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Garena’s Free Fire returns to India with MS Dhoni as brand ambassador

To be available for download from September 5, the esport company’s Free Fire app was removed from Google Play Store and Apple's App Store after the government banned it in February 2022

Esports company Garena will restart Free Fire online games in India from September 5 after the government revoked the ban on the app.

Garena's Free Fire app was removed from Google Play Store and Apple's App Store after the government banned it in February 2022.

The company on Thursday said that the app will be available for download from September 5.

"India is home to very passionate communities of esports enthusiasts and we are excited to be able to support our fans from Bharat with the launch of Free Fire India. We look forward to providing an engaging and highly localised experience for Indian users," Garena Co-Founder Gang Ye said in a statement.

Garena also unveiled Indian cricketer MS Dhoni as the new brand ambassador for Free Fire India.

"He (Dhoni) will be celebrated as the first Indian sportsperson to be featured in-game as a playable character, 'Thala'. Dhoni will be joined by other leading sportspersons, such as football captain Sunil Chhetri, badminton champion Saina Nehwal, tennis legend Leander Paes, and Kabbadi champion Rahul Chaudhari," the company said.

Free Fire competes with PUBG which was banned in 2020.

South Korean video game firm Krafton has been temporarily allowed to operate Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) -- which is very similar to PUBG.

Garena has partnered with data services firm Yotta's cloud hosting infrastructure where it will store data of Indian users.

Garena and Yotta have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uttar Pradesh government to drive the development of esports in India, the statement added.

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