Back in 2017, Sanzar Adnan Alam was pursuing a master's degree in Cyber Security from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. During his stay in New Jersey, he noticed the popularity of fantasy game in the US.
The following year, the avid sports fan came to Bangladesh after completing higher studies with a motto to combine his passion for sports with his skills and knowledge.
Consequently, "Game Plan", the country's first fantasy sports platform was launched in 2019. Sanzar Adnan Alam is the Founder and CEO of the fantasy sports platform.
In the journey, Sanzar has his friend, Mohammad Tanzilur Rahman, as his partner. Both Sanzar and Tanzilur graduated from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology and together they made interesting sports apps during their university days.
"The journey wasn't easy and we are still trying to establish our start-up. Our passion for sports and technology has gotten us where we're today. We're pretty optimistic about the fantasy sports platform," Sanzar told The Business Standard.
"Fantasy sports are very popular worldwide. In India, such games have become a billion-dollar market."
So how does fantasy sports work? Fantasy sports is a game of skill where one gets together with a group of friends or just a bunch of other people who they meet online. For an upcoming real-life match, the participants assemble imaginary teams of real-world players.
For example, for a fantasy cricket match between Bangladesh and India, you would have one wicket-keeper, two batsmen, one all-rounder, and two bowlers from team Bangladesh and have remaining players from team India. Everyone in the game creates their own team as per their knowledge, then the teams compete against each other.
There is a scoring system based on points for certain actions just like the real game. For instance, a player taking a wicket is worth five points and a wicket-keeper doing a stumping is four points, and so on. Whichever team has the highest score at the end of the game wins.
"In India, players also make money by playing these games online. We aspire to make our platform profitable so that the players can earn money by playing these games as well."
Sanzar informed that so far "Game Plan" offers two sports - Fantasy Cricket and Fantasy Football. Players can get together online during the season of big sporting events such as the English Premier League, Indian Premier League, Bangladesh Premier League, or the Cricket or Football World cups, and design and play their own fantasy matches.
"Game Plan" is registered under the company Debug BD Ltd.
"Our journey began back in 2014 when we had launched the 'World Cup Predict & Win' app. Over the course of FIFA World Cup 2014, we had rewarded cash to the five quickest players who predicted the maximum number of right answers for each game," recalled Sanzar.
In June 2018, Sanzar and his team added Fantasy League along with quiz competition on the next version of the app named "TOTA Fantasy."
"It was the first fantasy sports platform in Bangladesh, which was available on both Android and iOS. We had also continued this platform for the whole 2018-2019 season of English Premier League.
"We have rewarded more than Tk1 lakh cash to the winners for free through this campaign."
"After getting enormous support and feedback from all our TOTA users, we redesigned our app and rebranded it with the daily fantasy sports platform named 'Game Plan'."
"Even though we had briefly shared our platform with one of the telecommunication companies in Bangladesh, we are no longer a part of it.
'Game Plan' is the only flagship product developed, maintained and run by our team," informed Sanzar.
The app is available for both iOS and Android, and iOS users can download the app directly from the App Store. Unfortunately, Google Play does not allow fantasy sports apps in their store.
However, users can download the app from the official website of Game Plan: http://playgameplan.com.
After installing the app, players can start creating their fantasy teams for the matches offered on-site or on the app.