The Government of Pakistan has officially recognized and embraced esports through a new initiative named E-PAK, which includes an official competitive gaming event.
Hoping esports will be an effective way of engaging with the youth and allowing them to build careers, E-PAK will work with games developers to launch more gaming events in the nation.
The first official event from the venture is the Free Fire Pakistan League, a competitive series taking place on Free Fire. The game, which is published by Garena, is a battle royale title that’s available on both Android and iOS.
This move was first kicked into gear in January 2021 when an agreement was made between the Pakistan Sports Board and Pakistan Science Foundation. Now, Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has formalized it.
Ministry of Information and Broadcasting introduces E-PAK biggest Esports initiative of Pakistan starting with Free Fire Pakistan league.
In this regard, @MoIB_Official has signed an MoU with Garena and Bigo Pakistan.
— Government of Pakistan (@GovtofPakistan) July 19, 2021
The Free Fire Pakistan League will see 567 teams participate and the government is actively encouraging more gamers to get involved with their esports programs and competitions. The competition is sponsored by BIGO Technology and mobile phone company Infinix.
The prize pool is 10 million Indian Rupees, an equivalent of almost £100,000 or $134,000. The winning team will move on to the Free Fire World Series in Singapore later in the year.
Garena hosted their first global event in 2021 in May, with 22 teams from 14 regions competing for a total of $2 million. Squads hailed from countries such as Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam.