‘PUBGM’ still being played despite ban; experts weigh-in and one issues warning letter!

PUBG Mobile (PUBGM) is still banned in India and the matter of fact is that people are still playing in India in one or the other way. On one side where AZURE secured PUBG Mobile is aiming to make come back and appealing Government to lift ban from the gaming app in India; on the other side there are various PUBG Mobile Scrims being hosted and streamed online. One such stream is here :

 Responding to a RTI Query filed by GEM Esports on 30 November – MEITY declared, “MEITY has not given any permission for launch of PUBG.” Further, according to reports, the PUBG Officials shared that the game is not expected to come back in the next few months, at least not before March 2021.

Despite the fact that PUBGM is still banned in India, PUBGM scrims are happening which has involved popular esports organisations, streamers and esports teams as well. On the matter of fact there are even a few from the industry who have condemned this act and have shared their opinion with AnimationXpress:

Shiva Nandy

First Skyesports who has hosted several matches before PUBG ban has expressed that they don’t encourage such unofficial scrims or tournament when the game is banned. “Ever since PUBGM ban, we have removed PUBGM from Skyesports Championship 2.0 and we haven’t done any scrims or tournaments with PUBGM. Whether we like it or not, we respect the government’s decision. Revenue generating through the banned game is not to be encouraged as it can harm the other legal games. Once PUBG is unbanned and gets a new launch we will start to do scrims, tournaments and leagues. Until that Skyesports won’t do PUBGM,” expressed Skyesports CEO and founder Shiva Nandy.

Yash Pariani

Indian Gaming League without the official consent or medium will not host tournaments. “We are aware that players have been participating unofficially through other versions of the game that are available through the use of a VPN, however, we do not condone such action. Till the game doesn’t release through the proper medium and is available, we would not engage in hosting tournaments or scrims of the same,” shared that Indian Gaming League (IGL) CEO Yash Pariani.

Samin Ahmed

BlitzkriegXP who earlier participated in the PMCO Fall Split 2020 (PUBG Mobile Club Open) in India and dominated right up to the finals with its PUBGM roster have declined several offers to participate in such tournaments and scrims. “A lot of organisations are still hosting PUBGM scrims in India and finding various avenues to monetise the game, despite the ban, due to misinterpretation of the statement passed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). Following the advice from subject matter experts, which is our legal team, we have decided to not participate in any PUBGM scrims despite getting numerous invites, or stream/produce PUBGM content, be it any version, as long as the game remains banned and is not officially relaunched in India,” expressed BlitzkriegXP head of marketing Samin ‘AceAthena12’ Ahmed.

Adeeb Sayeed

Adding to that esports entrepreneur Adeeb Sayeed has rolled out a letter of warning with a list of the teams, esports organisations and streamers who are participating / hosting / streaming the game despite the ban. He has shared the list of names along with the reason why this unofficial scrims or tournaments should stop.

He has expressed that despite PUBG Mobile is banned in India, it is being monetised by the professional players in India, who are backed by some of the biggest esports organisations. Which can, directly and indirectly, hinder the growth of esports in the long term. Since PUBG Corp. is trying to make its way back to India officially, players should not be taking steps that could backfire, making the game harder to make a comeback.

“These players are mainly playing the game with the perspective that they are not violating the law because they are playing the KR version PUBG Mobile, this seems to be a callow misunderstanding of what the ban implies. The game was banned by The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India (“MEIT”) stating that it posed a threat to the security and sovereignty of India and surreptitiously transmitted unauthorised data of the users. This remains the same reason why the KR version of the game is not available on the Play Store and App Store.”

 He further added, “This monetisation has put other esports organisations in a precarious situation whether to lose out on players they want or to go against the ban and monetise the game.”

“I feel that bringing attention to this issue is of utmost importance to the esports/PUBG community as a lot of money hinges on this, it can make or break our further journey towards being accepted as an actual sport in the country.

I am taking this step to put a stop to the harm being caused by these teams, players, and tournament organisers I am sending out a ‘Letter of Warning’ to them. Hoping for them to realise the potential damage they could do to esports in India and urge them to drop all content. Failing to which they shall invite the penalties applicable for non- adherence to the directives of the Government of India under the Information Technology Act.”

With that, Sayeed has listed down names who are actually part of unofficial PUBG Scrims and tournaments and so on. They are as follows:

Streamers and Creators – Dynamo Gaming, 420 Gaming, Destro Plays, Kronten Gaming, Novaking, Antaryami Gaming, GtxPreet, GiLL, Toxic Mavi, Vexe Gaming, Encore Gaming Immortal Gamerz, Smokie

Tournament Organisers – Villager Esports Ultimate E, IGPL Esports, Upthurst Esports, Warmania, APL Esports, Modelling Cops

Participating Organisations – TSM Entity, Orange Rock, Galaxy Racer, Brawlers, Team IND, Fnatic, Team X, Crawlers, Marcos Gaming, Team Tamilas, Umumba Esports, Team Mayhem, FutureStation

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