The legalization of fantasy sports in India has led to the introduction of a slew of apps that help you enjoy this genre of online play in a safe and secure environment. These apps have been tailor-made to suit the Indian sports scene, which is why the focus is built more around cricket, rather than football or basketball. One of the more populated fantasy sports apps in the Indian market is Ballebaazi. The name of the app literally translates to batting in the context of cricket, but, like most other fantasy apps, there is also some space given to other sports that are trending in the country.
We have spent a lot of time playing fantasy sports over the years, and so far, the experience has been fun, secure, and also enlightening to a certain extent. For those of you who are new, this is how fantasy sports work.
What are Fantasy Sports?
If you are someone who has played the popular Fantasy Premier League before, you will have a good idea about what Fantasy Sports really is. But, if you are one of the uninitiated, this is how it works. Say you are playing a football/soccer fantasy league, you will build your own team comprised of 11 players and a few substitutes, and then through the course of the season, the players in your fantasy team will earn points for their performances in every game they play, and the fantasy team with the largest haul of points at the end of the season wins the Fantasy league. But, like any other competition, there are always some rules that govern how you can pick your team and how the scores are distributed based on performance.
Some people call this a game of pure luck, while repeat players will argue that there is an element of knowledge you need, in order to really field a winning fantasy team.
Fantasy leagues have expanded to the most popular sports around the world, and each of these fantasy leagues draws in thousands of users who are all out to be the best of the rest.
Joining a Fantasy sports league platform is free and involves a simple sign-up procedure and an optional installation of a companion app on your smartphone. However, the catch is that participating in some of the contests within the Fantasy league may be charged by the platform, therefore making the whole Fantasy Sports genre, a freemium one.
At Techplugged, we have indulged in some of the Fantasy leagues through the years, including the fantasy leagues for the Premier League, Formula One, NBA, and even the recently concluded UEFA Euro Championship, and although we have found it difficult to win these leagues, the overall experience has been fun as we have not really spent a single penny to participate.
Now, let’s get back to Ballebaazi.
What exactly is Ballebaazi?
Ballebaazi is a freemium fantasy sports application that is available for both Android and iOS platforms. The download portion of the application is completely free, sign up is free, but it will cost you real money to participate in fantasy match-ups. What we noticed is that the moment you sign up for the wallet, your wallet is credited with 50 INR as a start-up balance. You can use this balance to start participating in fantasy matches across the platform.
BalleBaazi.com was co-founded in January 2018 by Navkiran Singh, Saurabh Chopra, and Puneet Dua. It launched tournaments for Twenty20 cricket competitions & Tournaments in 2018. BalleBaazi accumulated a user base of around 400,000 active users within 12 months after its launch.
It is not surprising to see these fantasy apps, raking in the users as everyone wants a chance to earn some quick cash, and the more the platforms, the better.
Since we, at Techplugged, love our fair share of Fantasy sports, we decided to download the Ballebaazi app on our smartphone and give it a try.
The Ballebaazi App
Fortunately, since the Ballebaazi platform is a bit more straightforward than some of its peers, there have been known lawsuits against the platform, and since there are no publicized contests on the app, it is available for download on both, the Google Play Store and iOS app store.
The first boot of the app is pretty much straightforward. You are immediately taken to the Sign-Up screen where you have to enter your registered mobile number. Once you enter your number, you will receive an OTP in the form of an SMS which you have to enter into the verification screen, and once you hit the verify button, you will be taken to the home screen. What we noticed is that when you head to the web version of Ballebaazi, you will have the option to sign up with your Google account, but that has not been carried forward to the app. This is the second app where we have been compelled to sign up with the mobile number, and that makes us wonder as to whether we will find a single Indian Fantasy sports app that allows social sign-ups. But, let’s move on further into the app.
The home page of the Ballebaazi app is pretty much like other fantasy apps. We have the carousel-style tab layout that you can use to swap between the various sports that are supported. Currently, Ballebaazi features matches taking place in the world of Cricket, Football, Poker/Rummy, and Basketball. The games on display are ones that are happening all over the world. So, if there is a basketball game happening in Spain, you will still find it on the list, as long as it is an officially sanctioned game.
