The former coach of the Free Fire national team, Muslih WR or Bang Fayad, spoke about the fact that Free Fire was not contested at the SEA Games 2023 Cambodia.

Several esports branches in Cambodia’s SEA Games 2023 competition have been published a few days ago. There are some changes from the previous year.

Held in Cambodia, the esports branch at the 2023 SEA Games will compete in 9 numbers consisting of the PC Games (computer) and Mobile (Mobile) categories. For consoles (PES, eFootball) it is different from the 2022 SEA Games, Vietnam.

For the PC Games category, AK2 Online (FPS), VALORANT (FPS), and also Cross Fire (FPS) will compete. AK2 Online is a number that was contested at the 2019 SEA Games, the Philippines and Cross Fire have not changed at all.

VALORANT as a new number replaces League of Legends: Wild Rift (Women) which was competed last year at the 2022 SEA Games, Vietnam.



For the Mobile Games category, the games Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), PUBG Mobile (solo and team) and League of Legends: Wild Rift will be competed. Interestingly from the Mobile Games branch, Free Fire is not competing like last year.

This then received the attention of several well-known coaches in Indonesia such as EVOS Manay, and Bang Fayad who is the coach of the National Team.

How did Bang Fayad respond to this shocking news? Is it true that Free Fire isn’t included in the SEA Games 2023 Cambodia?


Bang Fayad revealed two factors why Free Fire was not included in the SEA Games 2023 Cambodia

AURA Esports, Bang Fayad, Free Fire
Credit; Bang Fayad

Continuing the discussion above, on Tuesday (3/1) EVOS Manay continued a post shared by Richard Permana on Instagram.

Richard shared the final list of esports match numbers that will be contested in the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games. Then, Manay re-shared the post and asked for a response from Bang Fayad as the former National Team coach.

Fayad, who received the message, then explained that Free Fire was not included in the SEA Games 2023 Cambodia for two reasons.

“What I can explain there are two factors, the first could be the decision of the host organizers. Second, the decision of the publisher (Garena),” wrote Fayad briefly.

ONE Esports contact Bang Fayad to get a more detailed explanation. According to Fayad, the host request factor is a special right.

SEA Games 2023 Cambodia

“From the host country/host, this is definitely a major factor. They have the right to determine what branches can be contested. If they feel Free Fire can’t give them medals or achievements, why open it? That’s right,” said Fayad exclusively.

Regarding the publisher factor, he chose not to make any assumptions considering that there will be other factors that cannot be explained.

Despite the fact that currently Free Fire is not included in the list of esports branches for the SEA Games 2023 in Cambodia, Bang Fayad still hopes that there will be changes.

“For branches, I think there will still be changes, maybe in line with the provisions regarding athletes who will compete later. I personally still hope that Free Fire will remain a branch that is contested at the SEA Games 2023 Cambodia,” he concluded.

Indeed, Cambodia is not a country with a growth in the Free Fire scene, unlike other neighboring countries, such as Vietnam to Thailand.

Richard Permana with Bang Fayad, Ady Gustiawan and Ahmad Fadly M. from the Free Fire SEA Games 2021 team | Credit: Richard Permana (Instagram)

The reasons mentioned by Bang Fayad are also likely to be the influence why the Free Fire branch is abolished for the upcoming 2023 SEA Games.

During the 2022 Vietnam SEA Games, the Indonesian Free Fire National Team achieved perfect results with the gold and silver medals simultaneously. Well, even though it has to be abolished, hopefully the Indonesian National Team can win gold from other branches.

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