Last month, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) organised a three-team One Day tournament after a long unprecedented break due to the coronavirus pandemic. I was not actually expecting to play any fantasy matches of this local tournament. Well, how could I! I never saw any fantasy app covering these local tournaments before.
But the Game Of 11 app, to my utter surprise, through a push notification reminded me that Mushfiq-Tamim-Riyad were playing and there was a chance to create my own fantasy team from this local tournament as well.
I was surprised and amazed at the same time. I have been playing fantasy games for some years now, and I never had the chance to create my fantasy team for local tournaments with local players playing in it. It was an overwhelming experience.
So what is a fantasy game?
We all know that modern sports are much more competitive now and became more intense these days, off-field games have followed suit.
One such genre of off-field games is fantasy gaming where users create their own team within an allotted budget and score points according to their players' performance.
Whoever plays fantasy games must have heard of renowned fantasy games like Fantasy Premier League (FPL), Dream11 (IPL Fantasy), and so on. Bangladeshi sports fanatics usually play FPL and IPL Fantasy - the official fantasy games for English Premier League Football and Indian Premier League.
We had no quality fantasy game of our own, or we at least thought we did not.
Playing on the international platforms did give us pleasure, but the fanatics wanted something more: where they could play local cricket or football games along with the international ones.
It was probably a bit too much to ask for until sports enthusiast Ashif Mujtoba and his friends set foot into the world of fantasy with "Game of 11", commercially known as "GO11".
During an interview with The Business Standard, Ashif mentioned that there is a potential market of a million fantasy players in Bangladesh, which is worth approximately $420.5 million.
The founders of this game were students of the 25th CSE batch of Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST). They started planning to develop this game back in 2018.
Even though there are two more local fantasy games in Bangladesh; CricWizz and Super 11, GO11 is currently the biggest and most popular among them.
According to Ashif, GO11 already has around 58,000 registered users, which is comparatively a tiny amount considering the potential one million fantasy players in the country.
I personally played a few matches on GO11 and came across some unique features. It also has similarities with the other international fantasy platforms.
While most of the international fantasy games focus on sole tournaments or any single sport, GO11 has brought about almost every single tournament, especially in cricket and football, under its platform.
We all know how a fantasy game works and GO11 is no different.
Initially, a budget of 100 million is allotted for a team. Users can create their own team within this allotted budget and can choose a captain and vice-captain - whose points are doubled or tripled.
There are certain scoring rules for different sports and positions of players.
There are two types of competitions - free and premium. Winners of the free contest get a chance to win in-game currency. They can use that to take part in premium contests. And the winners of the premium contest receive various prizes from the company.
Usually, a single event has one or two free and various premium contests at the same time.
GO11 gives the players a chance to redeem their coins and earn money from the game.
Coins earned from premium contests can be redeemed to hard cash. Also, the coins earned from free contests can later be used in premium contests. One can play some free contests in the initial stage and earn a good amount of coins by playing more.
A drawback for this game is that there is no tournament-based competition.
Most of the international fantasy games focus on sole tournaments and often have some match-based competition. This option really enhances the gaming experience. If the users have an ultimate target to reach, they will analyse the game more to get the best out of the team they create.
Ashif told this correspondent that they are trying to bring the tournament based competition online as soon as possible, hopefully, by the end of this year.
One interesting fact about the minds behind GO11 is that there are exactly 11 members in the primary team. This includes the management and developers team. There are seven more members of the business and support team.
GO11 is already gaining popularity among the fantasy lovers of this country.