The fantasy sports scene is heating up in India and every few days, you see a new app show up on the app store. Through our experience of reviewing fantasy apps, we have come to a realization that there are predominantly three types of fantasy apps in the Indian market –
The Best of the best – These are the apps that are must-haves on your smartphone if you are an avid fantasy player. You may download one, or more depending on your preference.
They do what it says on the tin – These are the apps that bring nothing special to the table, but whatever it does, it does without a problem. These apps are also dependable, and you can use these apps to enjoy some no-nonsense fantasy gameplay.
One to avoid – These are the apps that you must avoid installing at all costs. These are the apps that have been made with the intention to earn money. The UI is poor, the features are nonresponsive at times, and the bugs are strewn all over the platform.
We have been scouring through the app store for fantasy cricket apps and one of the recent ones that we encountered was MPL fantasy. With a name that evokes extreme competition and a rather large presence in the real world, the app does offer a strong opening statement, but does it deliver? That’s what we are here to tell you. But first, let’s take a quick look at what fantasy sports are all about.
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, with the basics cleared, let’s get into the MPL Fantasy App.
The MPL Sports fantasy platform
The MPL Sports fantasy is a fantasy sports platform that is based on the freemium model. In such a model, signing up is free, while participation in fantasy matches requires real-time money. This is not really everyone’s cup of tea, but more than that, the choice to go freemium has other major ramifications. Google policies prevent freemium fantasy sports apps from being distributed on its Play Store. So, if you are an Android user, and you want to play the MPL fantasy app, you have to head to their official website, download the APK file from there and then sideload it to your device.
On the Apple App Store, however, the app is available as a free download and iPhone users can simply head to the App Store on their device and download and install the app there.
MPL fantasy allows players to participate in fantasy matches taking place in the world of cricket, kabaddi, football, basketball, baseball as well as some general games and contests. MPL Sports has a great presence outside of the app and as such, with users in sync with the name, it is only fair for them to expand their horizons and integrate all major sports into their fantasy platform.
The MPL Sports Fantasy app
Let’s talk about the MPL fantasy app and how you can get started on the same.
On installing the app on your Android or iOS device, tap on the app icon to open it up. After a brief splash screen featuring the title of the app, you will be taken to a signup screen. This part is typical across all fantasy sports apps that we have tested so far. MPL sports Fantasy is no different.
The signup screen appears and it is to be done through your mobile number only. We would have loved to see a social sign-up feature, but from past experience, we can tell you that there have been some platforms that have tried out social sign-ups, but the mechanism was really flawed. So, a mobile number sign-up seems to be the right way forward for the moment.
Once you enter your registered mobile number, you will be taken to another screen where an entry box will ask you for the OTP that you would have received on your number. Enter that and you are done. The interface on sign-up is absolutely flawless and the OTP came on our registered mobile number immediately. We also got an INR 10 signing bonus, which may not sound like much, but it is something we have not experienced on many fantasy apps on the market. As far as first impressions go, MPL hit all the right chords.
The home screen of the MPL Sports fantasy app is pretty much the same as almost all the other fantasy sports apps in the Indian market. Let’s take a look at this one, from the top.
We start things off with the top menu bar that features the name of the app (in this case, MPL) on the left-hand side. The help section on the right-hand side will give you assistance on how to use the app and its various features. The wallet icon next to the help section will allow you to access the in-game wallet and even add currency to the same. This is the wallet that will come into play whenever you are trying to enter a fantasy matchup.
The UI elements on the top bar work like a charm and there was no lag when we interacted with them. We also get visual feedback on pressing an icon and as such, the whole experience is very very snappy.
At the bottom of the screen, we have a very minimal toolbar. We have the play option that lets you head to the general games and contests on the app. The Fantasy button takes you to the fantasy section where you can take part in the various fantasy matches. The Wallet icon next to it allows you to access the in-app wallet and perform the necessary activities on there. This spartan approach is something we really liked as it allowed us to focus on the content that matters the most – The Fantasy matches.
Before we talk about the Fantasy matches, we just want to mention that you can add money to the wallet using any of the prevalent methods like debit cards, digital wallets, or even UPI apps.
Please note – Due to legal restrictions, the game is banned Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland, and as such, residents of these states are not allowed to participate in paid leagues.
How to participate in Fantasy matchups on MPL Sports fantasy
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 MPL Sports fantasy.
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
Size of the prize pot (This shows the largest prize pot)
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.
We have the Grand Contest that has the largest prize pot, but at the same time, a major portion of the entrant teams will be eligible for a piece of the prize pot. The entry fee to this is very cheap and your odds of winning are actually realistic. We recommend that you start off with the Grand contest first.
Next, we have head-to-head contests where two teams play a contest and the winner takes the entire prize pot and the loser is left with nothing. This is a high-risk contest and you should try it at your own risk.
We also have some Beginner-friendly contests where the entry fee is nominal, and although the prize pot is not HUGE, you can still walk away with some cash and some much-needed fantasy match-up experience.
If you want to experience the fantasy experience but do not want to spend money, you also have practice contests where you can create your team, earn points and even earn a place on the practice leaderboard.
Once you choose the match-up you like, you will be taken to a team selection screen, where you can pick the players according to the guideline and once you submit the team and pay the entry fee, the waiting game begins.
Once the match is over, you can check up on your team, and see how they have done. If your team of players did well and they have slotted into the winning percentage of teams that are eligible for a payday, you will be given the pre-decided amount into your wallet.
Withdrawing the funds is hassle-free and we did not face problems in this department. The overall experience from choosing the team to withdrawing your winnings is smooth and full credits to the developers for making sure that the app is runnings as smooth as it is today.
Overall, we found that the Halaplay fantasy is an app that is stable and actually has a reputation to live up to. The initial procedures are smooth, the matchups and neatly arranged, menus are streamlined and the prize pot is large enough to entice users onto the platform.
The state ban is something they have to deal with in some form or the other as it puts a dampener on participation but that is probably the only negative we can point out.
Currently, MPL is the official kit supplier for the Indian National Cricket Teams and their fantasy app is a great partner to their offline ventures.