Behind the scenes at the FFWS Bangkok 2022: the biggest Free Fire esports event to date
The FFWS was a grand affair and Esports.gg got the chance to get an exclusive backstage look at the venue.
What goes into producing a large-scale esports event? Esports.gg got the chance to find out with an exclusive backstage tour of the FFWS Bangkok 2022 – the biggest Free Fire esports event to date.
The Free Fire World Series (FFWS) 2022 Bangkok took place on Nov. 25 and 26. Seventeen teams from around the world competed for a share of the $2 million prize pool and the title of world champions.
After an intense grand finals, home team EVOS Phoenix, who placed second in the previous edition of the FFWS was able to clinch the trophy. Here’s what happened behind the scenes to bring the biggest Free Fire esports event to date.
What goes into hosting a Free Fire esports event like the FFWS?
The FFWS took place at the CentralWorld Mall in Bangkok, Thailand. Garena had created a large stage, and while the event was not open to a live audience due to safety reasons, the developer had invited top creators and personalities to experience an exclusive watch party.
Inviting these top personalities was also beneficial for Garena as they created more content on their socials about the event to attract even more audiences to the event.
Free Fire dev Garena told Esports.gg that more than 100 people are required to execute an event of this scale. The main part of the event is the broadcast to the thousands of fans watching from home. For this, Garena had more than 50 people involved in broadcasting alone to ensure the highest quality for fans.
All players were provided with an ROG 5S to compete in the FFWS Bangkok. Garena said that it tested out multiple devices before locking in the gaming phone from ASUS.
FFWS timings: A bit weird?
If you live in Asia, the timings for the FFWS might have felt a bit awkward. It began at 9 p.m. (local Bangkok time) and went on way past midnight.
Garena told Esports.gg that this was done to ensure that fans from other regions can also watch the competition. It’s not surprising for the company to do this given that Free Fire has huge popularity in Latin America. The late-night timings in Thailand was around noon for fans in Brazil.
Garena added that the teams didn’t have an issue with this schedule as they are used to it from other Free Fire esports events.
Additionally, all teams were lodged at a hotel in the mall itself: the five-star Centara Hotel at CentralWorld. This ensured minimal traveling times for the teams. The developer also said that all player activities such as mock runs and ping tests were scheduled after 5 p.m. (Bangkok time) so the teams can be well-rested.
Garena made some key changes to the FFWS Bangkok 2022
To improve the viewing experience for fans, Garena added face cams for all the players. This formed a key part of the broadcasts as fans were able to see live reactions from the players.
Additionally, the number of observers for the event was doubled from six to 12. Observers are people who observe the map and pan the camera to where the action is happening. The doubling of the observers ensured that the action could be captured more accurately and shown on the stream.
A change was also made for the esports teams at the Free Fire World Series. Each of them was given individual booths behind the stage – all equipped with a large TV screen for the coach and manager to watch the action. At the FFWS Bangkok, Garena implemented separate broadcasts for each team so the supporting staff could only see their own team. This ensured that the errors they were making could be more easily pointed out during the gap between games.
The conclusion of the FFWS Bangkok meant the end of the 2022 esports season for Free Fire. Garena will be announcing more details on 2023 soon.