports let go of their team “Bandra 50”, a popular roster. They were investigated by Garena alongside Global Esports and were found guilty of using a modified APK of Free Fire. They subsequently had their accounts banned. It is clear that while Garena is looking to amp up their process on taking down hackers, there’s just a lot more dirt than anyone could’ve ever anticipated.