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India’s Uttar Pradesh state government teams up with Free Fire maker Garena to promote esports

Garena set to begin operations in India with governmental acknowledgment!

In a development yesterday, the state government of Uttar Pradesh in India announced that they would work hand in hand with Garena, a Singaporean game developer best known for their chart-topping game Free Fire to promote esports in the country. The agreement was put on paper as a MoU or Memorandum of Understanding.

What the Uttar Pradesh government’s collab with Garena means

The revelation that the Uttar Pradesh government was going to team up with Garena came during the launch of a state-branded sports app called the Khel Saathi App by Girish Chandra Yadav, the minister of state for sports and youth welfare of Uttar Pradesh. Following this, Navneet Sehgal, the additional secretary of sports and welfare confirmed a partnership in the presence of Ye Gang, the COO of Garena.

The MoU signed by the Uttar Pradesh state government with Garena has been done to pave the path for aspiring esports players willing to pursue a career in the digital world of gaming and make it a viable profession.

Garena logo
Image via Garena

It should be mentioned that just a few days prior, Uttar Pradesh also conducted India’s first-ever esports academy, in collaboration with BigBang Esports. The back-to-back initiatives by the state and its chief minister Yogi Adityanath really highlight their focus on the esports sector of the country.

UP has a bright future ahead in e-sports and we are excited that this is the first time that a global brand like Garena has chosen Uttar Pradesh to host the tournament.

Girish Chandra Yadav

As per reports by Hindustan Times, Yadav also said that the promotion of esports in the state will open up a new door for employment which will be a milestone for the state. According to his statement, Garena will set up an esports center in the Greater Noida region of esports in collaboration with the Hiranandani Group, a private Indian real estate group.

What does Garena stand to gain from this partnership

UP government x Garena
Image via Times of India

It is necessary to mention that the flagship game of Garena, that is, Free Fire, and its revamped version Free Fire Max are both banned in India which puts the MoU between the Uttar Pradesh government and the developers in a rather diplomatic light. As a result of this partnership, the two entities will be working closely and will allow Garena to sort out their differences with the government regarding the terms of the ban.

Any news regarding the unban of the game is purely speculative at the moment but there’s a potential for those rumors to come true as Garena might lobby for a local DSP in order to create a separate server for Indian Free Fire players that will adhere to the Indian digital safety protocol. Therefore, not only will Garena be able to potentially restore their games in the Indian market, but they will also be able to expand their operation and make a mark for themselves.

Despite past differences with gamers regarding their policies, currently, the Indian government, the Uttar Pradesh government to be specific has emerged as a driving power that is not only proposing but also implementing steps in order to push gaming in India to new highs.

Free Fire cover
Image via Garena

This is certainly a positive sign for those who are serious about the said line of profession, as governmental acknowledgment can indeed go a long way in such professions.

What do you think about this MoU between Garena and the Uttar Pradesh government? Do you think it will serve its purpose? Let us know in the comments below!

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