On August 25, 2021, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) ordered the removal of PUBG and Garena Free Fire games from the country’s online platforms following the High Court’s directive. Two years have passed today.
Pubg and Garena Freefire became popular in the gaming world of Bangladesh in a very short time. Some official esports events were also organized for these games, which quickly became popular among the youth. Through these two games, an unusual gaming craze appeared in Bangladesh. It was assumed that esports would progress in Bangladesh in this continuation.
On June 24, 2021, Barrister Mohammad Humayun Kabir Pallab and Barrister Mohammad Kausar filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking directions to remove PUBG and Free Fire, claiming them to be ‘harmful and addictive games’. In this context, after the preliminary hearing of the writ application, Judge Md. Mojibur Rahman Mia and Judge Md. Kamrul Hussain Molla’s virtual high court bench ordered the immediate shutdown of all harmful games, including PUBG and Free Fire. On August 25, the BTRC ordered the removal of PUBG and Garena Free Fire from the country’s online platforms following the High Court’s directive.
After the ban, professional players began to be excluded from official esports events in both games. Although there is a dedicated server for Bangladesh, no official esports events of Garena Freefire was seen in Bangladesh. In addition, several professional players of these two games have retired from their gaming careers with concerns about the future, and several top esports organizations have disbanded.
Even after two years of the ban, there has been no expected update regarding the unban. However, gamers have continued their activities by organizing and participating in unofficial events and hoping that the games will be unbanned in the future.