Elevating the Fantasy

Rohit K Jangir
Published in
4 min readJun 28, 2019


Fantasy Cricket in India has seen tremendous growth lately, fuelled by the surge in internet users, and national and international leagues happening all around the year.

The number of fantasy sports operators has increased by seven times (~7x) over 2016–2018, whereas the number of users has grown by over twenty-five times (~25x) from June 2016 to Feb 2019 (Source: KPMG)

However, even with the influx of fantasy operators, the fantasy format remains still the same with Daily Fantasy ruling the platform.

We @CricPlay wanted to give our users a free to play and, an experience-led platform where they play the game not only for the monetary outcome but also for the fun and thrill of it.

Introducing Star Contest.

A contest within our daily fantasy platform where users can compete for head to head with an actual cricket celebrity. Users who can form a better team than the celebrity and beat them on the leaderboard will be rewarded with signed merchandise and cash/virtual currency as a prize.


Problem Statement

Engage existing users, motivate new users to join and add a new sink to the in-game economy.

Understanding the sport and the game

While fantasy sport being around for a while in India, where celebrated cricket figures are just used as faces to promote the brand. It needed some understanding to make such figures of the sport; part of the game.

Ace Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir in a 1:1 with team CricPlay

Analysing the Problem

  1. New users and existing users approach the contest very differently, so it’s essential to map 2 different journeys for them.
  2. A separate landing page for Star Contest, using picture superiority effect to make it more memorable to the users as there is a gap between the announcement of a contest vs mapping that contest to a specific match.
  3. The joining fee for the contest acts as a graceful sink motivating the users to spend coins (in-app currency).


  1. Number of users joining the Star Contest.
  2. Coins spent by users across the season in Star Contest.
  3. Amount of cash payout as a reward for Star Contest, cf. other contests. Also, the number of users who ends up winning.
  4. The conversion rate of newly acquired users.

User Journey

Landing Page

Idea → Wireframe → UI

Joining Fee

1. New User | 2. Existing User
  1. Newly acquired users are given a welcome bonus to join the first contest.
  2. Existing user can use their winnings or can watch videos ads to earn required coins.

Dedicated Leaderboard

A separate leaderboard was introduced exclusively for Star Contest where instead of using a traditional ranking system, 1vs1 ranking system was used.

This was done to promote experience led gratification rather than just a cash reward.

Scaling Star Contest

As Star Contest was supposed to accommodate multiple celebrities during a season, it needed a system which was adaptable and quick ’n’ easy to develop. So we took image-based approach for it’s landing page and other in-app branding requirements.

Images slices adapted to multiple celebrities.
InApp Images for Native UI


Star Contest came out as a winner for both the business and the users.

It became the most profitable contests on the platform (basis in-app economy); it is driving the highest retention and gameplay engagement next to Mega Contest.

Real User Reviews

The road not taken

A parallel intent of Star Content was also to derive a higher level of engagement from highly engaged users via eligibility criteria by applying gating mechanics.

Registration Success → Eligibility Criteria

But after testing it out with our internal peer groups, a brief UAT and a few technical challenges, it was dropped.

As it was also it was our first time trying out this kind of engagement led contest we tried to keep it as simple as possible.

Special Thanks

Nitin Bhatnagar for co-authoring the article and kicking ass with the UI.

Chirag Chopra for being an awesome proofreader 😃

Here’s a happy ball for you! :)
CricPlay featured on Google Play Store

We at CricPlay strive to provide the best fantasy gameplay to our users; all feedback is welcome.

Try Star Contest now at Web | Android.