There is a typical three-line icon on the top left-hand side of the home page where you can access the in-app menu. This includes your profile, where you can set a profile picture, change your profile name, display name, and even check out your playing experience. Ballebaazi prides itself on providing some of the most insightful fun data to the users and this includes a very well compiled personal statistic that includes metrics like Overall Win Rate, Most Played Sport, and Playing Since. These stats are updated every time you participate in a fantasy match-up, and once you play a few games, your overall win rate is accurately calculated.
Coming out of the profile section, the in-app menu also consists of a ‘How To Play section that helps newcomers to understand how the game really works. We also have a detailed blog area where the Ballebaazi team has answered some of the frequently asked questions. Overall, the app does a good job of providing everything that new and seasoned players need, to get started on the Ballebaazi app.
On the top right-hand side of the app home screen, you will see a wallet icon where you can load in some money that you can use for entering the fantasy matchups. Next to the wallet icon, you will see a bell icon that represents the notifications. You will get alerts about matchups upcoming and also the status of your existing fantasy matchups.
Now, before you get started with your Ballebaazi experience, you have to ensure that you verify your account on the app. You need to verify your email id as well as your PAN card. This will ensure that you are above 18 years of age and eligible to play any of the fantasy match-ups.
While all of this is well and good, one of the biggest issues we had with the Ballebaazi app, is the fluidity of the app. The app, though well designed, is not the fastest we have seen. We faced a visible lag between tapping an option and the app to respond to the request. This really takes away from the experience and hopefully, it is something that the Ballebaazi team can work on for upcoming updates. Another little complaint we had was the overall color scheme of the app. The entire UI has been designed with a white and blue aesthetic, and somehow, it doesn’t;t really captivate your attention or give you an eye pop moment. These are small things, but significant enough to make people lose interest in using the app in the long run.
Now, let’s talk about the wallet feature once again. The whole idea of the wallet feature on the Ballebaazi app is to make it easy for dedicated users to quickly enter a matchup. Loading money for each and every matchup sometimes takes time, and if there is a connectivity issue, then there are chances that the transaction may fail and your entry will be rejected. Loading the wallet with currency allows you to instantly enter the fantasy matchup without going through the hassle of initiating a fresh transaction. How do you add money into your wallet?
Ballebaazi allows you to add money to your in-app wallet via your debit card or even via your UPI apps. You can add a custom amount or pick from pre-set amounts on the apps. This is all you need to do in order to get started with the app. The whole process took us just a couple of minutes and we were good to start participating in the fantasy match-ups. One quick tip is to check out some of the offers that the app has, during the transaction. The offers include cash backs and other exciting deals that can really make the transaction worth your while.
How to participate in Fantasy matchups on Ballebaazi
Since we are cricket buffs, we decided to try our hand at one of the upcoming cricket matches. Surprisingly, participating in a fantasy matchup is simple, but before we get into it, let’s take a look at what a matchup card looks like on Ballebaazi.
Heading to the cricket tab on the home page, we saw a lot of upcoming cricket matches, and the match card consists of the following information –
The teams that are playing
The cricket league that the match is a part of
The line-up update (Whether line-ups are out or not) It is best to set up your line-up after the line-up has been announced as it allows you to pick the players that are playing, rather than guessing the line-up beforehand.
Time to go before the match begins
From here, you can see the list of matches, and if there is a match that you feel you can do great at, tap on it, and you will be taken to a fresh page where you will now see a list of different prizes pots under various categories.
First up, we have the MEGA matchup. This is the one with the largest prize pot, but also the largest number of entrants. This means that the average pay-out for eligible winner teams is significantly lesser than the other categories, but the sheer number of winning teams is higher.
Next, we have the HEADS UP category. This is a no-nonsense one-on-one contest between two random users. The prize pot can vary, and we have seen heads-up matches attract a humble INR 20 prize pot, to even an INR 5000 prize pot. Each entrant offers up 50% of the prize pot as the entry fee.
Third, we have the HIGH ROLLERS. Here, the challenges are high, the prize pot is high, but the number of entrants is low. This means that the rise pot is split between lesser teams, making it a little more enticing than the MEGA matchup.
We also have some micro categories that give users a chance to bid small and earn a neat little reward. This is great if you are just starting out and don’t want to risk a lot of your hard-earned money on these fantasy matches.